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The project "The old city in the new world" began upon the photo project "Windows of Irkutsk. Doors of Venice" which took place in 2016 and it was aimed at drawing the attention of the local community to a problem of historical and cultural heritage preservation. For us, founders and organizers, it was very important that participants of the project and its viewers could appreciate the monuments of wooden architecture that still constitute environmental development and represent the historical image of Irkutsk and attracts the attention of visitors. Guided by a desire to prove that old wooden Irkutsk is not less valuable and interesting than lots of European cities and towns and that maintaining this historical authenticity is a common cause, we have announced a photo competition "Windows of Irkutsk. Doors of Venice". The idea of uniting such different cities in one project belongs to the Moscow pictorialist Valery Sirovsky, the fan of traveling who once pointed what a different attitude to antiques in Europe, in particular, Venice, and in Siberia, his not less favorite Irkutsk. While in Venice the century doors are kept without replacing them with plastic, without burning or throwing out, as the property of the nation, in Irkutsk, and over Russia in general, a trend, as the heritage of the Soviet period, is inverse – " we will build the new world which will be ours".

In 2016, more than 1600 photos of Irkutsk windows and Venetian doors from natives of Irkutsk and residents of Italy were received over the competition. Based on the selected photos, historical facts and comments of experts we prepared a street photo exhibition which brought a problem of wooden heritage preservation out of the closed-door conversation to an open-public discussion. Moreover, when the project began its travel across Italy, we saw that it solved one more social problem – the cultural support of our compatriots. "When we got on the exhibition, we understood that we were at home; we realized that we are Russians after all", lots of emigrants said. The project also brings up a current issue, for Europe as well, on drawing the youth's attention to cultural heritage preservation. It was amazing as far as the exhibition appeared to be interesting to Italians – some of them discovered the unique old lacy city for the first time, some people said that they had always dreamed about traveling to far Siberia.

In 2019 the project expands the realization, reaches new level under the name "The OLD CITY IN the NEW WORLD" and, as its part, there will take place the International Film Festival of the same name and the Forum devoted to a perspective of wooden architecture preservation of Russian cities. We want to expand formats of work with the public, both in Irkutsk and in other cities of Russia and Italy. Also, we suggest you show how someone carried away by their city, village, any corner and a small street, sees them in the modern world where hidden among skyscrapers and standard housing, the corners of last centuries as the historical signs tell us that they were created by our ancestors for us; how the modern person interacts with the modern city and how they influence on each other.

We want that as much as possible people pay attention to the value of places where they live, where their children grow up, that they understand that this issue knows no limit, and it is important to keep heritage in every spot on the globe.

After the successful exhibition "Windows of Irkutsk. Doors of Venice" we created a project under the name "The Old City in the New World" which was supported by the Fund of presidential grants, and in which we want to involve a wide public from all over the world, and, above all, such people who appreciate the cultural heritage we have got. Within the project the following events take place in 2019:

- International Film Festival "The Old City in the New World" (final stage in Irkutsk, Russia)
- International photo exhibition "Windows of Irkutsk. Doors of Venice" (Russia, Italy)
- Forum "The old city in the new world" (Irkutsk, Russia)

The demonstration of the film festival winners' works will be built in the final stage of the project "Windows of Irkutsk. Doors of Venice" that will take place in Venice, Verona, Moscow and Irkutsk in 2019. At the international forum "The Old City in the New World" the best practices on the involvement of locals in historical and cultural heritage preservation all over the world will be presented. As a result of the project implementation, the unique international community of experts from old cities, representing their view of their old city and forming a trend on historical and cultural heritage preservation, will be formed.

Russian-Italian film festival «Old city New time» - a part of the international photo project "Windows of Irkutsk. Doors of Venice", which during two years won the hearts of Irkutsk citizens, guests, compatriots in Italy, and Italians.

Film festival «Old city New time» - an appealing to movies and videoart language, which gives an opportunity to look at the cultural heritage through the eyes of authors and producers in Russia and Italy.

The Film Festival – a way to form the image of the region, attract attention of the public to the significance of unique historical heritage in any city of the world. This is the place for meeting and collaboration, ideas exchange and interaction for amateurs and professionals, and also young cinematographers from different countries.

Organizer is the charity foundation "The Heritage of the Irkutsk Patronage" with support of Fund of Presidential grants.

Venue – Russia (Irkutsk, Moscow) and Italy (Verona, Venice).

