Film, Art and Culture – Norms, Policy and Design

About Kino Klassika

Kino Klassika creates impactful programs of restorations, publications, art commissions and events to spotlight Russian language cinema – a tradition that remains largely invisible to audiences outside of Russia.

We build rewarding partnerships between arts institutions, sponsors and artists to identify shared values and opportunities.

We use film and film materials as the lens through which to examine the development of artistic and cultural norms and socio-political policy and design.

Our Story

Our mission is to spotlight the legacy of Russian film, the remarkable stories behind their creation and the invisibility of those narratives outside of Russia.

We see these challenges as not only the barrier of language. They are also a lightning rod for a whole host of differing cultural, political and normative pressures shaping the traditions of filmmaking and art production in both Eastern and Western Europe.

2017 finds us nearing the end of our first two major programmes, THE EISENSTEIN PROJECT and A WORLD TO WIN: A CENTURY OF REVOLUTION ON SCREEN. The former is a series of exhibitions, film commissions, publications and academic research. The latter is a highly curated season of films looking at the aesthetics of Revolution across a century on film. The two programmes intersect at a gala screening of Eisenstein’s October at the Barbican with the London Symphony Orchestra on October 26th 2017.

Against a conflicted backdrop between the UK and Russia, we have been able to foster strong and long term collaborations with leading UK and Russian institutions. These include the Bakhrushin Museum Moscow, the Barbican Centre London, the Centre Pompidou, Paris,  the Courtauld Institute, GRAD London, the London Symphony Orchestra, Pace London, RGALI (the State Archive of Literature) Moscow, Seanse Magazine St Petersburg and Thames & Hudson publishers.

None of this is possible without the generosity of our donors and audience members. It is their curiosity and passion for this tradition of cinema ensures that each screening and each event travels out to and becomes accessible to a greater and greater audience.

Our Values

1Preserving and restoring film materials makes them accessible not just to us but to future generations of audiences and artists

2We champion curatorial and research excellence to build bridges of understanding.

3Film re-animates digital and vice versa – we don’t believe film is dead. We believe film and digital coexist as complimentary experiences, stimulating particular modes of creating, digesting and discussing visual experience.

4We are an open forum and we aim to be transparent in our biases – offering up a self-reflective space where practitioners can come together to examine, watch, dispute and discuss films and the normative practices around them to encourage greater understanding between East and West.

5Unswerving editorial independence – we select contributors and projects purely on their artistic and intellectual value. We flag any sponsorship or promotions in all our programmes.

6We support engagement with film from all the territories that make up a part of the former Soviet Union, using the term Russian language as opposed to Soviet to include pre-Revolutionary films and filmmaking.

7Commissioning artists to respond to, challenge and create new work based on the Russian tradition of film enriches all film traditions because education empowers creation.

Our Mid Term Goals

Kino Klassika builds partnerships with experts in different fields to create platforms and programs that use classic Russian film material as the lens through which to examine praxis in film, art, culture and socio-political design.

Each programme rotates out of an initial idea or opportunity that we generate or an expert or institution brings to us. From that, we develop content, research and artistic commissions while listening to both curators and audiences to build programs with international reach.

The Eisenstein Project

This developed out of the opportunity to publish a major book on Eisenstein’s graphic legacy, Eisenstein: Works on Paper, in collaboration with Thames & Hudson. Publication is now scheduled for Autumn 2017.

The project already encompasses two London-based exhibitions of Eisenstein drawings at GRAD and PACE London, a film commission from Mark Cousins, an academic conference at the Courtauld Institute, a series of lectures and screenings including Eisenstein in Mexico,  an unique opportunity to screen all three major versions of Eisenstein’s lost Mexico film with interventions from leading film and cultural theorists.

The program will reach completion on October 26, 2017. We host a screening of the newly restored Munich Film Archive’s version of Eisenstein’s October with the European Film Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Barbican Centre. This evening is generously supported by Lombard Odier. 

A World to Win: A Century of Revolution on Screen

Marx proclaimed that the proleteriat had a world to win. Kino Klassika hosts a season of screenings and talks to mark the centenary of the October Revolution. The season opens with Eisenstein’s iconic Battleship Potemkin, and goes on to examine a century of revolution on film. 

Bringing together provocative films by master directors such as Eisenstein, Kalatozov, Shepitko and Smirnov,  Godard, Rocha, Wajda, Bertolucci and Loach, it includes the once-banned Soviet film commissioned to commemorate the 50th anniversary of 1917, Beginning of an Unknown Century, which screens on March 8th, International Women’s Day.

