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 Thanks to my Russian friend Sergei Rakhlin I was invited to a lunch heralding the U.S. launch of the newly-formed Russian Film Commission, of which Sergei has been appointed director.       The Moscow-funded organisation will, I was told, initiate screening programmes, panel discussions, cultural exchanges and eventually a Russian Film Week, to present artistic and commercial achievements of Russian cinema.
 So, envisioning a Moscow-provided feast of caviar, shashlyk and blinis, washed down by lashings of vodka, I went along to the launch lunch at Enotoca Drago restaurant in Beverly Hills. But it quickly transpired I had got it all wrong.

Eleonara Granata-Jenkinson

  The new Russian Film Commissioner is a very pleasant Italian lady named Eleanora Granata- Jenkinson who doesn’t speak a word of Russian; the restaurant was Italian so the food provided was mainly pasta and pizza and the drink of choice was, of course, pinot grigio. All very delicious but decidedly un-Russian. 
  I did, however, meet and chat with Stephanie Allain, the director of the Los Angeles Film Festival, who tells me the festival will open with the new Woody Allen film To Rome With Love…… filmed, of course, in Italy.  



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