5th Tsiolkovsky ISFF press-conference held in Kaluga

On the 9th of March - Yuri Gagarin's birthday - the organizers of the International Tsiolkovsky Space Film Festival gathered in the Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics.

The Museum has remained the main festival venue. The festival wouldn’t have happened without the all-around support from the Kaluga region's authorities and personally from Vladislav Shapsha, the region's governor.

Besides the Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics, festival events will be held at 8 other venues: the Innovational Cultural Center, the House of Folk Art and Films 'Tsentralny', Kaluga Music Center, Kaluga Puppet Theater, Belinsky Regional Scientific Library, Village Theater, Kaluga State Tsiolkovsky University, Kaluga Regional Youth Center, and at about 20 other cinemas of the Kaluga region.

Before the press-conference, the organizers team laid flowers on Yuri Gagarin's grave - this year, the world celebrates the first cosmonaut's 90th anniversary. The organization team gathered together with the press in the Museum of the History of Cosmonautics' conference hall to discuss the upcoming ISFF 'Tsiolkovsky', which will be held from April 12th to April 16th.

The audience was first greeted by Pavel Suslov, Kaluga region's Minister of culture. He noted that the festival team had done a lot of work, and invited the region's citizens to visit the festival.

Igor Ugolnikov, ISFF 'Tsiolkovsky' president and initiator, spoke about the origination of the festival, its mission and scale, and also named the members of jury. This year, among them are:

Natalia Abakumova, head of jury, director of the Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics;

Gennagiy Davydko, Belorussian statesman and public figure, film and theater actor, TV host; Merited Artist of the Republic of Belarus; Winner of ISFF 'Tsiolkovsky' 2023;

Grigoriy Zaslavskiy, rector of the Russian Institute of Theatre Arts (GITIS), Candidate of Philological Sciences, Honored Artist of Russia;

Andrei Kondrashov - general director of TASS;

Aleksei Ryazantsev - general director of 'Karo-Premier', voice actor, producer, screenwriter;

Andrei Feofanov - producer, film producer, composer; Winner of ISFF 'Tsiolkovsky' 2023;

Leonid Yakubovich - TV host, actor, screenwriter, People's Artist of Russia;

Antot Shkaplerov - Hero of the Russian Federation, Russian cosmonaut-pilot;

Eugéne Shchedrin - screenwriter, producer;

Maria Sergeenkova - editor, screenwriter, director, producer;

Ilya Chikolini - director of the ethnographic park-museum ETHNOMIR;

Yu Xiaogang - producer, director, chairman of the China TV Drama Production Association;

Gu Guoqing - president of China Film Promotion International Co., (CFPI).

Igor Ugolnikov mentioned a 'cosmic' music contest, which is held for the first time this year. He partnered with the Composers Union of Eurasia to understand the sound of space today and how it resonates with people's souls.

Andrey Baturin, President of the Union of Composers of Eurasia, noted that there had been a lot of entries (including symphonic melodies) that had a chance to be played during the festival. The composer said that, together with Ugolnikov, they were preparing a one-man performance dedicated to Yuri Gagarin's 90th anniversary.

Head of jury, Natalia Abakumova presented the Museum and told the guest about the various exhibitions and events planned for the spring. Festival guests will be able to see props from films about space, unique pictures of Yuri Gagarin and his family taken from TASS' archives, and participate in a theatrical promenade and plunge into dreams of space.

Natalia Alekseevna also, once again, talked about the festival's main prizes, which are:

Grand Prix 'Tsiolkovsky' - best film award;

Grand Prix 'Korolev' - best director award;

Grand Prix 'Klushantsev' - best CG;

Grand Prix 'Gagarin' - best Russian space film; will be awarded for the first time at the 2024 festival.

The founder of the new Grand Prix 'Gagarin' is Ruslan Mairamov, president of the International Public Charity Fund 'Dialogue of Cultures - United World'. He spoke about the unique task of the fund - to preserve Yuri Gagarin's legacy. Since 2011, in memory of the great Soviet cosmonaut's achievement, the fund gifts sculptures dedicated to Gagarin to different nations. As of today, sculptures and busts of Gagarin can be found in more than 60 countries across the world.

Furthermore, Ruslan Bairamov and Igor Ugolnikov presented a trailer for the upcoming film 'Embracing the World'. This documentary underlines the importance of Gagarin's image for the whole world and reminds that his persona and his achievement are the legacy of the whole world, honored by people all over the globe. The film is being made by ANO '9th of May' (rus. ANO '9 Maya') with the help of the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives, ROSCOSMOS corporation, the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, 'Rossotrudnichestvo', the ethnographic park-museum ETHNOMIR and International Public Charity Fund 'Dialogue of Cultures - United World'.

Igor Prokopenko, journalist, writer, documentary director and supervizor of the festival's documentary program spoke about his film section. He said that he was ready to praise each of the 23 films: 14 full-length films and 9 short ones. Among them, there are films about Soviet cosmonauts and scientists, Supernovas, UFOs and many more.

Irina Soshnikova, program supervisor of the ISFF 'Tsiolkovsky', head teacher of the Film Production department at VGIK (the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography) noted that people from many different countries had sent entries for fiction film and animation contests. She then elaborated, stating that short films were sorted by themes to be shown in groups in one long screening. She also reminded the audience about the full-dome film program and the festival's main 'decorations' - retrospective films showcase and collaborations with main state archives.

The press-conference was followed by the cancellation ceremony of the anniversary letter 'B' postcard (issued for the ISFF 'Tsiolkovsky').

The Tsiolkovsky International Film Festival in 2024 is held with the support of the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives, the Roscosmos State Corporation and the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, the Government and the Ministry of Culture of the Kaluga Region, the Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics, the Association of Planetariums of Russia, the Nika TV Company and other public and commercial organizations.

TASS is the main media partner of the festival.