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Two Russian films to compete in Tromsø International Film Festival

Two award-winning Russian-language dramas will be featured in the competition program of the Tromsø International Film Festival in Tromsø, Norway. Natalya Meshchaninova’s Core of the World (Serdtse mira) is scheduled to run tomorrow at 8:00 PM local time and Saturday at 11:00 AM. The Man Who Surprised Everyone (Chelovek, kotory udivil vsekh), directed by Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov, will air at 8:30 PM tomorrow.

In Core of the World, a young veterinarian who breeds hunting dogs on a rural farm grapples with steep personal consequences when a group of animal rights activists takes an interest in his work. Critics have seen the film as a fitting continuation of Meshchaninova’s rise as a director: in The Hollywood Reporter, Leslie Felperin wrote that it was “suffused with tenderness in every sense of the word.”

“Core of the World” is directed by Natalya Meshchaninova.
Tromsø International Film Festival / Vimeo

The Man Who Surprised Everyone centers on another young man in rural Russia. Egor is diagnosed with cancer while he and his wife are expecting their second child, and he turns to a Siberian folk tale to cope with his grief . Like the folk hero Jumba, he takes on a female identity to escape death, prompting widespread soul-searching in his village. Yevgeny Tsyganov, who stars in the film, was named Best Actor in Russia’s annual White Elephant awards last week.

Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov directed “The Man Who Surprised Everyone.”
Tromsø International Film Festival / Vimeo