The Tsiolkovsky International Space Film Festival meets the challenges of the time

On April 6, a press conference dedicated to the IV Tsiolkovsky International Space Film Festival which would take place on April 12-16, 2023 in Kaluga was held in the TASS press center.

The event participants introduced the film festival programmes, the jury members as well as told about festival goals and its educational nature.

In his opening speech, Igor Ugolnikov (President of the Tsiolkovsky Film Festival, director, producer) thanked the Roscosmos State Corporation and other partners, without whom the holding of the film festival would have been impossible:

"Since the very first festival and throughout the four years, we have faced a lot of challenges and trials. Despite them, we manage to nail the main tasks – the festival will take place, there will be an entertaining and educational program, people will be able to watch space films, worthy ones will be awarded…These challenges spur us on, make us look for some ways out of the situations we face…We strive for the intended goals – bright, beautiful ones. This is our primary goal.

"I want to remind you: according to statistics, the largest number of documentaries produced in the world is documentaries about space," said Igor Prokopenko (journalist, writer, documentary programme director of the film festival).

Irina Soshnikova (Programme Director of feature, animation and retrospectives, member of the Union of Cinematographers of Russia, senior lecturer of the Department of Production Skills of the All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography named after S. A. Gerasimov) said:

"What is the difference from the last year? We have been working on the same scale and even extended it, there are many countries represented this year. We work in all cinematic directions. We present feature, animation and documentary films. Retrospectives are the decoration of the film festival, which we always try to make iconic and elegant.

"An extensive animation programme is presented: "Animation is a very delicate issue. The language of animation is spoken not only by children. Animation is the main language for film creativity. Therefore, we have intentionally divided animation films into the two sessions. The first one is for younger audience, it is called "Guests from Outer Space" and it consists of 10 animation films from Argentina, Brazil, Belarus, Egypt, Iran, Russia and South Africa. For older viewers, we are showing the «An Odyssey through the Solar System» session, consisting of 8 films from Argentina, Georgia, Egypt, Iran, and Russia."

"The museum has a Planetarium with modern equipment, a resource that is not always and not everywhere represented. Another distinctive feature of the film festival is the presentation of full-dome films for the competition programme. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky hardly ever visited cinemas, but nevertheless, he saw the film of the French director Georges Melies "Journey to the Moon", and in the 30s of the XX century he was invited as a consultant to the first Soviet space film "Space Flight". He took it very seriously, and said that there should be a scientific component in this film. This scientific component if also typical of our film festival – it’s one of the foundations and the main criterion» said Natalia Abakumova (Director of the K. E. Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics (Kaluga), chairman of the jury of the film festival).

Seven full-length feature films from China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia will compete in the main competition. Within the framework of the animated film competition, the jury members and the audience will be able to evaluate 20 films from Russia, Belarus, Iran, Egypt, Georgia, China, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and South Africa. Most of them are filmed in the genre of science fiction.

16 films will be presented in the documentary film competition. They were filmed in Armenia, Italy, Egypt, Mexico and Russia.

The films for the full-dome programme were selected with the assistance of the Association of Planetariums of Russia. Andrey Lobanov, the programme director, is the head of the Association. The screenings will be accompanied by lectures of famous scientists.

The Retrospective programme, coordinated by Nikolai Mayorov (winner of the award of the Guild of Film Critics and Critics at the Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation), was compiled with the partner support of leading Russian film studios and State Archives – Soyuzmultfilm Film Studio, the Film Studio named after Gorky, Mosfilm Film Concern, RGAKFD, Gosfilmofond of Russia. In addition, the programme shows stories from the funds of the State Archives of India - Films Division and National Film Development Corporation of India.

Outside of the competition, there is the main China`s blockbuster in 2023 "Wandering Earth 2", films of the festival's partners will be shown - Roskomos Media, the RTD Documentary TV Channel, the Alexander Pechersky Foundation, the Russian Cosmonautics Federation. The audience is traditionally very interested in the program of Igor Ugolnikov's films, which have been awarded numerous prizes at international and Russian film festivals.

The jury of the festival:

Natalia Abakumova, Chairman of the jury, Director of the State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics named after K. E. Tsiolkovsky, First Vice-President of the All-Russian Public Organization "Association of Museums of Cosmonautics of Russia" (AMCOS), member of the Public Council of the State Corporation "Roscosmos"

Members of the jury:

Oleg Artemyev (Russia), pilot-cosmonaut of the Russian Federation, Hero of the Russian Federation, deputy of the Moscow City Duma;

Vladimir Bokun (Belarus), producer, director, director of the studio of historical films;

Gu Guoqing (China), President of China Film Promotion International Co.,(CFPI);

Sergey Mikhailov (Russia), General Director of the TASS Russian News Agency;

Maria Sergeenkova (Russia), editing director, screenwriter, creative producer;

Julianna Slashcheva (Russia), Chairman of the Board of the Soyuzmultfilm Film Studio, Chairman of the Board of the Association of Organizations of the Animation Film Industry, General Director of the Gorky Film Studio;

Yu Xiaogang (China), producer, director, President of the Association of Television Producers of Drama Series of China;

Eugene Shchedrin (Russia), playwright, producer;

Leonid Yakubovich (Russia), People's Artist of the Russian Federation, TV presenter, actor, screenwriter, producer.

The main event of the business programme of the Tsiolkovsky Festival will be a lecture for students of specialized technical universities given by Yuri Borisov (General Director of the Roscosmos State Corporation). In addition, the programme includes creative meetings, master classes, presentations of projects of the festival partners, including a Presentation of the TASS on the ISS project with the participation of Ekaterina Moskvich (deputy head of the Joint Military Editorial Office of TASS) and Oleg Artemyev (Hero of the Russian Federation, test cosmonaut, second correspondent of TASS on the ISS). Rossotrudnichestvo will traditionally launch the international humanitarian star dictation "Let's go!".

The International Space Film Festival "Tsiolkovsky" is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the State Corporation "Roscosmos", the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives, the Government and the Ministry of Culture of the Kaluga Region, Rossotrudnichestvo, the State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics named after K.E. Tsiolkovsky, the Association of Planetariums of Russia and other public and commercial organizations. TASS is the main media partner of the festival.