XVIII Vladimir Menshov International Film Festival "WON TOGETHER" opened in Sochi

05/11/2023 08:23

On November 4, 2023, on the Day of National Unity, the XVIII Vladimir Menshov International Film Festival "WON TOGETHER" opened in Sochi at the Winter Theater. It is a large-scale and bright event not only for the City of Sochi, but also for the cinematic world in general. More than a hundred films and participants from all over the world will take part in the largest documentary film festival in Russia. 7 competition programs, which include a wide variety of films dedicated to the most pressing topics not only for domestic audiences, but also for the world.

“Common values – one path” - the slogan and motto of the festival determine the creative direction of thought of each of the participants. Of course, this tradition was set by Vladimir Menshov, who has not been with us for more than two years, but, as Vladimir Khotinenko, who is this year’s chairman of the festival jury, correctly noted: “...His spirit will always be present at this festival.” The festival and its participants honor the memory of the great director and actor to this day.

A separate world was created on the stage of the Winter Theater. It transported viewers and festival participants not just into the world of cinema, but as if to the opening of the cinematic Olympic Games. Antique columns that appear when pronouncing the “magic” words: “Light, camera, motor!”- “WON TOGETHER!” reflected the festival’s competitive programs, the completion will allow to reach “Olympus.” In addition, the opening ceremony paid tribute to the Olympic Games held in Sochi in 2014 - a large-scale and historical event, which, judging by the reaction of the audience, still lives in the hearts of people. And the appearance on stage of Sergei Miroshnichenko, who in 2015 directed the film “Rings of the World,” thereby perpetuating this event for the future generation, it became obvious that the organizers of the festival wanted to please not only their participants, but also the audience of the hospitable southern city.

Everyone was present at the opening ceremony, from young to old. There were both representatives of the cinematic world and military personnel, for whom, more than anyone else, it is important that art subtly senses their experiences and seeks to support them in such a difficult time.

Alexander Shpagin, a film critic and film historian, played a significant role in the ceremony. He was a conductor between modern and past cinema. Alexander Vladimirovich, together with Yegor Serov, acted as one of the presenters of the ceremony, and also told the viewer about the main stages of Russian cinema. The names of great films that became part of our cultural code, as well as those who made them, were heard from the stage: Stanislav Rostotsky, Andrei Tarkovsky, Mikhail Kalatozov and many, many others. Modern cinema is based on their heritage. In addition, songs from the war years were sung, many of which we heard in their films. They were performed by such brilliant performers as Alexander Rappoport, Nina Shatskaya and Anatoly Zhuravlev. Their soulful voices helped to feel the light sadness. Members of the jury of each competition also spoke at the opening, talking about the significance of the films that the viewers would see.

The Opening Ceremony of the XVIII International Film Festival “WON TOGETHER” was staged by the director, multiple Winner of Russian Awards in mass performances and special projects - “Faces of the Mass Theater”, “Event of the Year”, “Golden Puzzle” - Vyacheslav Kiselev, set design and media design - Andrey Demin.

Prizes were awarded during the ceremony. The first of them, “For Outstanding Contribution to Documentary Cinema,” was awarded to Sergei Miroshnichenko, whose work has become an integral part of modern Russian cinema. The second "Film Hero" award was awarded to the main character of the film "Lewis Carroll's Journey Through the Looking Glass and What He Found There" - Roman Sokolovsky, as well as the director of the film Tatyana Soboleva.

The ribbon has been cut, or rather the film has been cut, and this means that several exciting days await us ahead, in which everyone will have the opportunity to plunge into the world of cinema. As Vladimir Khotinenko said:

“...I really want to see human history. The story of a man’s victory over himself.” The “WON TOGETHER” festival will provide an opportunity to see such stories and more...

The film festival events include the first stage of the conference of the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition.

“The Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly has led the movement for the preservation of historical memory over the past few years. We plan to hold the first stage of a powerful conference of the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition in Sochi on the sidelines of the festival. There, too, everyone won together,” said Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly, Chairman of the organizing committee of the film festival Andrei Belianinov.

The organizers of the XVIII International Film Festival “WON TOGETHER” are the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly and the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio. The festival is supported by the Presidential Foundation for Cultural Initiatives, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Sochi City Administration.