Flowers are blooming all about, the Pirates are fighting it out with Kansas City for second-to-last place in the MLB, and the students are abandoning the city in favor of Summer internships and Mom's home cooking, meaning it's actually possible to find parking in Oakland. But who cares about all that, right? Pittsburgh's May highlights will unspool from a reel!
The University of Pittsburgh's Slavic Department kicks things off with the Eighth Annual Russian Film Symposium, which runs from Monday, May 1 - Saturday, May 6. This year's symposium is called "White Russian--Black Russian: Race and Ethnicity in Russian Cinema." The symposium's public component consists of four films that will be shown at Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Melwood Screening room at 7:30p, Wednesday - Friday.
The films scheduled include Vladimir Korsh-Sablin's Seekers of Happiness (1936) about Birobdzhan, the first Jewish homeland on Wednesday, May 3, and Grigorii Aleksandrov's Busby Berkeley-inspired Circus (1936) on Thursday, May 4. There is a full schedule of events availble online.
May will also see the inaugural Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival. The festival features 22 films from a variety of Asian nations, which will screen at all three Pittsburgh Filmmakers theaters from Friday, May 12 - Saturday, May 20. All of these films are seeing their Pittsburgh premieres, and many will be accompanied by Q&A sessions with their directors, producers, and actors. Highlights include Ramani Bahrani's Man Push Cart (2005), a FIPRESCI Prize winner at the London Film Festival, and a selection for Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival. Both will play on Friday, May 12 at 7:30pm and Friday, May 19 at 9:15pm at the Harris Theater, respectively. Festival centerpiece presentation is Georgia Lee's Red Doors (2005), a Jury Prize winner at the CineVegas International Film Festival for ensemble acting, will play on Friday, May 19 at 7:30 and 9:30pm at the Regent Square Theater. Finally, the Closing Night Sselection is Deepa Mehta's Water (2005), a winner of three Canadian Genie Awards, will play on Saturday, May 20 at 7pm at the Regent Square Theater. A full schedule is available.