November 19 - 22, 2022, the Hero City of Volgograd will host the largest documentary film festival in Russia “WON TOGETHER”, the joint project of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly and the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio.
The festival will open on the day of the start of the counter-offensive of the Soviet troops near Stalingrad. The leading universities of the region - one of the largest universities in Russia: Volgograd State Technical University, Volgograd State Agrarian University, Volgograd State Social and Pedagogical University and Volgograd State Medical University will be the venues for film screenings, creative meetings and master classes.
Volgograd State University (VolGU) will become the main partner and main venue for the film festival. Films of the international documentary, television and national competitions "WON TOGETHER" will be screened on the modern equipment of the university.
As the rector of VolSU Alla Kalinina noted:
- We consider the proposal of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly to become a platform for the film festival “WON TOGETHER” to be paramount. We are ready to receive guests! We continue cooperation with the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly within the project for the development of a media platform for the preservation of historical memory and the formation of a dialogue between generations. There is a scientific center for the study of military history at VolSU. International conferences on military history are traditionally held there, unique publications dedicated to the Great Patriotic War and the Battle of Stalingrad have been developed. In addition, we are located on Lysaya Gora (Bald Mountain) - the second most important height after Mamaev Kurgan. In our unique Museum of Cadets Regiments, we cherish the memory of those who defended this height and Stalingrad, and we want to acquaint the participants of the film festival with the history of the Volgograd land.
For 17 years now, the film festival “WON TOGETHER” has been a cultural and artistic platform, the purpose of which is to unite and professionally support documentary filmmakers who reflect in their work an up-to-date reading of the theme of the common victory in the Second World War of the countries participating in the anti-Hitler coalition and heroism today: personal, sports, business. Two thematic blocks: "Memory" and "Reflection" are the basis of the festival program, which annually meets the current world agenda.
The film festival contributes to the preservation of the living cinematic space of countries united by a common history. It is designed to promote the expansion of professional international relations, support cooperation in documentary film and television and act for their development and prosperity.
As Vyacheslav Kalinin, a member of the Public Council under the Russian Ministry of Defense, the founder of the Veteranskie Vesti media holding, noted, the WON TOGETHER festival is one of the few now that preserves the history of the heroic past and the cultural heritage of the countries that participated in World War II on the side of the anti-Hitler coalition, and really fights against the falsification of history by the forces of public diplomacy.
The organizers do not hide the fact that some of the foreign authors who submitted their works to the competitive selection later refused to participate. It is all the more valuable that more than 20 foreign filmmakers confirmed their desire to come to the film festival.
As Andrei Belyaninov, Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly noted, “this once again indicates that there is no cultural isolation of Russia. Documentary cinema breaks through it.”
Directors, screenwriters, producers will present their films to the audience of the city and their fellow participants of the review. The latest documentaries from Canada, Italy, Israel, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Iran, Portugal, Austria, France, Venezuela, Finland, Belgium, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia will be shown.
"WON TOGETHER" has always focused on the student audience. After the end of each festival screenings of the best films are held during the year in universities in many regions of the country. In 2022, on the eve of the XVII Film Festival, the organizers of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly and the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio held the film marathon “WON TOGETHER” with film screenings, meetings with authors, master classes in Moscow, the Moscow Region, Kazan, Stavropol, Anapa and the children’s camp “Orlyonok”, including an international master class on the basics of photography and video filming, which was attended by schoolchildren from Moldova, Estonia, Lebanon and Serbia, who made videos about the importance of preserving historical memory.
The traditional program at the XVII Film Festival will be supplemented by the international competition "History in the frame", held jointly with the Russian Historical Society. The geography of the competition in the first year of the competition is represented by only two countries: Russia and Armenia, but by numerous regions: Yakutsk, Tyumen, Yekaterinburg, Moscow, Sevastopol. Films from Moscow, Volgograd, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Irkutsk, Stavropol, Yekaterinburg, Barnaul, Tashtagol, Tyumen, Samara, Sevastopol, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Vladikavkaz, Ufa, Simferopol, Yalta will be presented in the national competition.
The jury of the international documentary competition of the XVII Film Festival will be headed by the famous film director Yusup Razykov. Within the film festival, out-of-competition screenings of the master's new films will take place - the dramatic thriller ‘The French Master’ with Alexei Guskov and Anna Chipovskaya and the absurd comedy “Live Long”. The jury of the international competition of television films of the XVII festival will be headed by the legend of Russian television, journalist Sergei Lomakin.
Honored Art Worker of the Russian Federation, documentary filmmaker and teacher Sergey Miroshnichenko assumed the duties of the Festival President.
In 2022, the festival will organize five business venues at once.
- Scientific-practical conference “Cinema in search of historical truth. History and Memory” with the participation of Chinese filmmakers. The host is a film critic Irina Pavlova.
- Round table "Historical and cultural heritage and cinematography" (with the participation of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation and the Public Chamber of the Volgograd Region).
- Round table "Regional Film Support Foundation - as a new development tool" (Dmitry Yakunin will be the moderator). As part of this event, Ekaterina Lebedeva, Executive Director of the Days of Short Film Festival, will hold a session on Opportunities for Young Filmmakers. Information about grants, competitions, pitching.
- Seminar of film clubs. The speakers will be the curator of the St. Petersburg project "Documentary Screen" Viktor Skubei, film director and producer, General Director of "Permkino" Pavel Pechenkin, leader of film clubs in Nizhny Tagil Vitaly Skorev; Director of the International Film Festival "Arctic open" Tamara Statikova (Arkhangelsk).
The large-scale program will be able to fit into the four days of the film festival, covering the central venues of Volgograd. Entry to all events will be free.
In 2022, the Vladimir Menshov International Film Festival "WON TOGETHER" is supported by the Presidential Foundation for Cultural Initiatives and the Russian Historical Society.
The partners of the festival are all-Russian public organizations - the Russian Union of Veterans, the Russian Association of Heroes and the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation.
During a press conference, the Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the “WON TOGETHER” Film Festival Andrei Belyaninov drew the attention of the audience to the fact that today we need to remember that we won together with China, India - countries that even before the “official” start World War II faced aggression and lost about 30 million people as fallen. “WON TOGETHER”, as the initiator of cultural ties between China and Russia, should and will develop the topic of commonality and partnership between our countries to the maximum. Andrey Belyaninov emphasized the extreme importance of a peaceful dialogue between countries and peoples of the whole world, which today can still be conducted in the language of art. Therefore, despite all the difficulties that stand in the way, the “WON TOGETHER” film festival was held, is being held and will be held annually.