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.

Screenshot from “I Walk Around Moscow” film, 1963, directed by Georgy Danelia

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 with the support of the British Film Institute (BFI), awarding funds from the National Lottery, to give UK audiences the opportunity to experience more 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.

Cartoon “Hedgehog in the Fog”, 1975, directed by Yuri Norstein

“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.

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

Screenshot from the film “Autumn Marathon”, USSR

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.