Six films to be shown as a part of the 5th ISFF ‘Tsiolkovsky’ retrospective program

A special feature of the ISFF ‘Tsiolkovsky’, that will take place in Kaluga from April 12th to April 16th, is that its program showcases not only modern films, but also old classical ones. Traditionally, such showcases are united through the theme of ‘space anniversaries’.

This year, five legendary films that have some kind of an anniversary of their release date will be shown at the festival; and one more film, directly connected to the festival’s theme – Yuri Gagarin’s 90th anniversary. All these motion pictures are well-known by the Soviet audience, but it is rather important for the new generation to see them. Te program’s curator is Nikolai Mayorov, a film expert, director of photography, film director.

What films make up the retrospective section of the festival?

The Big Space Travel – 50th anniversary
Children fantasy film, directed by Valentin Selivanov based on the play ‘The First Three, or Year 2001’ by Sergey Mikhalkov. This year it is the writer’s 110th birthday anniversary, so one showcase will be simultaneously dedicated to two anniversaries.

The Big Space Travel tells the story of three Soviet school children who get a chance to fly into space. The main consultant for the film was Aleksey Leonov, and the film showcase will include his commentary.

The Dead Mountaineer's Hotel – 45th anniversary
The film by Grigory Kromanov is based on the novel by the brothers Strugatsky of the same name, which was written in 1969 – exactly 55 years ago.

Having come to respond to an emergency call, a police inspector finds no traces of a crime, but notices that strange things are happening in there.

He decides to leave, but an avalanche comes down from the mountains. Soon he finds a body of a murdered hotel guest. Suspicion fall onto everyone staying at the hotel…

The film won the ‘Silver Asteroid Award’ at the annual Trieste Film Festival (Italy). Costumes for the film were designed by a famous Soviet and Russian designer Vyacheslav Zaitsev.

Aelita – 100th anniversary
The first Soviet science fiction film. The viewers are in for a showcase with the full immersion into a story written by A.N.Tolstoy and made into a film by Yakov Protazanov.

Through the book doesn’t have any clearly expressed ideology, it is built upon an original plot – an interplanetary expedition - and contains various interesting materials that contribute to the creation of a captivating film.

The film combines Moscow daily domestic scenes from the early 1920’s and fantasy episodes, such as a flight to Mars, an engineer from Earth meeting Aelita, the Ruler of Mars, attempted "proletarian" Martian rebellion against their oppressors and its failure.

Take-Off – 45th anniversary
A film by Sawa Kulish tells the story of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, a great Russian scientist, the founder of theoretical cosmonautics.

The filming took place in Kaluga and Maloyaroslavets. The main role is played by poet Evgeny Evtushenko. Together with the director he has visited Tsiolkovsky’s house-museum in ‘the cradle of cosmonautics’ numerous times, in order to better understand Tsiolkovsky’s character.

The film won the ‘Silver St. George’ prize at the ISF in Moscow in 1979.

White Sun of the Desert – 55th anniversary
The ‘eastern’, directed by Vladimir Motyl, recounts the adventures of a Red Army soldier rescuing women from a violent bandit’s harem.

The retrospective showcase audience will see the endless desert and familiar characters: fighter Sukhov, lighting a cigarette with a dynamite; gawky Petrukha with his constantly jammed Mosin-Nagant, charming Vereschagin with his black caviar and famous ballads, clever Sayid, villain Abdullah with his gang, curious Gyulchatai playing with a turtle, and many others.

The filming took place in the Leningrad region, in the Karakum Desert and near Makhachkala on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

There are plans to show this film every year and make it a tradition, because the film is loved by cosmonauts.

The Beginning of the Legend – 48th anniversary
Despite the fact that the retrospective program is called ‘Space Anniversaries’, in honor of Yuri Gagarin’s 90th birthday the organizers made an exception. A film by Boris Grigorev about the first cosmonaut’s childhood years was filmed at the Gorky Film Studio.

According to Gagarin himself, these early years played an important role in forming his character: war, occupation, hunger, elder brother and sister forcibly taken to Germany, fascists driven out of Smolensk region, family moving to Gzhatsk.

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.