St. Petersburg Cultural Forum Brings Together 91 Countries

PHOTO by ursula1964 / Depositphotos
St. Petersburg hosted the Fifth International Cultural Forum which brought together participants from 91 countries, ranging from Iceland to South Africa

From Dec. 1-3, the forum held 338 events over the three-day period and was attended by 750 foreign guests, 35 delegations and 12 foreign cultural ministers.

The Year of Russian Cinema, which officially kicked off at last year’s forum, was the centerpiece of this year’s event. Since the last gathering, the Cinema Foundation of Russia has helped support 46 feature and ten animated films. Local box office sales have hit a record high in the post-Soviet era, while state funding has reached nearly $110 million. The audience for new films has jumped to 35 million people, or a quarter of the Russian population.

The forum was a stage for passionate discussions of movie quotas, distribution issues and new cinemas. For example, Gleb Davidov, one of the directors of Soyuzmultfilm, talked about exciting new projects and changes in the industry.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the opening ceremony of the 5th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum on the new stage of the Mariinsky Theatre, Dec. 2

The forum’s recurrent theme this year was the 125th birthday of the composer Sergey Prokofiev. The forum hosted an international symposium called “Prokofiev: XXI Century,” which symbolised a union of academic and popular music. Gabriel Prokofiev, a British DJ, composer and grandson of the late Prokofiev, was the featured guest at the symposium.

A gala concert of well-known and amateur bands, along with other events, marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

This year, the forum for the first time also arranged the Festival of Festivals, which was designed to further promote and deepen international ties and cooperation.