The XXXII Open Festival of Documentary Films “Russia”, one of the oldest and most authoritative forums in the country, ended with a solemn ceremony of awarding the authors of the best films of the year.
Film critic Andrei Shemyakin, who has served as chairman of the selection committee for many years, once called “Russia” a school of respect for the viewer “:
– It is the respect for the viewer, perhaps the most prepared and understanding non-fiction cinema in Russia today, that is at the heart of the concept of this festival. There is no other such thing yet.
Therefore, according to a long tradition, the very first was awarded the Audience Award, the laureates of which were determined by general free voting. From all the films on the television program, viewers chose the film directed by Gennady Kayumov “The Last Admiral of the Soviet Union”, from the general screen – the work of Andrei Konchalovsky “The Cheerful Man”.
Then the jury announced its verdict. The Grand Prix was awarded to director Vladimir Golovnev for the film “Distant Plan” (film company “Game”, Moscow). The best full-length film was “Champion” by Marina Chuvaylova (Studio “A-Film”, Yekaterinburg), the best short film was “Reanimation of Life” directed by Vladimir Zakharov from Krasnodar. The jury of television films named “Agafya” directed by Pavel Selin (Moscow) as the winner. Opening new names, the festival awarded many debutants, the best among them was director Daniil Lepeshin with the film “Prayer”.
Traditionally, Rossiyskaya Gazeta also presented its special prize “For Positive Philosophy and Social Optimism”. Our choice fell on the film directed by Alena Smirnova “Walking into the Fire” (production center “AzBuki”, Moscow). He tells how in the summer of 2015, when news reports were full of footage of Lake Baikal in the smoke from the burning forests, and there was not enough professional strength, ordinary people, residents of the Irkutsk region, came out to fight the fire. They formed a group of volunteers called Detachment 15.08, and together with the firemen defended the Baikal forest. And now, a few years later, they continue to help when another wildfire rages across the country. “We do not commit fire heroic deeds,” they say about themselves. And we think it is very important for filmmakers.
An amazing feature of the current awards ceremony was the presentation of diplomas by the jury not only to directors and cameramen, but also … to the heroes of the films. The jury members explained this by the fact that the filmmakers talked about people so interesting and bright that they simply could not express their admiration for them. “Don’t shoot a bald man!” – “with admiration and gratitude for the hundreds of lives saved.” And also a resident of the Russian hinterland Natalya Levina, the heroine of the film “Russian Way”, and the actor and director Igor Klass (the hero of the film “My Master Class”).
Another prize with a respectful title “For a film worthy of state storage” The Russian State Archive of Film and Photo Documents presented director Yevgeny Kokusev with his picture “The Disciple of Hippocrates” (studio “Kinoartel”, Moscow). But without a doubt, all the films of the festival are worthy of storage, and most importantly – the widest distribution, precisely because they all show an objective and multifaceted picture of today’s Russia.