Space, the new frontier of Russian cinema

From Baikonur, Kazakhstan, where she complies with the mandatory quarantine like all astronauts before departure, she increased the number of live chat sessions and videos on her Instagram account. The 36-year-old actress exudes confidence.

Either way, it’s too late to be afraid. Despite all the odds, she’s incredibly cool, and the idea of ​​leaving her alone is great.

Quote from:Yulia Peresild, actress

He will take off on Tuesday at 5 a.m. (EST) for the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Soyuz spacecraft with Russian director Klim Chebenko to shoot what will be the first-ever film in space.

Yulia Peresild is already considered one of the biggest stars of Russian cinema, famous for her films with a national flavor such as The Battle of Sevastopol.

But with this absolutely crazy adventure, she became a heroine, a symbol of another Russian victory in the space race.

The Russians are set to set out on Tuesday to shoot the first film made in space, the working title of which is “The Challenge.”

Photo: Roscosmos

Competition

Anyone familiar with Russia’s manned aviation program knows that it has been competition-driven since Soviet times.Says journalist and expert Anatoly Zak.

The project is a partnership with the Russian space agency Roscosmos, the first public television channel Pervyi Kanal and a major film studio, but it was President Vladimir Putin who gave the green light and released the funds needed to make it happen. .

We were told that Vladimir Putin would have been charmed by the film’s script, which tells the story of an ordinary doctor who must urgently depart for the International Space Station to save the life of an astronaut too sick to return to Earth.

If the plot is attractive, then it is certainly not the only source of inspiration for the Russians, explains Anatoly Zak, for whom the project is considered Pride freak Russia pays it at the expense of taxpayers.

Especially since NASA announced last May a similar movie project with SpaceX as partners and no other than American actor Tom Cruise in the lead role, a big regular role in Mission Impossible. The Russians hit him.

Yulia Peresild and her director will have only four months to train, tame the vagaries of weightlessness and understand the vicissitudes of an explorer’s career.

Space tourists who travel with Russians, as Quebec businessman Guy Laliberte did in 2009, usually take at least six months of training.

The rudder of the Soyuz spacecraft has been redesigned to allow the only astronaut who will be on board, Anton Shkaplerov, to perform all the maneuvers needed for liftoff.

Yulia Peresild and Anton Shkaplerov put on their suits and walk.

Actress Yulia Peresild is about to participate in a rehearsal with cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov in Star City on September 9, 2021.

Photo: Reuters/Andrey Shelepin

The important thing is to remain calm, especially not to disturb the pilotSays retired cosmonaut Sergey Volkov.

He neither supports nor opposes the idea of ​​sending an actress to do a movie on the International Space Station, having spent more than a year in total during his career. Like the other experts we spoke to, he has reservations.

For me, this is not an achievement or a scientific breakthrough. not at all. I am thinking especially of the astronauts who are already there and for whom it would be unfavorable to have to manage new affairs [arrivants].

Quote from:Sergei Volkov, retired cosmonaut

controversial project

The project also sparked controversy within the Russian scientific community. The director of the Russian space agency’s manned flight program, Sergei Krikalev, was fired last summer for daring to say the money was better invested in space research and innovation.

One of the country’s most respected cosmonauts, Sergei Krikalev, has since returned to his post and will be part of the large Russian delegation set to attend Tuesday’s launch at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

It’s also a full PR campaign surrounding the event. Russia’s Channel One airs prime-time reality programming for weeks to show behind-the-scenes training and distribution.

We see among others actress Yulia Peresild and her director in full training in the city of stars and auditions for hundreds of girls, among whom Yulia was chosen for her composure and physical form.

The three wear astronaut suits and stand straight.

Yulia Peresild (left) with cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov (center) and director Klim Shipenko.

Photo: Reuters/Andrey Shelepin

With this flight, the actress and her Russian director joins a new generation of amateur astronauts who have made history at the time of commercialization of manned flights and space tourism. Russia was also keen to win the moon in this context, according to one of the film’s project engineers.

This is the year of gaps in space, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos. Russia wants to defend its primacy. We want to be the first to make a movie out there and this is a duty calling us. It would be foolish for Russian cinema not to accept the opportunity offered by Roscosmos.

Quote from:Konstantin Ernst, director of the first Russian channel

chance to seize it

Russian journalist Anatoly Zak believes that success will depend on the quality of the feature film, which, according to him, also serves to forget about the failures and problems of corruption within the Russian space program.

Frankly, Russia cannot live up to what the Americans, Japanese or Chinese have been doing in space for years. So this movie is kind of the fruit on hand, and it’s something that’s easy to do with the technology that’s already there., he thinks.

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If he believes that this type of project diminishes the importance of space exploration, others see it as an opportunity to popularize it and cultivate interest. But why not!Andrei Borisenko, the second cosmonaut who agreed to meet us, shouted this time at the Moscow Space Museum.

Andrei Borisenko close up.

Andrei Borisenko, Russian cosmonaut.

Photo: Radio Canada / Tamara Altresco

Whatever happens, sooner or later actors and filmmakers will be going into space a lot, too. It is very likely that this first step will pave the way for future projects. It’s a step forward, in my opinion, and it will appeal to the audience, He said.

Not to mention the fact that imaging could become a source of funding to keep the space station in orbit. Although we are light years away from making it a commercial enterprise, this is the only advantage, thinks Anatoly Zack.

Projects like filmmaking may already be among those that will help with some costs. But let’s not kid ourselves: In the case of this Russian movie, it’s the taxpayers who pay.

Quote from:Anatoly Zak, Russian journalist

Russian cinema would have been satisfied with a set, simulator and special effects. But the goal is to bring the experience of space to life through the eyes of the average person.said director Klim Chebenko, whose films are among the most successful in Russia.

If all goes as planned, from take off on Tuesday to return to Earth 10 days later, his movie, which is the working title The challengeHe would undoubtedly be the most patriotic of his career.

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