Valdis Pelšs makes a documentary about Tatarstan —

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

Photo: Maxim Platonov

Valdis Pelšs, 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 hinterland. The artists talked about this during a meeting with students during his visit to Kazan. Read more in Realnoe Vremya’s report.

About Pelšs’ film about Tatarstan

“I invented a phrase for the film: ‘I don’t worry about the health of the nation if the best view of the capital is from the roof of the library,'” Valdis Pelšs said during his interview with journalists, which took place precisely at a new building of the National Library of Tatarstan, which, indeed, offers a breathtaking view of the capital. Pelšs said he was going to make a film about the republic, and the idea arose about a year earlier when he met Rustam Minnikhanov.

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

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 will be released not only on Channel One but also distributed via streaming services. According to Pelšs, the services are now showing interest in documentaries.

“I invented a phrase for the film: ‘I don’t worry about the health of the nation if the best view of the capital is from the roof of the library,'” Valdis Pelšs said.

It should be noted that major film projects devoted to Tatarstan have already been released on federal channels in 2020-2021. He is Volga, Kama and tributaries by journalist Sergey Brilyov made by the 100and anniversary of TASSR and Tatarstan: path to harmony by journalist Alexey Mikhalyov, released at the end of January 2021. Both films were shown on the Russia-24 channel. However, Pelšs’ film promises to show new stories, the director says.

For example, Pelšs does not yet know if the Kazan Kremlin will appear in the film, which seems to be the republic’s iconic landmark and is hard to miss.

“At the moment, we believe that the trip [across Tatarstan] will be dedicated to cities, settlements, people who live there, to the detriment of big cities like Kazan, Naberezhnye Chelny, as we know. We will shoot the Kazan Kremlin if we find something that no one has ever shown and we would not want to show what other no less meritorious programs have already shown. If we take the viewer’s time with our stories, it must be at least new stories about Tatarstan,” says Pelšs.

The film’s budget is not yet defined, but the main sponsor is known. As Pelšs said in response to Realnoe Vremya’s question, it is Ak Bars Bank. The bank confirmed this information but did not disclose the amount of financing. “Channel One representatives have already contacted us and offered to provide funding. As we considered the project interesting, making Tatarstan famous throughout Russia and talking about our cultural diversity, the history of the republic, as the central bank of the republic which has supported different cultural and historical projects throughout of its history, we are happy to support this film too,” the bank’s press office told the newspaper.

By Alexander Artemyev. Photo: Maxim Platonov


Rose D. Jones