XVIII International Film Festival “WON TOGETHER” will show over 140 Films, including 15 Russian and World Premieres

05/10/2023 18:59

People's Artist of Russia, director and screenwriter Vladimir Khotinenko accepted the offer to become president of the XVIII International Film Festival “WON TOGETHER” named after Vladimir Menshov. Also, Khotinenko headed the jury of the International Documentary Film Competition. This was announced by the Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the film festival Andrei Belyaninov during a press conference at TASS.

“This is a festival named after Vladimir Valentinovich Menshov, who headed the jury for many years, this was very important for us, this is the magnitude of cinematography. And we are pleased that now the People’s Artist of Russia Vladimir Ivanovich Khotinenko agreed to head the jury. All his work shows that he is talented in everything. <...> Vladimir Ivanovich will also be the president of the festival,” said the Secretary General of the Assembly.

The film festival will take place on November 4 - 9 in Sochi. Over 140 films will take part in the program, 15 of them are Russian and world premieres. In total, the competition received more than 600 applications from 30 countries.

The jury includes representatives from Armenia, Belarus, Italy, Kazakhstan, China, Moldova, Russia, Uzbekistan and Sweden.

In 2023, the central themes of the film festival are “Historical Truth: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow”, “Let’s Win Together: New Territories. Voices of Unbroken People" and "Cultural Cooperation with China". At the same time, the central theme of the festival for 18 years has been “Common Victory of the peoples of the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition over Nazism.”

“The main goal of our festival “WON TOGETHER” is so that young people living in our territories, in the territories of the former Soviet Union, remember the heroic feat their grandfathers and great-grandfathers performed. They were together and we need to talk about this more often,” explained Andrei Belyaninov.

Chairman of the Jury Vladimir Khotinenko was asked to dwell separately on the criteria for evaluating the works submitted to the documentary film competition.

“The theme of the festival itself is not an easy one - “historical truth”, “voices of unbroken people”. We will make the decision collectively. What will be important is a personal, individual statement about the film, how it differs from journalistic work and, of course, its artistic side – concept and implementation,” said Vladimir Khotinenko.

“WON TOGETHER” is one of the largest documentary film festivals in Russia. The festival was created on the initiative of the heroes of the Soviet Union in memory of the common feat of the countries that participated in the Second World War. In 2021, the film festival was named after the actor and director Vladimir Menshov, who had headed it since 2015.

Igor Ugolnikov, actor, film director, screenwriter, producer, TV presenter, People's Artist of the Russian Federation, shared his memories of joint professional activities and friendship with Vladimir Menshov during a press conference:

“I have a long-standing friendship and professional activity with Vladimir Menshov. He was my cinematic father. I hope the film festival will continue. Its main messages, its directions are primarily addressed to young people. Now it's especially important to talk to our children. I am sure that the films will be in demand and we will win together!”

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the end of one of the longest and bloodiest battles of World War II - the Battle of the Caucasus. And a separate chapter of our film festival will be devoted to this page of history.

“The peculiarity of our Festival is that we show films not only in cinemas, but also in higher and secondary educational institutions. At universities, together with the jury, students and young people watch competitive and non-competitive works. After all, today history has been turned into a weapon. We are faced with a new type of war, which is being waged not only for the minds, but also for the souls of young people, our children and grandchildren. Documentary cinema is intended to become an objective obstacle to the rewriting of history, and our festival is a monument to the immortal feat of our people,” emphasized Valery Ruzin, Deputy Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly, President of the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio, general producer of the Vladimir Menshov International Film Festival “WON TOGETHER”.