Films Based on Declassified Documents will be shown for the First Time in Sochi at the Vladimir Menshov International Film Festival

03/11/2023 12:35

SOCHI. November 2, 2023. The Winter Theatre will host a press conference dedicated to the opening of the XVIII International Film Festival “WON TOGETHER”. The Festival will be held in Sochi on November 4 - 9. Films from 27 countries will be presented at the festival. The competition program will include Russian and world premieres of documentary films.

According to the Deputy Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly, general producer of the International Film Festival “WON TOGETHER” Valery Ruzin, the program includes films based on documents about the Great Patriotic War, from which the secrecy was lifted only recently.

“This is the same situation when documentarians stand together with historians for the preservation of the truth, true history,” - said Valery Davydovich, presenting the film festival program.

The authors will raise current issues, including the events of the Great Patriotic War, fascism and Nazism, the Holocaust, regional and geopolitical conflicts, juvenile justice, astronautics, problems of the younger generation, aviation, Arctic exploration, Russian history, modern art and culture, sports, and duty, vocation, people of work.

“The film festival “WON TOGETHER” will take place in our city for the first time. This is very important, honorable and responsible for us, because this year this event is timed to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the liberation of the Krasnodar region from the Nazi invaders and the end of the battle for the Caucasus. The festival will promote patriotic education, including among Sochi’s youth. It is an excellent addition to the work that we are carrying out on behalf of the Mayor of the City, Alexei Kopaygorodsky. Documentary film is a tool that allows us to preserve the memory of the historical events of our Motherland; and it can convey the truth, which has always been welcomed in our country,”- said Marianna Ustinova, Head of the Culture Department of the Sochi City Administration. She also noted that the relevance of the festival is growing every year, because there are fewer and fewer veterans-participants in the Great Patriotic War; and it is not easy to convey the historical truth to a young audience.

“I think that films, books, stories are something that should be developed, supported, disseminated in order to convey to young people, to children the whole truth about the historical events of the past and of today,” - said Marianna Olegovna.

Leonid Mostovoy, Advisor to the Mayor of Sochi, in his speech noted the important role of documentary films in the education of the younger generation. He said that a year and a half ago, a number of schools in the city organized a screening of a short documentary film about the activities of the Nazis on the territory of the Krasnodar Territory.

"...When high school students watched this film, they were changing noticeably. And it is impossible to overestimate the role of documentary film in today's education of the younger generation, and not only the younger generation. We really lack the truth in many cases. Documentary film is able to express this truth through artistic means," said Leonid Arkadyevich.

According to the participants of the press conference, the uniqueness of the International Film Festival "WON TOGETHER" also lies in the fact that here there is people's diplomacy, the language of creativity unites peoples and countries.

"Think about it, what platform today can simultaneously host, for example, films from Israel and Iran? I don't know. In general, is it possible? It is possible for us. Among the participants and jury members of the festival are representatives of, as they say nowadays, "unfriendly states" who come to Russia, come to Sochi, bring their films, take part in the discussion. All in all, it's a part of life that is much needed in the world today," - said Leonid Mostovoy.

The festival jury includes artists and cultural figures, public opinion leaders from Armenia, Belarus, Italy, Kazakhstan, China, Uzbekistan, Sweden and Russia.

“We try to have the jury watch the films together with the audience. Not remotely on their gadgets, but here and now. Together with the audience, experts got acquainted with the authors of the films. In our time, such a format is rare,” - noted the general producer of the festival Valery Ruzin. The “Max Media Group” media holding will provide extensive information support for the events.

“All our resources will be used to help the festival find the audience that should come to the cinemas. And for the first time, probably, we see how extensively the festival organizers covered the city’s venues,”- said Mikhail Mikshys.

The festival venues include the Winter Theatre, the Alisa Debolskaya Organ Hall, the Youth House, the Yubileiny State House of Culture, the Aelita Cultural Center, the Sochi Culture and Cinema Center, as well as higher and secondary specialized educational institutions of the city.

Sochi State University will be one of the main venues for the film festival. According to Konstantin Chebotar, vice-rector for youth policy and educational activities at Sochi State University, the films shown at the festival will form the basis for work with young people after the festival.

“Documentary cinema has a certain degree of authenticity; it brings up and educates. Therefore, cinema, especially aimed at establishing historical truth and preserving memory, is almost impossible to overestimate,” - noted Konstantin Pavlovich.

He also expressed hope that in the future, documentary works by students of Sochi State University will be able to become part of the program of the International Film Festival “WON TOGETHER”.

As part of the competition program in 2023, works will be evaluated in six categories: “International Documentary Film Competition”, “National Documentary Film Competition”, “International Television Competition”, “International Film School Competition”, “International Social Film Competition”, “International Competition "History in the Frame."

Two prizes will be awarded at the opening ceremony - for outstanding contribution to documentary cinema and a prize to the hero of one of the films. "This will be a very interesting surprise for Sochi," said Valery Ruzin.

During the press conference, Honored Journalist of Kuban Igor Sizov, representing the Union of Journalists of the city, expressed hope that, starting this year, the International Film Festival “WON TOGETHER” will be held annually in Sochi.

"We have a wish: to do everything possible during the next year to ensure that the “WON TOGETHER” Festival receives permanent support in Sochi," said Igor Gennadyevich.

The XVIII International Film Festival “WON TOGETHER” will be opened on November 4 at the Winter Theater in Sochi. The Opening Ceremony will be attended by the Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, Chairman of the organizing committee of the film festival Andrei Belianinov.

The results of the film screening will be announced on November 9 at the closing ceremony on the stage of the Alisa Debolskaya Organ and Chamber Music Hall.

Nearly 600 entries from 30 countries were submitted for the 2023 film festival.

Organizers: the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly and the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio. The festival is supported by the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Sochi City Administration.