International Festival "WON TOGETHER": We are faithful to This Memory

04/05/2022 16:45

Crimea will host the 17th International Festival "WON TOGETHER" which bears the name of its permanent president Vladimir Menshov. In 2022, documentary film screenings and creative events will take place throughout the peninsula.

Born in Sevastopol in memory of the military feat of the countries participating in the Second World War, the WON TOGETHER film festival, part of the Immortal Memory megaproject implemented by the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, has gained a scale over the years and since 2019 has become the largest Russian platform for dialogue between documentary filmmakers around the world. Surprisingly, after 2014 the geography of the festival began to expand significantly to Western Europe, the USA and Latin America. It has become important for some Ukrainian filmmakers to present their works in Sevastopol. Most of the program has always been occupied by Chinese films. Also, China actively participated in the Russian-Chinese cooperation forums in film and television, held within the framework of the festival.

The festival carries out consistent work in the implementation of the program for the reproduction of military-historical themes and the heroism of our time. Annually it holds the only in the country thematic pitching of international projects, supporting and promoting the best applications. The festival opened the way for many works not only on federal and regional TV channels, but also paved the way for wide international recognition. Just one example is the film “I am Che Guevara. A story told in the first person" by Vyacheslav Krasko, who won the international competition of film schools of the festival "WON TOGETHER" in 2020. It was recognized the best foreign language film among nominees from South Korea, the USA, Belarus and Russia at the 11th Chinese Academy of Documentary Film Awards. The awarding took place in Beijing at the State level, and in Moscow, the statuette was presented to the author by the First Secretary of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Russian Federation, Ms. Hao Zhoqi.

The Department of Culture of Sevastopol believes that in 2020 the festival became the largest among international cultural events, which in 2020 brought together both online and offline at 22 venues viewers and authors of 153 works from 35 countries and 38 regions of the Russian Federation, organizing over 300 screenings and special events.

After the large-scale festival in 2020, the decision to expand it to the entire territory of Crimea was supported by the Head of the Republic of Crimea Sergey Aksenov, the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Culture of Crimea. Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation for Foreign Policy Affairs Yuri Ushakov addressed the organizer - the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly:

“It is important that residents of not only the city of Sevastopol, but also other settlements of the Republic of Crimea, be able to take part in the events of the festival.”

Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Southern Federal District Vladimir Ustinov called the festival and the International Public Forum, which the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly holds as part of the Immortal Memory megaproject, landmark and socially significant international projects.

The Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Gennady Zhidko supported the festival and noted its importance in the patriotic education of military personnel and citizens of the Russian Federation.

In 2022, the festival will become a place for further unity of the creative and expert environment in the preservation of historical memory and patriotic education of the younger generation. He received support from the Presidential Foundation for Cultural Initiatives.

42 cultural figures from all over the country: filmmakers, writers, laureates of international and national awards sent letters of support to the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation and the festival.

“It is important for the country, - said documentary filmmaker Sergei Miroshnichenko, - that despite the sanctions, the festival gathers in Crimea not only the core of Russian documentaries, but also famous professionals from foreign countries.”

In 2021, upon learning of the refusal to support the festival, well-known Russian directors Vladimir Khotinenko, Sergey Debizhev, Yusup Razykov, producer, member of the European Film Academy Natalya Ivanova, film critic Irina Pavlova, as well as film director Alexander Stefanovich (already being sick, a week before his passing away), addressed to the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Olga Lyubimova. They were extremely surprised that the festival, which, according to them, having the mission and work fully consistent with the state cultural policy, was not recommended for state financial support by the head of the Department of Cinematography and Digital Development of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation Svetlana Maksimchenko. Vladimir Khotinenko, heading the jury of the festival in 2020, noted its full compliance with world standards both in terms of the artistic level of the films selected for participation, and in terms of the level of holding festival events. The addressees emphasized that, despite the punitive sanctions imposed after the reunification of Crimea with Russia, the inspirers and organizers of the festival, headed by permanent president Vladimir Menshov, “managed not only not to lose their accumulated authority, but also to take noticeable steps forward, acquiring a wide international scope and essentially becoming the largest documentary film show in Russia”.

Paliy's Testament

In addition to the regulated events: five competitions, four of which are international, special film programs (“Dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory” and “Thank you, Doctor!”), Russian-Chinese cooperation events, the festival organizes film screenings for universities in Sevastopol, in particular Black Sea Higher Naval Order of the Red Star School named after P. S. Nakhimov. Also, visits to the ships of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation are carried out.

Today, the support of the Deputy Commander of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy, Captain First Rank Andrey Paliy has become especially dear to the festival. The support was sincere and real, like everything Andrei Nikolayevich did.

Andrei Paly was born in Kyiv on the same day (with a difference of 165 years) with the greatest Russian naval commander, the hero of the Crimean War, Vice Admiral Vladimir Kornilov. After graduating from the Kiev Higher Naval Political School, he took the oath of Russia. Already being a captain, he said: "They swear allegiance to the Motherland once." Paly always tried to be at the forefront. He fought against the unrecognized terrorist state formation of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria banned in Russia, against the terrorist group ISIS banned in Russia in Syria. He returned the Crimea to his native harbor.

Andrei Paly, according to his rank, had the right not to travel to the places of military operations of the special operation. But for him, such an alignment was impossible. He could not leave the guys for whom he was a teacher. On March 19, 2022, Andriy Paliy died defending the passage of civilians from Mariupol.

In memory of such people as Andrei Paly and Vladimir Menshov, the WON TOGETHER festival will be held, expanded and fought together with representatives of the culture of the whole world, standing on the positions of historical truth, defending it in their work, resisting the wall of lies and aggression.