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Ralph Fiennes: ‘Whatever happens in politics, we have deep connection in culture' (RT EXCLUSIVE)

Ralph Fiennes: ‘Whatever happens in politics, we have deep connection in culture' (RT EXCLUSIVE)
Aside from political squabbles, culture continues to transcend borders and serves as a bridge between the Russian and British people, who are perfectly able to communicate without politicians by means of art, renowned British film and stage actor Ralph Fiennes told RT.

In an exclusive short interview on the sidelines of St. Petersburg International Culture Forum, the Oscar-nominated actor said the event had been a “chance for artists to get together and discuss what they do, understand each other and talk about how we make films, the challenge of making films.”

Apart from this opportunity to exchange ideas with fellow cinema industry professionals, Fiennes’s incentive to come to Russia’s northern capital also stems from a desire of “being part of theater or cinema that is connected to Russia.”

“Of, course, as you know I have a strong interest in being part of theater or cinema that is connected to Russia, so I come with this specific interest,” he told RT.

While UK-Russia bilateral relations are not at their highest, at least, this does not prevent intense artistic exchange between the two countries as people feel connection on the cultural level regardless of political tension, Fiennes said.

“Well, already, the great theater director Declan Donnellan for many years has been creating fantastic productions in Moscow with Russian actors and I know the Russian theater that often comes to London,” he said, citing an example of such an exchange, adding that he is “happy [the theater] continues to do so.”

“Whatever happens politically, in terms of our culture and our understanding through music, drama, painting we have a deep connection,” he concluded.

Ralph Fiennes is best known for his performance as Nazi war criminal Amon Göth in Schindler's List, which garnered him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor as well as in The English Patient, The Avengers and other word-famous productions. The Harry Potter saga fans, however, know him as Lord Voldemort.

The fifth St. Petersburg International Culture Forum, which serves an international platform for open dialog and exchange of opinion between experts in culture and cultural policy, is being held from December 1-3. The forum has been organized by the Russian government, the St. Petersburg authorities and endorsed by the Russian Culture Ministry.

The extensive program of the forum has been divided into 14 sections, each devoted to one specific cultural field, such as cinema, theater, music, tourism, literature, mass communications, cultural heritage preservation, creative industry and urban science.

‘Russia is No.3 market for IMAX, ahead of UK’ – Vice President

The number of IMAX theaters in Russia has surpassed that in the UK and trails only China and US, IMAX Senior Vice President John Schreiner told RT speaking at the sidelines of the forum, which this time marks the last month of the Russia’s Year of Film.

“Russia is the No. 3 market for us in terms of number of theaters,” Schreiner said, adding that three new IMAX theaters – in Irkutsk, Lipetsk and Tula – will be opened in the coming week.

IMAX expansion in Russia has been going at a tremendous pace lately and while it may not be the case anymore, Shreiner hopes the trend will be upward despite the economic problems the company had to deal with in Russia after the ruble plunged against the dollar two years ago.

“We expected it continue to grow maybe not as a breakneck pace as we had in the last few years but at the regular pace, about five or six new IMAX theaters in Russia,” Shreiner said.

IMAX has been hugely investing in developing new sort “out-of-home entertainment” technologies. Last year the company finished its largest R&D program to date, a laser projection technology, as well as invested in virtual reality.

“To support Russia’s Year of Film, IMAX has stepped up its work with Russian home-grown directors and producers like Alexander Rodnyansky, Fedor Bondarchuk and Leonard Vereschagin,” Shreiner noted, saying that the company has remastered them in IMAX format to bring to new viewers abroad, including to China.