Valdis Pelšs: ‘If we take the spectator’s time, it must be new stories about Tatarstan’

The famous TV host about a film about the republic, Kazan and much more

Valdis Pelšs: ‘If we take the spectator’s time, it must be new stories about Tatarstan’
Photo: Maxim Platonov

Valdis Pelšs, a popular TV host, actor and musician is preparing to make a documentary about Tatarstan. Now he is working on the script. However, Pelšs promises to unearth unknown stories from the backwoods. The artists talked about this at a meeting with students during his visit to Kazan. Read more in Realnoe Vremya’s report.

About Pelšs’s film about Tatarstan

“I made up a phrase for the film: ‘I do not worry about the health of the nation if the best view of the capital is from the library’s roof,’” Valdis Pelšs pronounced during his talk with journalists, which took place precisely in a new building of the Tatarstan National Library, which, indeed, has an amazing view of the capital. Pelšs said that he was going to shoot a film about the republic and that the idea was born about a year earlier when he met with Rustam Minnikhanov.

“He said he had seen my films. I also told him that if he considered me as a documentary filmmaker, perhaps there was sense in shooting a film about Tatarstan. He approved this idea, we started to work, the quarantine, pandemic, lockdown kicked us out of the work almost for a year, now we are writing the script,” the director told journalists.

They plan to shoot the film in two stages: in May and September this year, while the film will be ready in December 2021 — January 2022. Answering Realnoe Vremya’s question, Pelšs said that the film would be shown not only on Channel One but also distributed via streaming services. According to Pelšs, now services are demonstrating their interest in documentaries.

“I made up a phrase for the film: ‘I do not worry about the health of the nation if the best view of the capital is from the library’s roof,’” Valdis Pelšs pronounced

We should note that big film projects dedicated to Tatarstan were already released on federal channels in 2020-2021. It is The Volga, Kama and Tributaries by journalist Sergey Brilyov made by the 100th anniversary of the TASSR and Tatarstan: Path to Harmony by journalist Alexey Mikhalyov, which was released in late January 2021. Both films were shown on Russia-24 channel. However, Pelšs’s film promises to show new stories, the director says.

For instance, Pelšs isn’t yet sure if the Kazan Kremlin would appear in the film, which seems to be the iconic landmark of the republic and is hard to miss.

“At the moment, we think that the trip [across Tatarstan] will be dedicated to towns, settlements, people who live there, to the detriment of large cities as Kazan, Naberezhnye Chelny, to what is known. We will shoot the Kazan Kremlin if we find something nobody has ever shown and we wouldn’t like to show what other, no less great, worthy programmes have already demonstrated. If we take the spectator’s time with our stories, it must be at least new stories about Tatarstan,” Pelšs says.

The budget of the film hasn’t been defined yet, but the key sponsor is known. As Pelšs said in reply to Realnoe Vremya’s question, it is Ak Bars Bank. The bank confirmed this information but didn’t disclose the amount of funding. “Representatives of Channel One have already reached out to us and offered to provide funding. As we considered the project interesting, making Tatarstan famous across Russia and talking about our cultural diversity, history of the republic, as a core bank of the republic that has supported different cultural and historical projects throughout its history we support this film with pleasure too,” the press service of the bank told the newspaper.

By Alexander Artemyev. Photo: Maxim Platonov
Tatarstan