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Charity Project-Experiment “Cinema in the Hermitage”


On 11 October 2019, the Hermitage Theatre was the venue for the inauguration of “Cinema in the Hermitage” – a charity project-experiment on the part of the State Hermitage and the online cinema tvzavr marking the Year of the Theatre in Russia.

The guests were welcomed on behalf of Hermitage Director Mikhail Piotrovsky by Ivan Korneyev, head of the museum’s Department of Intermuseum Communications.

“It’s entirely possible that this project could become part of the large-scale Greater Hermitage programme that is intended to make our museum even more interesting, diverse and people-friendly. Mikhail Borisovich asked me to stress that it is not for nothing that all the posters and programmes say ‘project-experiment’ because besides the showing of films this project also has a charitable component that is not less important, and even for the museum more important, than simply a pleasant way of spending time. The project is intended to help fundraising in favour of the Butterfly-Children charitable foundation with which the Hermitage has a long-standing relationship.”

During the evening the audience were shown short films shot from scripts created by the prominent opinion journalist Alexander Tsypkin. They were first shown on the big screen as a single omnibus comprising Did You Love Him? (directed by Elena Polyakova), Farewell, My Love! (directed by Xenia Rappoport, Pavel Kapinos and Alexander Tsypkin) and Euthanasia (directed by Elena Brodach).

After the viewing, Alexander Tsypkin and the directors Elena Polyakova, Elena Brodach and Radda Novikova interacted with the public. Together with the moderator, Alexander Malich, they discussed the works shown and answered questions from the audience.

“Collaboration with the Hermitage and tvzavr has undoubtedly been a significant event for me. First of all, films made from my scripts have been shown in the Hermitage, which, as you can understand, is an extraordinary occurrence for any Petersburger, and secondly, the films were brought together in a single full-length picture connected together by the idea and the dramaturgy,” Alexander Tsypkin said.

Alexander Pavlov, General Director of the tvzavr company, expressed gratitude to the Hermitage, Alexander Tsypkin and everyone who came that evening: “Today we are showing only premiering films and we shall try to stick to that in the future. Since this is an experiment, we hope that with this project we are introducing a new format into relations between the museum, the theatre and the online service.”

The opening ceremony for the Cinema in the Hermitage project was attended by cultural figures, theatre and film actors, film directors, representatives of the creative intelligentsia and journalists.

Entry to the event was by advanced registration. Interest in the occasion proved so great that the number of viewers that the Hermitage Theatre can accommodate was reached within an hour.

Those attending were able to make a contribution to the Butterfly Children Foundation, whose trustees include People’s Artist of Russia Xenia Rappoport, theatre and film actor Danila Kozlovsky and Alexander Tsypkin. Xenia Rappoport said: “I am happy and proud of the long-standing friendship between our Butterfly Children Foundation and the great Hermitage museum. This year a new interesting charity project – Cinema in the Hermitage – is starting life. I am sure that it will bring pleasure and joy to its viewers and also help for our delicate young charges. I sincerely thank everyone involved.”

The evening continued with celebratory cocktails in the Kempinski Hotel Moika 22, where guests could chat and view several more films scripted by Alexander Tsypkin.

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