In Russia, movies are released all year long, but some producers and directors still like to save their best, most interesting films for the fall season. This year is no exception, and several films have already become the talk of the town. If you’re in Moscow, catch them in theaters. If you’re abroad, keep an eye out for internet screenings.

“The Story of an Appointment”

In theaters now

“The Story of an Appointment” (Istoriya odnogo naznacheniya) is the latest film by acclaimed director and screenwriter Avdotya Smirnova. Based on real events, the plot revolves around a case where Lev Tolstoy got involved as a lawyer to defend a soldier. Tolstoy’s friend, lieutenant Grigory Kolokoltsev, is torn between the liberal ideas he espouses and his duty as an officer. The film led to much debate on social media about the role of liberal intelligentsia both in the time of Tolstoy and in today’s Russia. “The Story of an Appointment” won Best Screenplay award at the Kinotavr Open Russian Film Festival in Sochi this summer.