2017 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:

Sunday, March 26, 2017 | 2:00 PM – 9:00 PM

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

2017 Art Film Festival


In the spirit of the Centennial of the Suffragist Movement in the U.S., the Russian Revolutions, and the historical Balfour Declaration, the Festival's program explores the turmoil of the 20th century and is dedicated to women's role in society, history and art.

2:00 PM | Russian Avant-garde - A century on Revolution. New Art for a New World by Margy Kinmonth (USA Premiere)

UK 2016 | 85 min  |  Feature Documentary | English | Foxtrot Films

Drawing on the collections of major Russian institutions, contributions from contemporary artists, curators, and performers and personal testimony from the descendants of those involved, the film brings the artists of the Russian Avant-Garde to life. It tells the stories of artists like Chagall, Kandinsky, Malevich and others – pioneers who flourished in response to the Utopian challenge of building a New Art for a New World, only to be broken by implacable authority after 15 short years. Director MargyKinmonth, a creator of highly acclaimed documentary Hermitage Revealed, says: “I was inspired, as an artist, to discover how many of the descendants of Russian Avant-Garde artists are themselves working as artists today. Access to their intensely moving stories brings tolife this extraordinary period of artistic innovation, which continues to exert such a powerful legacy a hundred years on.”

Q&A with Regina Khidekel, Festival’s Curator

3:45 PM | Miss Bluwstein | Biography of Hebrew poet, known simply as Rachel the Poetess, by Sivan Arbel (USA Premiere)

Israel 2015 | 55 min | Documentary | Hebrew with English subtitles

The Bank of Israel recently announced that two Israeli banknotes, which are part of a new series highlighting renowned 20th century Israeli poets whose life and work parallel the birth of the State of Israel, will be dedicated to two women: Rachel Bluwstein and Leah Goldberg. Rachel Bluwstein (1890 – 1931), the matriarch of modern Hebrew poetry, will grace the new oft-used 20-Shekel bill that includes vistas of her beloved Sea of Galilee shoreline, palm trees, and verses from her signature poem "Kinneret". The documentary marks the 125th birthday of Rachel, strengthens the image of the first Hebrew poet, the immigrant from Russia, who managed to express the emotional life of an entire generation in a language which lives and breathes to this day. Dana Olmert, Anat Weisman, Efrat Mishori, Muki Tsur, Uri Milstein, Yehudit Ravitz, Karni Postel and others, speak, and sing along with animations and previously unknown letters by Rachel re-paint her extraordinary character.

Q&A with Amir Bogen, film journalist

5:25 PM | The Babushkas of Chernobyl: A story of three unlikely heroines in the most toxic place on earth by Holly Morris

USA 2015 | 70 min  | Documentary |  Russian, Ukrainian with English subtitles

In the radioactive Dead Zone surrounding Chernobyl's reactor, a community of old women cling to their ancestral homeland. While their neighbors have long since fled and their husbands gradually died off, this sisterhood of women labors to cultivate land deemed uninhabitable. Ignoring government orders and health warnings, the Babushkas of Chernobyl continue to forge an existence in one of the most toxic environments on earth.

Q&A with Yasha Klots, Assistant Professor of Russian, Hunter College, CUNY

6:45 PM | Mirrors by Marina Migunova (USA Premiere)

Russia 2013 | 119 min | Feature film | Russian with English subtitles 

A feature Mirrors is the first historical-biographical feature film that focuses on the tragic fate of the poet Marina Tsvetaeva, one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. The authors follow her in Russia, then in emigration in Prague and Paris, and then upon her return to Russia, where she committed suicide a few months after she came back.

Q&A with Regina Khidekel, Festival’s Curator

Tickets available through EventBrite | Hunter college students free of charge

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:  www.hunter.cuny.edu/abouthunter/maps/68th-street-main-campus

RACC has received a Mayoral Message - a letter of encouragement and appreciation from the Mayor's office:

Dear Friends:

It is a great pleasure to welcome everyone to the Russian American Cultural Center’s 2017 Art Film Festival.

New York has always been a place where the arts and creativity have thrived, and our city continues to shape the future of cinema and the film industry. The Russian American Cultural Center’s annual Art Film Festival has not only presented groundbreaking films that explore the nuances of Russian culture and history, but it has also highlighted the ways that film has the incredible power to inspire, unite, and uplift our communities. Presented in partnership with the Russian and Slavic Studies Program at CUNY’s Hunter College, this year’s festival is dedicated to examining the roles of women in society, history, and art. With exclusive screenings and Q&A’s, it will highlight the work of filmmakers and artists that are presenting new and differing perspectives on a variety of global issues. In honor of Women’s History Month and RACC’s ongoing commitment to empower our city’s Russian community, I applaud all of the festival’s organizers and supporters for cultivating a stronger, more inclusive cultural life for all our residents.

On behalf of the City of New York, I offer my best wishes for a wonderful festival and continued success.


Bill de Blasio, Mayor


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RACC’s programs and events are made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and Cojeco.