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No concept - even better!

IFF "Pacific Meridian" jury - Maitres of world cinematograph


10th IFF “Pacific Meridian” Jury consists of those, who can easily be called Maitres of world cinematograph.

May be it is the reason why discussion was full of global agenda items, also concerning personal experience of each jury member… And sometimes – the power of timely topic! – jury members supplemented answers of each other…


Christian Jeune, chairperson, - director of the Film Department of the Cannes IFF.

-It is supposed that after some time world production center will finally move to Asia; world education center will also be settled there. Do you consider, that world cinematograph center will eventually move to Asia too?

-If to speak about economy or education, it can be possible. But if we speak about cinematograpg… No, I don’t think so. There are lot of places all over the world – Europe, Asia, Mexico, India – where good cinema, interesting cinema, unusual cinema is filming. Talented, gifted directors live all over the world and that is the reason, why cinema will be developing in different places. 

- Is it hard to evaluate feature-length and shorts in one competition program?

- No, because actually there are no objective standards, no list, like “a winner should shot it this way”. We evaluate films subjectively, but at the same time try to be fair. After watching we share opinions and that’s how verity appears. And it concerns any kind of films, because all of them – creations, art objects, and it’s really hard to compare, it’s not a gymnastics…

I often face with questions about criteria during our work on Cannes IFF program. And there are also no so-called criteria. We watch all films, sent to us, discuss, and as the result we have something, that can be called sample of brightest modern cinematograph trends.

- At previous years “Pacific Meridians” jury had a conception: for example, according to the camera crew principle, or consisting only of women. At this year the concept wasn’t announced. Maybe, you will determine it?

- The main idea is – our jury has people, able to evaluate film at the whole: director, film critic, producer and etc… Each has his own experience and opinion… Actually, it’s great that jury has no concept!

Raymond Phathanavirangoon is an international film festival programmer who is currently an official delegate for Cannes Critics’ Week and the Program Consultant for the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

-Asian cinematograph passes through cyclic development, we can say, it’s like waves development. There was a Philippines wave, some waves of Chinese cinema. What do you think, which country will be the next?

-Taking into account economic situation and that now we have a lot of young talented directors, I guess, it will be Indonesia. They shoot a lot of good commercial and festival cinema.

Vietnam can be competitive to Indonesia, but in that country, as, for example, in China, censorship is powerful enough to slow down cinematograph development. What’s interesting – censorship in these countries is harder than in Indonesia, which is actually muslim country with strict principles.

-What is the pledge of success, to your mind?

-The main thing is to understand, which thought you want to convey to the viewer. If have something to say – it’s mainly the pledge of success. For cinematographer statement is really important, topic doesn’t matter. The most unlucky variant – when director starts to shoot ‘festival’ or ‘commercial’ film beforehand, having nothing to say, he just starts filming, being oriented to exact audience.

Sergey Loznitsa, director, screenwriter. Author of 11 documentary works. Nominee for Russian national awards “Nika” and “Laur”, owner of many international awards.

-What is the reason of great interest to documentary in Russia and in the world? Did audience tired of lie from the screen? 

- Audience requirements to the proposed quality of picture and to the actors playing way change. Documentary films give much more information, which often is unexpected for us. What is happening now – is somehow mimicry of feature films to documentary, movement in direction of ‘shooting without any screen’. I speak about complexity level increasing, to which audience is ready in audiovisual flow. Requirements to actors playing also are increasing. We are not so interested in well-known ‘starts’, there are more and more examples of people, who became famous, being not ideal – I mean not ideal shape.

- Is that true that you start new project with ‘Star Wars’ director?

- I write script and did a pause in my work, only for being in jury here, in Vladivostok. And thats all that I can say you now.

Alexey Fedorchenko, director and producer of ’29 February’ company. Among his awards there are – ‘Award of Christian jury’ and award of Venice IFF for his film ‘Ovsyanki’.

-Should Russian film possess a part of Asian charm, in order to be successful at the festival?

-I actually live in Asia. That’s why I shoot – obviously – Asian cinema. And do nothing special to add something Asian-style. It’s really enough in my films.

Sergey Loznitsa – You can’t expressly add something Asian. Even if director would like to do something expressly, it won’t work. He will get what he will. 

- Now you are preparing for filming of “Zombie in USSR” movie, acting as producer, with Igor Voloshin as a director…

-It’s not a film yet, it’s a project, which Igor Voloshin and me are creating, work title is ‘Dead arable’. It’s an attempt to make commercial cinema, like “our’s” zombies, basing on good literature. We still don’t know what will be the result, now writing a script. It’s not very serious and not really fast, more like a perspective of future film.

-You, with your creations, broke a belief of millions of people, that filming can be only in the capital. What can you advise to beginning Vladivostok cinematographers?

-How awful it sounds – broke a belief of millions… I even winced… I actually consider, that Vladivostok has all possibilities for creation of studio. It should be situated in places with warm sunny days – and you live almost in subtropics… There’re lot of unrepeatable landscapes, more basis for hoping for success, than Sverdlovsk’s studio has. I would make a studio here long time ago. And will it be successful or not – who knows. But film festival existence here, in Vladivostok – is a great opportunity.

Stanley Kwan: - I would wish young cinematographers to pay more attention to the script. If you want to make a successful film – find really good script, which will be oriented to exact audience. Any film can be killed by not very good idea, by awkward script. I’ll give you an example. Nowadays young Hong-Kong cinematographers are leaving for mainland China, because audience is much bigger there. And only some of them are able not only to write good story, but to adapt it for China market – either China, or Hong-Kong, because expectations reallt varies. Nowadays a huge amount of films are shooting in Hong-Kong : horrors, drama, cartoons, anything you want, but even audience, not only critics, often notices that rarely good story is the basis.

Stanley Kwan, director, producer, Hong-Kong cinema legend.

-Why did you chose to go in for cinema?

- When I was just a school-child, I’ve already wanted filming cinema. Maybe, it’s because of my mother, who was a great fan of opera, cinema…

After I started work with directors, who actually were from the Golden Century of Hong-Kong cinema, about which there’re so many talks at “Pacific Meridian”, even in frames of special program. We were filming short movies for TV, and only after that decided that we are “old” enough for real cinema. And went for the big cinematograph.

-Why did you choose ‘Tokio story’ of Yasidziro Odzu for master-class in Vladivostok?

-Many years ago, when I was young, I was watching this director’s films, admiring him, I was really found of his works, I was trying to understand his art’s system. And after some time became specialist in Yasidziro Odzu films. That’s why I brought his film, as genius piece of art, on which it’s easy to study.