2004: Prophets and GainsDebut Films at Pittsburgh FilmmakersSTW [СТВ] Film CompanyPygmalion ProductionsNTV-Profit Film Company

Russian Film Symposium 2004

Program Two: STW [CTB] Film Company

Mon May 3 Tue May 4
10am Sergei Bodrov, Sr.: The Bear's Kiss, 2002. Intro by Daniel Wild. 10am Aleksei Balabanov: War, 2002. Intro by Dawn Seckler.

2pm Aleksei Balabanov: The River, 2002. Intro by Neia Zorkaia.

Sergei Sel'ianov: The Russian Idea, 1995. Intro by Gerald McCausland.

2pm Sergei Sel'ianov: Not Yet a Time for Sorrow, 1995. Intro by Elena Stishova.

Screenings take place at 106 David Lawrence Hall

STW Film Company was founded in 1992 by directors Sergei Sel'ianovand Aleksei Balabanov, and producer Vasilii Grigor'ev, though the company'sreputation has been dominated from the start by the two directors, Sel'ianovand Balabanov.

In the fourteen years of its existence, STW has released morethan thirty feature films and documentaries, as well as a number of shorts andanimation films, which have won more than seventy prizes at domestic andinternational film festivals. The company has produced art house andexperimental films, genre films, and films for the general viewing audience. Inaddition, STW has worked successfully on a number of internationalco-productions, including Gul'shad Omarova's The Schiz: Fifty-Fifty(2004, with Kazakhstan), Stefan Vouiet's Winter Heat (2004, with Belgium), Pavel Loungine's Tycoon (2002, with France), and Sergei Bodrov Sr.'s TheBear's Kiss (2002, with Germany).

Sergei Sel'ianov, who has been the Director of STW since itwas founded, had already established a solid reputation as an auteurfilmmaker during the final years of the Soviet Union. His debut film, ASaint's Day (co-directed with Nikolai Makarov) was shot in 1980, the sameyear that Sel'ianov graduated from the Scriptwriting Department of the StateInstitute for Filmmaking (VGIK). Virtually the first underground film made inthe Soviet Union, with every stage of production occurring independently of thestate-financed film industry, A Saint's Day was not released until 1988.It was highly praised by leading Soviet film critics, as was his first solofilm, Day of the Spirit (1990). Since founding STW, Sel'ianov hasdirected only two other films: the melodrama Not Yet a Time for Sorrow(1995) and the video documentary The Russian Idea (1995), which was partof a series on national cinemas commissioned by the British Film Institute andproduced by Colin MacCabe, who also serves as Distinguished Professor ofEnglish on the faculty here at the University of Pittsburgh.

Aleksei Balabanov completed the Higher Courses for FilmDirectors in 1990. He began his career as the director of what Russians referto as "elite films," that is, films aimed at cinéastes ratherthan the general viewing public. His first two films were literary adaptationsof Samuel Beckett's Happy Days (1990) and Franz Kafka's The Castle(1994). His career took a sharp turn with his short film Trofim (1995,co-scripted with Sel'ianov), which was part of a "film almanac," TheArrival of the Train, to commemorate the centenary of cinema. Trofimwas Balabanov's first film that was addressed both to professional film criticsand the general viewing public. His subsequent films have engendered intenseinterest and polemics within and between both of these constituencies: Brother(1997), Of Freaks and Men (1998), Brother-2 (2000), and War(2002). Balabanov has emerged as a major filmmaker in the past decade.

STW and its staffhave been involved in producing the following films:

2004: Prophets and GainsDebut Films at Pittsburgh FilmmakersSTW [СТВ] Film CompanyPygmalion ProductionsNTV-Profit Film Company