|Chicago International Documentary Festival Announces IN MEMORIAM ALEXANDER LITVINENKO the 2007 Opening Night Film Friday March 30th |
3/15/2007 - PRESS RELEASE
March 5, 2007
Contact: Christopher Kamyszew
Joanna Topor MacKenzie
Associate Director, CIDF
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chicago International Documentary Festival Announces IN MEMORIAM ALEXANDER LITVINENKO the 2007 Opening Night Film
Friday March 30th
Chicago, IL - The Chicago International Documentary Festival (CIDF) announced today that the 2007 festival will open with the World Premiere of IN MEMORIAM ALEXANDER LITVINENKO co-directed by award winning documentary filmmaker Jos de Putter and Masha Novikova. The Opening Night festivities are sponsored by Plus Magazine and will take place Friday, March 30th . The Opening Reception will be held at the Society for Arts (1112 N. Milwaukee Ave.) from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. From there guests will be offered charter buses to the Pritzker Auditorium located in the Harold Washington Library Center (400 S. State St.; 401 Plymouth Ct. entrance) where the screening will take place at 8pm. The on-stage interview and Q&A session with both directors will follow. Limited number of tickets to the Opening Night Gala is available on sale by calling 773.486.9612 or online at www.chicagodocfestival.org
IN MEMORIAM ALEXANDER LITVINENKO is a provocative account of the final days of ex-Federal Security Service officer, Russian dissident and writer Aleksandr Litvinenko as well as an engrossing look into the tense political situation in Russia. In November 2006 the world was shocked by photographs of a weakened and bald Litvinenko fighting for his life in a UK hospital. Despite a rigorous investigation, it wasn't until after his death on the 24th of November 2006, that results revealed that Litvinenko, a former secret service operative granted political asylum in the UK, was the rare victim of polonium-210 poisoning. In his shocking film started two years before Litvinenko's death, directors Jos de Putter and Masha Novikova boldly chronicle the dissident turned activist's story from his time as a lieutenant-colonel in the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, to his arrest for publicly speaking out against his superiors and ultimately to his decision to flee his native Russia. Composed of candid and riveting interviews with Litvinenko - some of which feature the stoic thinker prophesizing his own death - Litvinenko's father and Akhmed Zakayev, the Chechen President in exile, this ripped from the headlines, eye-opening documentary is both a political tour de force and an example of masterful filmmaking.
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IN MEMORIAM ALEXANDER LITVINENKO marks Jos de Putter's return to the Chicago International Documentary Festival. In 2003, CIDF featured a retrospective dedicated to the director titled "Empire and Resistance." In the same year de Putter was awarded the Chicago Doc Grand Prix for his film The Damned And The Scared.
Jos de Putter was born in the Netherlands in 1959. A freelance film critic as well as a documentary maker, Mr. de Putter is a past editor of the leading Dutch film magazine SKRIEN, and has published in many of the Netherlands' other leading film publications and newspapers. He has also worked for the television program DIOGENES. Mr. de Putter has won awards including the Prize of the City of Utrecht for best debut film (IT'S BEEN A LOVELY DAY, 1993), the Joris Ivens prize at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (SOLO, THE FAVELA'S LAW, 1994), the Jury Prize at the Tehran Film Festival (NAGASAKI STORIES, 1996), the L.J. Jordaan Prize (THE MAKING OF A NEW EMPIRE, 1999), and the Dance Screen Festival Prize (ZIKR, 1999).
Masha Novikova was born in Moscow in 1956 and studied pedagogy at the University of Moscow. She worked as an executive producer for Dutch television. Her latest film THREE COMRADES will also screen at the CIDF.