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World-first streaming platform dedicated to Russian cinema to launch in the UK

© Klassiki

On 4 February 2021, Kino Klassika Foundation will launch Klassiki, the world’s first-ever video-on-demand (VOD) platform dedicated to classic cinema from Russia and the region.

Klassiki (Russian for ‘classics’) will host a curated permanent collection of over 60 films which represent the breadth and depth of the best filmmaking from Russia and beyond.

Each week audiences will have time-limited access to contemporary titles selected by the Klassiki team, and specialist film seasons will be added to the platform regularly, many of which spotlight rare gems, unlikely to have been seen in the UK before.

The brand-new streaming platform has been made possible thanks to funding from the BFI (British Film Institute) via the National Lottery to give more audiences in the UK the opportunity to experience Russian film.

Justine Waddell, founder of Kino Klassika Foundation said,

“When cinemas went dark, we were, like so many, forced to rethink how we could continue to serve our audience. We took a chance and started a weekly online film season, free to audiences in the UK. We bet on the idea that online viewers would be interested in this rare and hard to find content.”

Screening classic cinema from Russia and the Caucasus, Kino Klassika Foundation soon found they were overwhelmed with new audiences with an appetite for Russian film.

“Thousands of people have tuned in to watch our weekly films, we’ve screened everything from Russian comedy to Armenian drama,” continued Justine “and so the idea for Klassiki, the first-ever video-on-demand platform dedicated to classic films from Russia and beyond was born.”

The platform will launch on 4 February 2021 and with an introductory offer of 60 days completely free to stream.

After which, a £5.99 monthly fee will apply (with discounts available for students), which will entitle subscribers to:

– A brand-new “Pick of the Week” contemporary title – selected by the curatorial team at Klassiki
– A permanent collection of 60+ films which provides a highly curated introduction to the best in cinema from Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia
– Exclusive content including blog posts, essays and live online interviews with the best filmmakers from the region
– A completely free subscription will also be available forever, granting subscribers free unlimited access to 30 films selected by the Klassiki team as being some of the ‘must-see’ movies in the region.

Films lined up to feature on Klassiki include some of the greatest Mosfilm comedies such as Diamond Arm, I Walk Around Moscow and Autumn Marathon. Exquisite Soviet animations include Norstein’s masterpieces Hedgehog in the Fog and Tale of Tales; unforgettable titles from St Petersburg including Aleksei German’s films and classics such as

Hamlet, The Beginning and rarely screened films from female filmmakers Tatiana Lioznova and Kira Muratova will also be on offer. Plus, the platform will host newly scored silent film classics from Evgenii Bauer, Boris Barnet and others.

In addition, Klassiki will program exquisite well-loved Georgian titles such as Tengiz Abuladze’s Repentance, a host of Otar Iosseliani films, and Central Asian Soviet and New Wave classics including Silver Leopard winning Beshkempir and Rachid Nougmanov’s The Needle.

“We’re so excited to bring our passion for film from Russia and beyond to adventurous film lovers in the UK,” said Justine.

“Film fans can have absolute confidence in the calibre and quality of the Klassiki platform. We’ve developed a curated space where audiences can discover the best of Russian cinema past and present.

“We’re also able to offer Klassiki free for the first two months, which means so many more UK audiences can join us in exploring the magic of cinema from Russia and the region.”