The preparations, the regulations and the general artistic concept of the 19th Spirit of Fire Film Festival were discussed at a meeting of the Organizing Committee.
It was a video conference chaired by Natalia Komarova, the Governor of Ugra. It was attended by the President of the Debut Film Festival Sergey Solovyov, Vice-President of the Festival and screenwriter Maria Zvereva, Chairman of the Selection Committee and film critic Boris Nelepo, as well as heads of relevant departments and institutions of the region.
"Time requires working on each task, taking into account the current anti-coronavirus measures. We can make sure that the scenario has a happy ending, the plans are implemented, and the goals are achieved. It is necessary to keep the fire of the festival alive, preserving its best traditions and main mission," the head of the region noted.
Natalia Komarova highlighted that the technical team of the film festival has been working with various online platforms operators for several months.
"The request to develop an app for the Spirit of Fire festival turned out to be unique. If all the parameters are successfully met, the Spirit of Fire online cinema will be able to provide an appropriate level of protection and guarantee the safe storage of video content, which will make it possible, if necessary, to implement online screening of films of the competition programme. This is one of the key issues of the preparations," the Governor emphasized.
Natalia Komarova reminded that the main theme for the festival, "Film Classics", is the opportunity to present the best examples of cinema, both in retrospect and through the contemporary films previously screened at other festivals. The Spirit of Fire Film Festival features an exclusive international programme. The 19th festival will present interactive projects to cinema fans, a special programme for children, the guest of which will be the German artist and illustrator Viola Lippmann.
In turn, Maria Zvereva said that preparations for the festival have begun and are proceeding as usual.
"Everyone is concerned about how the festival will be held in the current situation of the pandemic: offline or online? I think it is necessary to prepare programmes for both. Online platforms will give an opportunity to keep a large number of viewers, and the audience coverage will be greater, even if cinemas open. Film festivals that are already running in this format show these paths. For example, there were a full-fledged opening and online screenings at Kinotavr festival, " said Maria Zvereva.
She noted that the competition of debut projects for participants from the Arctic Council member countries will be added to the traditional film festival competitions.
"The pandemic forces us to think, to look for new approaches. It is important to preserve a sense of celebration, of the festival in these difficult circumstances. That is why we are
working hard on the opening programme. We are negotiating with the celebrities," said Sergey Solovyov.
In the implementation of the idea of "film classics", he proposed to hold a day of Stanislav Govorukhin who was a real friend of the festival and to screen his famous film "Ten Little Niggers" with the presentation of a part of the all-star cast.
Boris Nelepo, Chairman of the Selection Committee, proposed to move the deadline for accepting applications for participation in competitive programmes: from November 6, 2020 to January 12, 2021. As the film critic noted, even though the pandemic has made people's lives unpredictable, film festivals are held all over the world in different formats, and the Selection Committee chooses films for international competition.
Irina Fokina, Executive Director of the 19th Spirit of Fire IDFF and Acting Director of the CTC "Ugra-Classic", said that cultural institutions of the Autonomous Okrug have also developed projects for participation in the festival.
To support the theme of Russia's chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021, the festival's educational programme will include film screenings and creative meetings on projects of the Russian Geographical Society. It is planned to organize an exhibition based on the Arctic and Antarctic Russian State Museum.
Irina Fokina added that the Executive Directorate of the festival has already received offers to show performances in the hall "Transformer" from the theatre-studio "INDIGO" from the city of Pokachy with the production "Sorrow’s Brightness" for a youth audience (16+) based on the novel "The Wedding March" by Valery Medvedev and from the theatre-studio "Deltaplan" from Khanty-Mansiysk. This is the opportunity to show two theatrical productions.
"The cultural programme will be enriched, supplemented, and is planned to be completed by February 10," Irina Fokina said.
Speaking about further tasks, the head of the region reminded the members of the Organizing Committee to complete all planned activities on time.
Recall that the festival will be held from February 25 to March 1, 2021.
Based on the admhmao.ru materials