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"Point of no return" at the point of no return

Does the "Return Point" have a future? The Far East festival of amateur fiction films "Point of Return" lost its grant support at the federal level, and at the local level it did not receive it.

Fifty films-contestants from all over the Far East were included in the long list of "Point of Return-2019", for five years in a row people of different ages and professions, but with a craving for cinema, filmed films in the time trouble mode of "Cinema Camps". And now the project is at the point of no return. "Don't you need a violinist?"

"Point of no return" at the point of no return
Photo: Eduard Litovchenko

Alla Jan-Sha

director of a production company, curator of social projects, member of the Khabarovsk city public chamber

Each text that begins with the words "many ask" immediately arouses suspicions that no one is asking, the author just really wants to tell, but there is no obvious reason.

However, they really do ask. More than fifty films were sent to the last "Point of Return" festival in 2019, there is someone to be interested in.

Will this year (or someday) be our Far East amateur fiction film festival or have we closed the project?

Moreover, many times we, the organizers, have said that we will hold the fifth “Tochka”, and then we will seriously think about it. We thought about it and decided not to close it. But we cannot continue yet.

For four out of five years we have been doing the festival as winners of the presidential grants competition. And all four years knew that it would end someday. The foundation cannot fund a project indefinitely. He either needs his territory or not. Already in five years, it would seem that it is possible to find a source of funding on the spot, the money is not great. However, we did not succeed, although all this time (since 2015, as long as the festival has been living) we have been trying to solve this problem.

Money is needed for advertising, printed materials, prizes and gifts for the winners, a salary for the team, sometimes for trips around the region in search of new participants, and a lot of the budget is “eaten up” by the Film Camp as an integral part of the project. This is an educational and training base for shooting short films. Taking fifty people out of the city for two days, lodging and feeding them while they are engaged in creativity is not cheap pleasure.

In addition, we need experts and teachers "from the center" for master classes and work reviews, because it is no secret that there are almost no film industry professionals in the Far East.

We do not want to lower the level of the festival.

Looking for sponsors? Not our story. Nobody just gives money, and we are not ready to break a project for someone's advertising interests. In addition, I know from experience: working with sponsors is another project in the project, and we do not always have enough resources for the festival itself.

In the region there are ministries of culture, internal policy, education, after all. We (teams of creators and organizers of "Tochka") have a cultural and educational project that has been working on the image of the region for several years. The project-winner of the Far East Prize in the field of communications "Silver Archer" in the nomination "Promotion of the image of the territory", by the way.

We have already proved everything to ourselves. The authorities could not. I was in the regional ministry of culture twice, even before the well-known changes in the political life of the region. The first time there they admired the project and promised full support, but asked to come back later. The second time at the meeting, I listened for a long time how little money culture has and how many rural libraries with leaking ceilings are in the region.

For several months we planned a meeting with the ex-governor, wrote letters, prepared justifications, during this time we had many cool proposals on how and where to develop the project, but preparation for the negotiations was delayed (not through our fault), and everything ended you know from what reason.

We contacted the embassy, ​​and even held several meetings, discussing the prospects for joint work. Alas, to no avail.

And it is difficult to calculate how many applications we have written for various grant competitions in the last year alone. However ... seven. They were not included in the number of worthy ones even once. Including the government of the Khabarovsk Territory did not recognize the project as the winner of its competition (this was last year, this year we are still waiting for the results). Well, grants are definitely not an option, they exist today, not tomorrow. With such palliative care, the story will end badly anyway, so why wait, we think, and continue to write applications. Because it seems that a way out is about to be found, you just need to wait for this decision.

After all, looking back, we understand more and more that the project is not a pass-through, and its prospects are huge. It's a pity to bury. And while the topic can be revived, we are trying to find a way out.

In the early years, we set ourselves the goal of building a local film community. We have achieved this. The level of the finalist films of the last season was such that it became obvious that this movie should be shown to a mass audience. The festival should be developed in this direction.

Another year, and the point of no return will be passed. It's a shame if that happens. Moreover, the idea of ​​holding a film festival fully meets the tasks set by the President of Russia in the "National Projects of Russia". In particular, the festival creates conditions for the realization of the creative potential of the nation (the Creative People project), contributes to the digitalization of services and the formation of an information space in the field of culture (the Digital Culture project), and is also aimed at strengthening the civic identity of the inhabitants of the Far East on the basis of spiritually -moral and cultural values. Probably, this is a reason (or rather, as many as three reasons) to at least look for a solution to the problem together with the leadership of the region. We are waiting for suggestions and are ready for dialogue!



Since 2015, the Khabarovsk Territory has hosted the Point of Return Festival of amateur fiction films. In 2017, the festival received the status of the Far East.

Every year, the festival hosts directorial and screenwriting workshops, open castings, educational and training expeditions, professional analysis of submitted works, numerous film screenings (usually in several cities of the Far Eastern region), as well as award ceremonies for the finalists and winners.

To date, film enthusiasts from fourteen cities of the Far East have taken part in the festival: Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Yakutsk, Blagoveshchensk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Ussuriisk, Spassk-Dalny, Magadan, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Ulan-Ude, Palana Chita and Anadyr. Over 150 works by novice filmmakers were presented to the audience and the jury.

Today, Point of Return is the only platform in the Far East that offers a training program for newcomers to filmmaking, and allows them to demonstrate their achievements in the hope of professional assessment and further growth.

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