Russian Film Symposium explores empire vs. nation-state

The theme for the 21st annual Russian Film Symposium — “Shadow Empire: Russia’s Search for Nationhood” — will focus on whether Russia evolved toward a sustained empire, or has it recently reconfigured into what we would now recognize as a nation-state.

The festival runs from May 6 to 11 and include 12 films and eight discussions with film scholars. Screenings are at the Frick Fine Arts building auditorium and 332 Cathedral of Learning. Roundtable discussions will be held at 2 p.m. May 8 and 11 a.m. May 11 at Hemingway’s on Forbes Avenue. Find a full schedule here.

All films are subtitled and anyone can attend the panel screenings in the Cathedral or the evening screenings in Frick. Everything is free.

Participants include Russian critics and journalists Ekaterina Barabash, Svetlana Khokhriakova and Oleg Sulkin; Oxford scholar Nikolaj Lübecker; U.S. scholars Volha Isakava, Alexander Prokhorov and Elena Prokhorova, as well as Pitt faculty and Ph.D. students from Slavic Languages and Literatures and Film & Media Studies, both in the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences.

Films include Aleksei Krasovskii’s “Holiday” (2019), Sergei Livnev’s “Van Goghs” (2018), Aleksei German Jr.’s “Dovlatov” (2018), Aleksei Fedorchenko’s “Anna’s War” (2018), Kirill Serebrennikov’s “Summer” (2018), Oleg Mavromatti’s “Monkey, Ostrich, and Grave” (2017), Boris Khlebnikov’s “Arrhythmia” (2017), and Mikhail Segal’s “A Film about Alekseev” (2014).

This year's co-sponsors include the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, the University Center for International Studies, the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, the Film and Media Studies Program, the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the Cultural Studies Program

For more information, please write Volodya Padunov at