Ivan Stebunov, a film and theatre actor, speaks about his childhood space fantasies and love for his mother for our ‘‘SPACE.STARS.OPINIONS’’ festival section.

I really wanted to be a cosmonaut! There are military servants in my family who served at the Baikonur cosmodrome - not in the space forces, but at that cosmodrome, nonetheless. My mother and I actually went there to see the launch of a satellite. It made a really strong impression on me. Then, when I came back to the kindergarten, I told everybody that I had flown into space. To put it simply, I was making stuff up about how I went to space with the crew. When our kindergarten teachers asked me ‘What did you eat there, Vanya?’ I replied ‘What do you mean? We took a watermelon with us!’ Later, the teacher told my parents that I had a very vivid imagination.

My mother’s birthday is on April 12th! That’s why I never forget about Cosmonautics day, and, to me, it is a kind of a [metaphorical] spacewalk!

Any actor would want a role in such a film, especially with today’s technology. I think that there’s not a single person on Earth who wouldn’t want to experience the zero-gravity state for a minute.

I hope to get a chance like this one day, to say nothing of going into orbit. That is something out of a fantasy, really!

The Tsiolkovsky International Space Film Festival will be held in Kaluga on April 12-16, with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives, the Roscosmos State Corporation, the Kaluga Region Government and the Ministry of Culture, Rossotrudnichestvo, the K.E. Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics, the Association of Planetariums of Russia and other public and commercial organizations.