Only few people get the chance to become a first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, but Yaroslav Zhalnin – a theatre and film actor, producer - is one of the lucky ones: he got to play Gagarin in the ‘Gagarin: First in Space’ movie! That’s where destiny and his talent crossed paths.

Yaroslav Zhalnin for the ‘Space. Stars. Opinions’ festival section:


‘In my childhood, I wanted to become a policeman, but, by chance, I managed to make my hobby – acting at a drama club – my profession. And then I got the chance to step into the shoes of a policeman on set, for a role.’


‘One of my favorite quotes that I often use in life is the one of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. It goes like this: ‘Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever.’ I think this is a great quote that can give a person a lot of motivation for new achievements. I have visited both the State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics and Tsiolkovsky’s memorial house-museum in Kaluga. There was some paper lying on Tsiolkovsky’s desk, and it got etched into my memory. It was a kind of a simple and ordinary finishing touch to the portrait of the great scientist…’


‘I think that there are no actors who wouldn’t like to play a role in a space film. Any person would like to enrich their experience with space adventures and the knowledge of zero-gravity.’

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 Roscosmos State Corporation, the Government and the Ministry of Culture of the Kaluga Region, Rossotrudnichestvo, the K.E. Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics, The Russian Planetariums Association and other public and commercial organizations.