festivals & awards:
Natalia, a nun from a remote Russian monastery, comes to Moscow 17 years after the terrorist attack in Dubrovka Theatre. She was sent there to organize a memorial evening for the victims of the attack that happened in October 2002. We soon learn that Natalia and her family were the witnesses of the attack. Almost forgotten now by the outside world the organizers and participants of the memorial evening or the Conference (as they were asked to call it officially) are made feel like a burden by the rest of the society. Following the chronology of the events as told by a few participants in the memorial evening we learn the dark details of Natalia's personal story.
Conference is the story of one fragile family against the backdrop of one of the major tragedies of the 21st century in Russian history. The film is an attempt to create a cinematic reflection of the tragic events that begins as a private family story but goes beyond that. Exploring the nature of fear is my main focus in the film. The protagonist, Natasha, seems to take the participants of the memorial evening hostages, again, in order to remember and re-live in detail that terrible moment of her life. Will she, and us, overcome fear and find a way to move on?