Silent Souls / Овсянки

Silent Souls (Овсянки; the actual translation is “Buntings,” referring to a type of bird) is a 2010 Russian drama, one of the recent crop of artistic, internationally recognized independent Russian cinema. It is based on the short story of the same name by Denis Osokin (Денис Осокин). Osokin has published quite a lot of poetry […]

Tulpan / Тюльпан

Tulpan (Тюльпан) is an award-winning 2008 comedy-drama by Kazakh director Sergey Dvortsevoy (Сергей Дворцевой). The film was Kazakhstan’s official submission to the 2009 Academy Awards’ Foreign Language Film category. It also won Best Film at the second annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards that same year, as well as a Prix Un Certain Regard at the 2008 […]


12 is a 2007 Russian crime film directed by and starring Nikita Mikhailkov (Никита Михайлков). The film is an adaptation of Reginald Rose’s famous play Twelve Angry Men. Mikhailkov received the Special Lion award at the 64th annual Venice International Film Festival for his work on this film. The film features both Russian and Chechen […]

Hipsters / Стиляги

Hipsters (Стиляги) is a 2008 musical comedy-drama directed by Valeriy Todorovskiy (Валерий Тодоровский) and starring Anton Shagin (Антон Шагин) and Oksana Akinshina (Оксана Акиншина). Hipsters was featured at the Toronto and Cleveland International Film Festivals, among others, and won Best Film at both the Golden Eagle Awards and the Nika Awards in 2009. In Russia […]

The Banishment / Изгнание

The Banishment (Изгнание) is a 2007 Russian drama by director Andrei Zvyagintsev (Андрей Звягинцев), also known for his films The Return (Возвращение, 2003), Elena (Елена, 2011) and Leviathan (Левиафан, 2014). The film is a loose adaptation of William Saroyan’s 1953 novel The Laughing Matter. It stars Konstantin Lavronenko (Константин Лавроненко) and Maria Bonnevie. The Banishment premiered […]

Elena / Елена

Elena (Елена) is a 2011 drama by Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev (Андрей Звягинцев). Zvyagintsev is also well-known for his films The Return (Возвращение, 2003) and Leviathan (Левиафан, 2014), among others. Elena stars Nadezhda Markina (Надежда Маркина), who received a Nika Award for her role, and Elena Lyadova (Елена Лядова), and has music by American composer […]

The Return / Возвращение

The Return (Возвращение) is a 2003 Russian drama, one of the most globally famous among recent-ish Russian art films. The film tells the story of two young brothers, Andrey and Ivan, whose father unexpectedly appears in their lives. The brothers have barely even met their father before this—they know him only from a single old […]

Bishkek, I Love You / Бишкек, я люблю тебя

Bishkek, I Love You (Бишкек, я люблю тебя) is a 2011 Kyrgyz comedy/drama film. The film’s tagline was “The first film about your favorite city” (“Первый фильм про твой любимый город”), highlighting how its goal was not only to tell a good story but specifically to give Bishkek the film treatment it deserves. Ruslan Akun […]

Salaam, New York / Салам, Нью-Йорк

Salaam, New York (Салам, Нью-Йорк) is a 2013 Kyrgyz film by director Ruslan Akun (Руслан Акун), who also directed and wrote 2011’s Bishkek, I Love You (Бишкек, я люблю тебя). Akun also wrote the film, along with Gulzhan Toktogulova (Гульжан Токтогулова). It was based on true events—Akun’s time studying at a visual arts school in […]

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