2016 Art Film Festival

Presented in collaboration with the Russian and Slavic Studies Program, Hunter College, CUNY

Event Venue:

Ida K. Lang Recital Hall at Hunter College
695 Park Ave, New York, NY 10065

Event Date:

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Russian American Cultural Center, in collaboration with the Russian and Slavic Studies Program, Hunter College, CUNY is pleased to announce:

2016 Art Film Festival


1:00 PM | ArtVideo by Tamar Latzman


Israel 2015 | 4 min  |  HD Video |  

Tradescantia Pallida, commonly known as the “Wandering Jew,” is a species of a spiderwort plant that adorns domestic interiors and ornamental gardens. Shot in Vilnius, Lithuania,  "Habitat" uses the cultural meanings of the plant to examine the Jewish character and its place in the world by visually isolating it and resituating it in new environments. The plant comes to life in this video and turns from an object of scientific examination into an unidentifiable or an unpredictable object. The music is adopted from the 1937 film "Dybbuk"(a malevolent spirit possession in Jewish mythology) and indicates the way in which the relation of persecuted persecutor replicates itself within all.

My Soul Cleaveth Unto Thee

Israel 2015 | 4 min  |  HD Video |  

What began in "Habitat" as a journey to examine the Jewish character and its place in the world diverges in this work into an obsession with Henech Kon, the Polish-born composer of the movie "Dybbuk," which has now become a symbol of an extinct artistic community. Kon, a relatively anonymous figure, becomes a personal dybbuk that compels Latzman to recreate him and his music within this video. Latzman wanders Warsaw looking for leads of Kon and collaborates with a local musician, Raphael Roginski who then remakes and perform Kon’s piece. And so, a pseudoscientific study of Jewish existence transforms into the artist's obsession with creating a body of work, while reflecting that which cannot be studied. 


A Special Presentation: The Art Documentaries by Helga Landauer

1:15 PM | A Journey of Dmitry Shostakovich by Helga Landauer

(co-directed with Oksana Dvornichenko)

USA 2006 | 75 min  |  Documentary  |  Production: Horovod, TurnstyleTV

Dmitry Shostakovich, the greatest composer of 20th century remains one of its biggest mysteries. The nine chapters of A JOURNEY OF DMITRY SHOSTAKOVICH are framed by nine days of the last round-trip journey of the composer’s life: a trip on a Soviet ocean liner to the United States.  The film is narrated primarily in words of Shostakovich’s letters and diaries, which contrast with the propaganda movies shown on board the ship, as the twentieth century itself weaves myth and reality. Never-before-seen archival fragments of the composer’s life–newsreel footage, photographs, letters, and personal memoirs–provide a unique perspective on the composer's life while his music plays the leading part throughout the film.

Q&A with Helga Landauer

2:45 PM | Anna Akhmatova by Helga Landauer

USA 2008 | 58 min  |  Documentary   

Fate granted Anna Akhmatova immense poetic talent, beauty, fame and a brilliant generation. Then came the executions of her loved ones, hunger, wars, revolutions, Soviet terror, isolation, betrayal. Yet Akhmatova emerges victorious, armed with mere words of poetry that-too dangerous to commit to paper-had to be memorized to be preserved. A Film follows this story reminiscent of an antique tragedy. Its participants, aside from the heroine, include Apollo and the muses, Dido and Aeneas from her beloved record of Purcell, Amedeo Modigliani, witches and visitors, statues and sovereigns, portraits and artists, armies and gardens, Paris and Leningrad, the storyteller and eternal chorus of milling crowds. The poet Anatoly Naiman, talks about Anna Akhmatova he knew and travels to the places she has left.

Q&A with Helga Landauer

4:15 PM | Arcadia by Helga Landauer

USA 2015 | 55 min | Documentary | Production: Cineprojects

Our travels in Arcadia – the mythical place of heaven – begin at New York’s Grand Central Station in 2001, only weeks after September 11. We are led over the next thirteen years by the great Russian Poet Vladimir Gandelsman. Wherever he takes us, be it the smoking ruins of the Twin Towers, the streets of his Bronx neighborhood, a rainy park or a subway train, Arcadia shimmers through. Gandelsman banished death – “Even this word is absent,” he says – from his poetry book “Arcadia”; in the film, however, she reclaims her spot as a fellow traveler.

Q&A with Helga Landauer


For the first time, a case new media project will introduce our loyal audiences to visual entertainment content that promises to be the future

5:30 PM | 17 seconds of art by Lena Lapshina

Austria 2014

“17 seconds of art”, a series of extra-short films by video artist Lena Lapschina who has been filming everyday situations, which oscillate from the absurd to the banal. The films are dealing with art, but most of all with the perception of art. In the video "Once around the block" a man leaves a party in Vienna City to get some fresh air, takes off his clothes, runs once around the block and puts his clothes calmly back on. A quicker answer to the question "What is art?" is hardly imaginable." - Paolo Bianchi (curator and critic, Kunstforum) ---12th International Festival of New Film

Q&A with Regina Khidekel


6:00  PM | NY Premiere | Chagall-Malevich by Aleksandr Mitta

Russia 2014 | 119 min | Feature film | Russian with English subtitles 

The film is an attempt to recreate the world of Marc Chagall and his myth within the genre of a folklore ballad.

Q&A with Regina Khidekel

Event tickets are available via EventBrite (click here)

Tickets for a single film or the whole program: $15 | Hunter College students: $5

Please note: photo ID is required for entry into the college. Please allow additional time for check.

Entrance on East 69th Street. Lang Hall is on the 4th Floor of the North Building, Room 424.

If you go through the Visitors Center - it is located on the South West corner of East 68th St. & Lexington Ave. Below is a map of Hunter College, the West Building is orange and the North Building is teal/blue:  http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/abouthunter/maps/68th-street-main-campus

RACC's events are made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.