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Los Angeles, April 2-8 2006
The forth latest Russian Culture festival “Russian Nights” was held in Los-Angeles on 2-8 April, 2006. Its program included film, theater, music and art shows, as well as the Tower Award ceremony.
The Opening  PHOTOS
The Festival’s  Opening  took place on the 2d of April at the Pacific Design Center’s Silver Screen Theater. It started with the welcoming speeches by the Festival’s Director Anna Isaeva and its producer Stas Namin. It was followed by the choir Sirin performing ancient Russian music and the premier of Tigran Keosian’s Rabbit over the Void, and it ended with a traditional ceremony of Tower Award distribution to celebrities for their contribution to world culture. This year the awards designed after Tatlin’s tower were received by the actor-artist Dennis Hopper and the legendary producer-director Roger Corman from the hands of the well-known Russian directors Svetlana Proskurina and Alexei Fedorchenko.
The opening ceremony was followed by a reception at the Pacific Design Center’s Art Hall animated by Omar Torez, a musician whose fame had spread even into Russia.  
Film Program
Only the most significant works of different genres and budgets of the 2005-2006 was shown during the festival. The American public got acquainted with Russian blockbusters, films distinguished by festivals’ prizes and author’s cinema. The Festival’s film program reflects the complexity and strive of the Russian cinema today.
Commercial cinema was represented by Alexei Sidorov’s hit Shadow Boxing. Among other genres were: the Moscow International Film Festival winner Dreaming of Space  by Alexei Uchitel; the participants of the of the two last Venice Film festivals The Remote Access by Svetlana Proskurina and Garpastum by Alexei German-Jr.
Yet another type are such films as Valery Rozhnov’s star studded black comedy Graveyard Shift and Alexi Fedorchenko’s First on the Moon filmed in the rare for the Russian cinema “mockumentary” style, combining the use of both documents and imitation. It received the Grand Prix for the best documentary at the last Venice Festival.
There also was a surprise at the festival – the dedication to the memory of Sergey Dovlatov whose story “The Performance” from the celebrated “The Zone” was the incentive for the film Comedy of the Strict Regime, one of the funniest and charming ‘90es comedies. The movie was introduced by the film starring actor Victor Sukhorukov.
The film The Remote Access was presented by director Svetlana Proskurina and producer Yury Obukhov, First on the Moon – by film director Alexei Fedorchenko and producer Dmitry Vorobiev.
The Ancient Russian Music Choir Sirin performed at the Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church. While being well known in Europe for its unique program, it was Sirin’s first encounter with the American public. PHOTOS
Jazz was presented by Igor Butman Jazz Quartet. A unique blend of a vast musical talent and a staggering energy rarely found in one person, Igor Butman, enabled him to attain a previously  impossible for a Russian jazzman position; to become a truly “international star”. PHOTOS
Thanks to the Festival, the legendary Moscow Puppet Theater has come back to after a 17-year break! The remarkable performers of the unusual concert were warmly received by the American public.
The festival’s big success was the concert version of the musical HAIR. Some of the 60s “hippies” involved in the musical’s original production were present among the enthusiastic audience: the Broadway’s 1968 producer Michael Butler, its original actors Nat Mosco, Heather McRae, Sherwin Ross, Milos Forman’s screen version lead actor John Savage, and others. PHOTOS
At the Art hall of the Pacific Design Center the exhibition Moscow Grafika: Artists' Prints 1961 - 2005 - Selections from the Kolodzei Collection of Russian and Eastern European Art was presented. The exhibition included more than forty prints by thirty artists in various printmaking techniques. The works showcased represent several generations of independent artists who worked on the fringe of the official Socialist Realism mainstream in the former Soviet Union, and today remain committed to their independent and solitary artistic quests.
The Closing PHOTOS
The Closing on the 8th of April started with Alexei Sidorov’s Shadow Boxing and ended with the Tower Award Ceremony. The prizes were handed to renowned cinematographer Andrzej Bartkowiak, one of the icons of World Literature Gore Vidal, actors Sir Ben Kingsley and Harrison Ford.
The Tower Award to Andrzej Bartkowiak was presented by actor Levani Outchaneichvili and actress Natasha Henstridge, to Gore Vidal – by director Rodion Nahapetov and actress Raquel Welch, to Sir Ben Kingsley – by director Vadim Perelman and actress Shohreh Aghdashloo, to Harrison Ford – by producer, musician Stas Namin and actress Thora Birch.     
Also noted was renowned actor and comedian Rob Schneider. 
Among other guests were – actress Vanessa Johansson, producer Peter Hoffman, director Irving Kischner, actor Oleg Vidov, actor Vincent Spano, actress Gita Hall, actor Nickolai Stoilov and many others.