“I respect the mind and talent of Natalia Komarova, the Head of this region, because she managed not only to save the Festival, but also to make it even better,” Sergei Solovyev, president of the Spirit of Fire, said at the opening ceremony. Many participants and guests of the Festival noted on the stage and on the sidelines that the “Spirit of Fire” looks like a flame, it is as alive, unstable, changing, looking for new formats and approaches. In this case among the Festival’s main advantages are the lack of conservatism and its complete availability.
“Spirit of Fire” creates equal conditions for all participants of this already a global project, a barrier-free environment for Festival guests and viewers was created on its platforms,” the Governor of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug Natalia Komarova said.
Sergei Solovyev remembered how the first “Spirit of Fire” was held at the Center for Gifted Children of the North. The problem was how to attract viewers with the works of unknown directors. First came a hundred people, then two hundred, and the Festival became popular, the number of viewers quickly exceeded one thousand and began to grow year after year. “When the Center for gifted children of the North was created, it was like a small home theater, and today it is one of the platforms of the Film Festival, which is equipped with the most advanced equipment,” Natalia Komarova noted. “According to our estimates, there is still no such equipment anywhere, it is adapted for hearing and visually impaired children.”
Special guests of the opening ceremony were the participants of the II winter All-Russian Disabled People Spartakiad, the district professional competition of reindeer herders, members of the “SAMiT” club from the city of Nizhnevartovsk, which unites talented young people with disabilities.
This year, international competition program of the “Spirit of Fire” included eight films. The Russian program consisted of 12 debuts. The jury of the international competition was headed by the film director Pavel Chukhrai. The jury of the Russian competition included film directors Yuri Bykov, Andrei Kravchuk, Mikhail Brashinsky. The winner of the “Spirit of Fire” will be awarder with the prize “Golden Taiga” and 600 thousand rubles. This year, in total 14 awards will find their winners. Among them there is a prize named after Alexander Abdulov for the best male and female role in the Russian debut film.