A WORLD TO WIN screens at Regent Street Cinema from Friday, 17 February 2017 culminating in landmark screening of Eisenstein’s October with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre on the 26th October 2017. 

 

Nevaland: Petersburg on Film

Russia’s pre-1917 capital has always housed a vigorous and individual tradition of film-making. The program, NEVALAND, curated by renowned cultural and film historian, Professor Catriona Kelly of Oxford University, will examine that tradition over time to celebrate the centenary of Soviet Russia’s first film The Tenants and to trace the century long legacy of Russia’s most imaginative city on film. This program is in development with Seanse magazine.  

Strategy

Kino Klassika projects are executed through a network of collaborative partnerships we build between Russian, European and UK partners and audiences.

Curators and Collaborators

Curatorially, our strategy is always to work with leading experts in each programme field. We find accessible points of entry into a particular theme or area of study. We utilise the strong network of academic and archival excellence we are able to access in both Europe and Russia.

Understanding Audience

We build our audience primarily through the events we host but also through our social media campaigns and partnerships. Our English speaking audience member usually holds an education in the humanities and has an occupation or hobbies which relate to film, culture, art or storytelling. Our Russian speaking audience member usually lives outside of Russia and is interested to sustain an interest in Russian history, cultural values and identity.

Funding networks

Through the different partnerships we develop, Kino Klassika provides valuable opportunities for Russian and UK funding bodies, corporate sponsors and individual donors to support programs that encourage understanding between the two cultures. This exchange tradition is under threat – particularly in the current political climate – and we believe creates unique opportunities to harness the transformative power of cultural understanding.

How do we work

Kino Klassika programmes emerge from strategies that help us identify an area of research we want to draw attention to, the kind of programme we want to accomplish and how we can have the greatest impact.

We negotiate between the different agendas of advisors, participants and audiences to create programmes that deliver new, relevant research with clear and accessible narratives to stimulate the curiosity of new and returning audiences.

There are three key phases to defining our major goals and identifying a clear path to achieving them:

Research and development
Execution
Impact evaluation

Research and Development

We may start with what seems a promising theme or an expert or curator may approach us with an idea.

As we assess that in terms of its historical interest, relevance to audiences today, curatorial and programming opportunities, we make decisions about whether that idea is an event (this could be an educational talk, a screening, a film commission), a project (an entire exhibition, a symposium, a series of screenings) or a theme (usually this means Kino Klassika will devote two or three years of academic research, development and programme planning to an ambitious range of events).

Simultaneously we research and engage with potential partners: content, legal, curatorial and hosting while making initial assessments about project risk, delivery and funding.

Execution

We reach terms of agreement with key partners and draft budgets. Then we start to fundraise for each project through our network of funding bodies, grant makers, corporate and individual donors.

Simultaneously, we work with curators to provide expertise in everything from exhibition content and signage to catalogue preparation, screening notes and event planning.

We tend to work with curators who already have significant experience in a proposed area (for example Prof Ian Christie, curating the Unexpected Eisenstein exhibition). This offsets risks around programme delivery.

We also strive to find accessible and contemporary points of entry to any event or programme. For example, we asked Gabriel Prokofiev, noted contemporary composer and grandson of the composer, Sergei Prokofiev, to introduce a 35mm screening of Sergei Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky, which boasts Sergei Prokofiev’s first ground-breaking film score.

Impact Evaluation

As each program opens to the public we invite our audience to let us know their feedback: what works and doesn’t work, what they like and don’t like, what inspires and what defeats. This can be email, chat, social media feedback. Or it can simply be a rapt audience member at a packed out screening.

As importantly we host post event feedback meetings with our partners – to see what learnings we should take forward in building future collaborations. This is where we really see how successful we have been in juggling the difficulty of curatorial expertise, audience expectation and partner satisfaction (the latter judged by audience figures, press coverage and visibility of the proposed events).

We have met already some inspirational people in the journey – we are grateful benefactors of the expertise and generosity of the teams at RGALI and the Bakhrushin Museums in Moscow led by directors Tatiana Goryaeva and Dimitri Rodionov. Not much would be possible without the inspirational support of our audience, donors and sponsors including Mr Vadim Levin, Ms Anna Volkova, Fabergé fine jewellery and Lombard Odier, all of whom are generously committed to spotlighting the legacy of Russian language film.

Evaluation of Projects and KKF’s Expertise

We evaluate the success of each project against our values and ambitions. We recognise our responsibility to our partners to fulfil any terms agreed in headline partnership agreements.

