International Christmas Film Festival In St. Petersburg

The sixth International Christmas Film Festival opens in St. Petersburg on Thursday. Staged in the children's movie center Rodina, the festival will feature films by courtesy of consulates general of eight countries, namely Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden, says the movie center's director Maria Krasko. The majority of films will be screened in Russia for the first time. Russia, too, will present two movies, a documentary called Christmas and a feature film called Northern Lights. Each of the 9 days of the festival will be dedicated to one of the countries participating in the event. The opening day, for instance, will feature Finnish films, while January 7, which is the Orthodox Christmas, will be dedicated to Russian movies. All films featured are either children's or family movies. Funny, touching and fairy-tale movies from different countries are all united by the absence of violence that is typical of modern cinematographic products. The movie center Rodina, which marked its 85th birthday in 2001, was inaugurated in St. Petersburg in 1916 under the name of Splendid Palace. In the late forties, it became the Soviet Union's first children's movie theater. Today, it is Russia's first children's movie center with a Dolby system.