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Official opening ceremony of the XV Spirit of Fire international cinematography festival takes place in Khanty-Mansiysk

The official opening of the XV Spirit of Fire international cinematography festival for first time filmmakers was held in Khanty-Mansiysk on 4 March 2017. Gazprom Neft is the general partner of this cinematography forum as part of its “Home Towns” corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.

Alexander Dybal, First Deputy CEO for Corporate Communications, Gazprom Neft, and a member of the company’s Management Board, was recognised at the opening ceremony for his personal contribution in establishing and developing the film festival, with an honorary award presented by festival president and well-known film director Sergei Solovyov.

Governor of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug—Yugra Natalya Komarova, together with Gazprom Neft Deputy CEO for Corporate Communications Alexander Dybal

This year, the Spirit of Fire festival screened the best movies from first-time filmmakers from Russia and abroad. One hundred films from 25 countries were expected to be shown In Khanty-Mansiysk, screened across seven venues over seven days and reaching a total 25,000 viewers.

In addition to film screenings and the debut film competition, the cinematography forum is accompanied by an extensive cultural programme. Participants in the “The Encyclopaedia of Native-city Fairy Tales” project performed in a literary concert broadcasted online via the “Chitalkin” Internet channel where, in addition to reading works of Russian and national literature, they presented their own compositions. Volunteers from Gazpromneft-Khantos (a Gazprom Neft subsidiary) organised a charity event for children at the Raduga (Rainbow) social centre, with employees — together with festival participants — leading masterclasses for children in acting skills, directed at helping children discover their creative abilities.

Screenings at the Spirit of Fire festival are accessible to people with limited mobility, assisted in cinemas by volunteers. Two pictures, “Viking” and “Attraction”, the first Russian-produced films fully adapted for the disabled, were this year offered for the hard-of-hearing and visually impaired.

Alexander Dybal, Deputy CEO for Corporate Communications and a member of the Management Board, Gazprom Neft, commented: "Yugra is one of the key regions for Gazprom Neft’s activities, and a leader in terms of the application of new technologies. This applies to both oil production, and innovation in education and culture.

“Corporate social responsibility is, for Gazprom Neft, not just about building accommodation and kindergartens, but supporting cultural initiatives — thanks to which it is possible to ensure a high quality of life, even in small towns. We are supporting the Spirit of Fire festival for what is, already, the 11th year. Gazprom Neft is a partner to the festival and traditionally contributes to its programme. This year we invited the excellent pianist Yuri Rozum to perform in Khanty-Mansiysk. In addition to a concert, he took a master class for music-school students.

“The Spirit of Fire festival has long been part of the international festival landscape and, moreover, has preserved the unique spirit of the Russian Far North. Which is why, every year, it brings together cinemas full of film fans, as well as recognised professionals from all over the world.”

Notes for editors

Gazprom Neft has been general partner of the Spirit of Fire cinematography forum since 2007 as part of its “Home Towns” corporate responsibility (CSR) programme, instituting a special prize “For Supporting Cultural Traditions” in 2013.

The “Home Towns” project brings together all corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects and initiatives implemented by Gazprom Neft throughout Russia’s regions. The programme is directed at supporting the social and economic potential of the regions, as well as at improving quality of life, and includes initiatives in neighbourhood enhancement, establishing infrastructure to support children’s and public sports facilities, as well as initiatives in education, health, and in supporting the cultural potential of the indigenous minorities of Northern Russia.