Russian Film and Music Festival in Tokyo (January 28, 2017)

On January 28, the Embassy of the Russian Federation to Japan, together with Japan Visualmedia Translation Academy (JVTA) and the Federal agency for the Commonwealth of the Independent States, Compatriots living abroad and for the international humanitarian cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo), with the assistance of the School of the Russian Embassy in Japan, held a festival Russian cinema-musical art. Japanese people, who are hard to please in their appraisal of art, were presented not only with the traditional aspects of Russian culture, but also with its modern trends. In addition to that, guests were given opportunities for personal contact with the creators who brought their works to Tokyo, making the atmosphere of the event particularly heartfelt.

The festival opened with a short film by a Russian producer, director, and photographer Aslan Akhmadov. Guests showed high interest his photo exhibition dedicated to the life and creative works of the People`s Artist of USSR Lyudmila Gurchenko, which took place in Japan for the first time.

Classic Soviet animation film "Snow Maiden" (1952), based on the same-titled opera, with Japanese subtitles was also presented. Viewers could compare it with a modern Russian cartoon "Fairy Patrol" (2016), which was shown in a fully Japanese voice dubbed version. The cartoon is being prepared for broadcasting on the Japanese TV.

The festival program also included Russian spiritual music by the choir of the Moscow Sretensky Monastery, music performances of the prominent Russian balalaika virtuoso Alexey Arkhipovskiy, and a pioneer of ethnic Russian jazz, saxophonist, the People's artist of Bashkortostan Republic Oleg Kireyev. The saxophonist talked with the jazz enthsusiasts at the festival with a great interest. Jazz is very popular among local listners and artists.

The participation of well-known Russian musician and producer Alexander Shulgin was a great embellisiment to the entire event. The maestro presented the audience with a new short film-tale "Checkmate" by the British director Jason Bradbury. A.Shulgin created music for the film.

Kazushi Ishida, the outstanding Japanese musicologist, professor emeritus at the University of Keio made a brief presentation on fusion of traditional Russian music and European classics, which yeilded splendid results. He also discussed our best-known leading figures of the 19 - 20 centuries.

The festival, which was held in such an interesting format, was warmly welcomed by the Japanese public. In anticipation of the Year of Russian-Japanese cultural exchange scheduled for in 2018, meeting with the local audience through classical and modern Russian cinema and music is very timely in terms of enhancing mutual understanding between the peoples of Russia and Japan.