We are sensitive to conflicts of interest and world view and we consult with independent experts to evaluate and mitigate risks around this.

We strive to work with people who excel in their particular fields – be they artists, filmmakers, domain experts, philosophers, scholars and cultural organisations . By supporting their ambitions and expertise, we can improve our own.

Partnership Types

We work in partnership with leading experts and world class institutions to create engaging programming, generate research and fund innovative projects. Our goal is to achieve powerful engagement with classic Russian film.

We have developed a distinctive personal network spanning business, the arts and cultural worlds. This allows us to enable meaningful connections at the highest levels to support what we do. We work with leading brands to identify shared values and opportunities. Our goal is to support the expertise of arts organisations, content owners and leading curators and experts.

Our PARTNERSHIP ECOSYSTEM consists of: film and culture research, artistic and creative practice, brand positioning, network development, programme development, education and outreach, archives and collections.

Cultural Geography and Outreach

Our programmes currently radiate from London. However, we develop projects with international scope with international partners. We are currently developing projects with both the Centre Pompidou in Paris and Seanse magazine in St Petersburg.  

If you are interested in finding out more about our partnerships, please contact us at [email protected]

Organisational Structure of the Foundation

Kino Klassika Foundation is an UK registered charity. Our charity number is 1150791. Kino Klassika’s board of trustees is ultimately responsible for the governance of the organisation, which is both a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee.

Trustees

Prof Ian Christie

Prof Ian Christie

Ian Christie is Anniversary Professor of Film and Media History at Birkbeck College and a Fellow of the British Academy. He is the co-curator of our exhibition at GRAD Unexpected Eisenstein. He co-curated Eisenstein: His Life and Art (Oxford Museum of Modern Art/Hayward Gallery, 1988). Ian also co-edited Eisenstein Rediscovered (1993) and The Film Factory: Russian and Soviet Cinema in Documents, 1896-1939 (1988). He is the author of monographs on Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger and Martin Scorsese. 

Daniel Jowell

Daniel Jowell

Daniel Jowell is a leading Queen’s Counsel with particular experience in multi-jurisdictional commercial disputes and competition law. Daniel’s interest to support Kino Klassika stems from his great interest in cinema and Russian culture.

Roger Munnings

Roger Munnings

Roger Munnings is currently chair of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of the boards of PJSC Lukoil and JSC Sistema. Roger was Chairman of KPMG Moscow from 2004 – 2008.

Justine Waddell

Justine Waddell

Justine Waddell is the founder of Kino Klassika.  An acclaimed film and stage actress, Justine played the lead in Vladimir Sorokin and Alexander Zeldovich’s sci-fi version of Anna Karenina, Target, for which she learnt the Russian language from scratch.  

Patron

Ralph Fiennes

Ralph Fiennes

Ralph Fiennes is an Academy Award nominated actor and film director with a deep interest in Russian theatre and film playing the title role in the film version of Eugene Onegin and the Russian language version of Turgenev’s Two Women.

 

Team Members

All our team can be contacted via email using their first name followed by @kinoklassikafoundation.org or at the postal address in the footer.

Nicole Karakin, Strategy Director
Nicole leads development of our brand strategy and communications platforms. Her background is in creative direction and user experience. Nicole is completing her PhD on movement analysis and somatic practices at Queen Mary, University London.

Maria Korolkova, Projects Director
Maria is a Senior Lecturer in Media & Communications at the University of Greenwich. Before that she taught Cultural Theory at Richmond, and European Cinema at the University of Oxford, where she also completed a Doctorate on Representations of Space in Russian Cinema of 1910s and 1920s. Maria is an independent film critic, with articles featuring in the BBC World Service, Calvert Journal, Forbes and Times Literary Supplement. 

Frederick Michell, Projects Manager
Freddie is in his final year at UCL studying Russian language and history. His interest in Russia and Russian culture comes from a love of Russian literature and his time spent travelling both in Russia and the surrounding region.  

Yulia Klimova, Communications Manager
Yulia is a PhD candidate at University College, London, where she is researching Russo-British relations during WW1.  She previously received an MA from the University of St Andrews and an MSC from the University of Oxford in Russian and East European studies.

 

Contact

General enquiries please contact us at
[email protected]

For queries about Eisenstein’s October please contact Frederick Michell at
[email protected]

For queries about partnership please contact us at
[email protected]

Our postal address is:
Kino Klassika Foundation 
First Floor South
Rosebery House
4 Farm St 
London
W1J 5RD 

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