On November, 15 the Conference '75th Anniversary of the Great Victory: Literature, Cinema, Theatre' took place as part of the Section 'Literature and Reading'. Leaders of Russian book, theatre and film industries, heads of national libraries from different countries spoke on importance the Great Victory as a topic for arts and presented projects aimed at commemorating the Victory.
The Conference was attended by Sergey Stepashin, President of the Russian Book Union; Oleg Novikov, President of Eksmo-Ast Publishing Group; Eduard Boyakov, Artistic Director of the Gorky Moscow Academic Art Theatre; film director Dmitry Astrakhan, producer Igor Ugolnikov; Ivan Gubsky, Deputy Director General of Belarusfilm Film Studio (Belarus); Eleonora Mitrofanova, Head of 'Rossotrudnichestvo'; Yana Besyadynskaya, opera singer and goodwill ambassador of the United Nations Association of Russia; Mingzhou Zhang (PRC), President of the International Children's Book Council (IBBY); Vadim Duda, Director General of the Russian State Library; Roman Motulsky (Belarus), Director of the Belarus National Library; and other experts. The conference was moderated by Nika Strizhak, a TV host and a documentary film director.
Sergey Stepashin spoke on book projects launched on the threshold of the 75th anniversary of the Victory by the Russian Book Union and large Russian publishing houses. He also announced initiatives of the Russian Book Union dedicated to My Lieutenant by Daniil Granin and the St. Petersburg International Book Salon.
'The topic of Great Victory, the topic of World War II is extremely important; there are a lot of works of literature and art, a lot of films about them. To my mind, it's critical not to turn it into a hackneyed subject. Our artists definitely have to find this line.
The Russian Book Union and our large publishing houses are currently looking for those who know about the war firsthand, their relatives and close ones. Today our publishing houses and writers try to bring us back to the war through a word of a soldier.
Among all projects dedicated to the anniversary I'd like to distinguish a series of the Molodaya Gvardiya (Young Guard) Publishing House. It's entitled 'Great Victory in Biographies'. It is the first time the publishing house addresses a common soldier, a family, people who survived the occupation. One of significant projects is Pobeda (The Victory), a series of book published by Eksmo with the assistance of the Russian Book Union and the Russian Historical Society in the framework of the Presidential Historical Library Project.
My dream is — and I promised it to Daniil Alexandrovich Granin when he was still alive — to bring My Lieutenant to every military unit, every troop, every military academy.
In May, at the opening of the St. Petersburg International Book Salon that has already become a traditional occasion Alexander Dmitrievich Beglov and me decided to hold the next St. Petersburg book fair dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet people in the Great Victory on the Dvortsovaya Square,' Sergey Stepashin said.
Oleg Novikov presented Pobeda (The Victory), a series of book published by Eksmo, and noted a great interest to the topic of the Great Victory among modern Russian authors.
'The topic of the Great Victory has been considerably reflected in literary works. According to the Russian National Library and the Library of Congress (US), over 35,000 literary works dedicated to these events have been published. Great books by Simonov, Granin, Sholokhov and Bondarev are among them. They are still published and republished; now 2–3 thousand books of various titles can be found in book stores — all of them dedicated to this topic.
A lot has already been written and said. And yet, when preparing for this date we have assumed that there is a significant number of works written during the Great Victory exactly by witnesses, participants of those events. For a variety of reasons some works are not available for readers today. Together with our colleagues from the Russian Historical Society, experts and the academic community we've made the anthology of the best works created in those years. They are not in prose only, they also include poetry and plays. In my opinion, a reference to source materials written in those years by witnesses of events gives a great emotional charge. We hope, this five-volume edition will be in every library to help writers, play-writers and filmmakers find an emotional impulse and important information they need.
The total print of literary works dedicated to the Great Victory written by our compatriots is 3–4 mln per year. At the average about 500–700 books of various titles are released annually, and in the year of the 75th anniversary of the Victory this figure can reach 2,000 titles of new books only. The topic of historical memory and its modern interpretation is alive in literature, and I think, all of us have something to be proud of,' Oleg Novikov emphasized.
Eduard Boyakov told that the troupe of the Gorky Moscow Academic Art Theatre was going to stage the performance based on Vasili Tyorkin by Alexander Tvardovsky, biographies of Arseny Tarkovsky and other poets of the the front lines to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Victory.
'Conversations about war are very serious and quite specific both for theatrical approach and for coverage of this incredibly important topic at all. We celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory, but subconsciously we all recognize that the average age of a human life is 70 years. That's how it is in our state and in most of other countries and cultures. That's the age we measure the duration of human life with. And here comes this date: on the one hand, it's round and so nice, but on the other hand, we understand that people pass away, and so does the experience of that war,' Eduard Boyakov noted.
Dmitry Astrakhan presented working materials of his new film The Fate of a Raider which is currently being edited to be ready too the upcoming anniversary.
Igor Ugolnikov announced a feature film dedicated to the heroic feat of Podolsk cadets who defended Moscow in October 1941. The trailer of Podolsk Cadets was presented to participants of the conference, while the film itself will be released on May 9, 2020.