Media City Film Festival was inaugurated in 1994 to showcase art films and digital arts by artists. To celebrate the 25th edition, the films are open for free screening worldwide till 1 March. We’d like to recommend three shorts by Armenian Maestro Sergei Parajanov, Kiev Frescoes (1966), Hakob Hovnatanyan (1967) and Arabesques on Pirosmani Theme (1986). The films were restored in 4K by Fixafilm within the framework of the Hamo Bek-Nazarov Project from the National Cinema Centre of Armenia.
Parajanov was born in 1924 Georgia, USSR. He studied in the world’s first film school, All-Union State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in Moscow. He was under constant persecution by Soviet authorities which imprisoned him thrice and suppressed his film productions.
Commissioned by Ukraine’s Dovzhenko Film Studio, Kiev Frescoes was supposed to be a feature-length film on the aftermath of WWII in contemporary Kyiv. The Soviet authorities criticised Parajanov for his support for Ukrainian nationalism and deviation from Soviet ideology. GOSKINO USSR’s ordered the Studio to shut down the production. All negatives were destroyed. The film was then turned into a short collage of outtakes, rushes and screen tests. These surviving footages however witness a radical stylistic shift from Soviet realism to poetic surrealism. He later cemented this unique cinematic language in his masterpiece The Colour of Pomegranates (1969).
Website of the festival: https://mediacityfilmfestival.com/25th-anniversary……/