Arts News


Success of online screenings prompts platform for Russian cinema, Klassiki


After 10,000 people tuned in to their 2020 online Russian film season, organisers Kino Klassika Foundation launched the world’s first streaming platform for cinema from Russia and the Caucasus.

When COVID-19 forced cinemas to close in March 2020, the team at the Kino Klassika Foundation led by founder Justine Waddell knew their year of events and activities dedicated to Russian cinema would not unfold as planned.

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.”

From April to December over 10,000 people have tuned in to watch classic cinema from Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

It was this that led to the creation of Klassiki. The world’s first video-on-demand platform dedicated to cinema from Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia – which launches in February 2021.

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.

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 Kino Klassika
  • 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.

Find out more here.

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Photo, Crowds enjoying Garden of Light, by TILT. Lumiere London 2016, produced by Artichoke, supported by Mayor of London. Credit Matthew Andrews 2016.

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Photo, Jennie Gill, Yorkshire Artspace, Sheffield. Photo Our Favourite Places / Nigel Barker for Yorkshire Artspace.