March 20, 2007–The Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF) will have new management. Local administration partners Interfest, headed by Renat Davletyarov, have been dismissed in favor of a new player.
Results of the annual tender for the work, run by Russias Federal Agency for Culture and Cinematography (FAKK), were reported today in local business daily Kommersant. The documents presented by the new company differed from those submitted by other contenders, FAKK chief Mikahil Shvydkoi was quoted.
Although Shvydkoi didnt name the winning contender, rumors suggest it is Paragon, headed up by Natalya Semina, a company close to both MIFF prexy Nikita Mikhalkov and the Kremlin.
The main concern is that the change of management, coming only three months before MIFF bows, will severely disrupt planning for the event. This move follows last years removal of Kirill Razlogov as chief programmer of MIFF, and the departure of press chief Petr Shepotinik.
With selection continuing to be carried out on a collegiate basis, there are rumors that Finlands Kirsi Tykkylinen, from that countrys Kinofond, will head the MIFF selection board. She has longstanding film links with Russia. But being an outsider in Russian programming territory can prove something of a problem.