The Film festival purpose is the fixation of community on an issue of cultural heritage preservation of the cities with centuries-old history, architectural heritage preservation, drawing special attention to monuments of wooden architecture, research of a cultural phenomenon "the old city" and human interactions with it.

Aims the Festival:
- the organization of an open creative competition for amateurs and professionals of cinematography;
- encouragement of movie creation on the subjects devoted to cultural and historical heritage with a possibility of the international experience exchange, adjustment to new cultural relations, maintenance of intellectual level and creative potential of the nation;
- attraction to the cooperation of Russian and Italian film studios and broadcasting companies, an organization of experience exchange, activation of a creative process and increase in professional level;
- increase in interest in local filming;
- strengthening of traditions of the international dialogue between Russian and Italian cinematographers for solving current problems with the development of the cities with historical heritage, culture and innovations;
- an acquaintance of the audience with the modern culture of the historic towns of Russia and Italy.

The opening ceremony of the Film Festival "Old city new time" was held in Irkutsk on April 19, 2019.

Overall, around 50 works were sent to the Festival, most of them in the category "documentary".
Authors are from different cities of Russia and Italy, all cities are older than 300 years.

The contest winners are:
- Nomination "Best documentary film": "Is Irkutsk with us?", author Maria Kelchevskaya, Irkutsk, Russia;
- Nomination "Best live-action film": "Fire', author Maria Shulgina, Saint-Petersburg, Russia;
- Nomination "Best video art": "Like a mushroom", author Gennady Kuznetsov, Irkutsk, Russia.

Every winner received from the Festival Partner – Sberbank of Russia (Savings bank of Russia) the money prize.

Winners of additional nominations:
- Nomination "Local history lessons" documentary films: "The Land of Saint", author Ternovaya Irina, Irkutsk, Russia; "Imperishable wealth", author Aristova Maria, Irkutsk, Russia.
- Nomination "Hero of our time" documentary films: "Lyova, you are fool", author Khlistova Nadezhda, Ulan-Ude, Russia; "Books shelter", author Ivashenko Irina, Irkutsk, Russia.

International jury team of the Film festival "Old city New time":
Valery Sirovsky - Chairman of the jury, photographer, writer, artist, interpreter, italoved (Moscow, Russia), Olga Strada - Honorary member of jury, Director of the Italian Institute of Culture in Moscow (Italy), Andrew Merzlikin – theatre and cinema actor, producer, TV host, Honored Actor of the Russian Federation (Moscow, Russia), Anna Matison - producer, production director, screenwriter, playwright (Moscow, Russia), July Ivanova - producer, RusTeleFilm company (Moscow, Russia), Gianpaolo Lupori - producer, cameraman (Italy), Andrea de Fusco - producer, photographer and artist (Italy), Olga Belskaya - producer, lecturer, Chairman of Irkutsk branch of Union of Cinematographic of Russia (Irkutsk, Russia), Dmitry Slobodchikov - producer, journalist, cameraman (Irkutsk, Russia).

Works of winners and contest participants of the Russian-Italian film festival «Old city New time» were shown at cinema theater "Home of Cinema" (Irkutsk, Russia) and also will be a part of the program during final stages of photo exhibition "Windows of Irkutsk. Doors of Venice", which will be held in Venice, Verona, Moscow and Irkutsk in 2019.

The project id realized with the help of:
Civic chamber of the Russian Federation, Italian Institute of Culture in Moscow, All-Russian Society for the Protection of Monuments of History and Culture, Civic Chamber of the Irkutsk region, Regional state autonomous cultural institution "Irkutsk film foundation", Irkutsk regional department of Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation

For the first time the exhibition under the name "Windows of Irkutsk. Doors of Venice" took place in 2016 in Irkutsk in an open-air stand format. About 300 of 1600 photo works which were received for the competition both from Russia and Italy, were presented at exhibition stands.

International project "Windows of Irkutsk. Doors of Venice" – this is not only good photos. This is a huge cultural movement that addresses to small cities and villages citizens. To make them look at the past heritage – usual and elusive. Some exhibition stands are devoted to historical and cultural pages between two countries – Russia and Italy. At the end of 19th-at the beginning of 20th century in Irkutsk region Italian engineers and workers built Circum-Baikal Railway, Italians opened first cinema theaters and photo booths, created mosaic panels at public places that are present nowadays. Irkutsk and Venice – cities that are divided by thousands kilometers, roads and centuries. Irkutsk and Venice are still close because of the notes – frozen moments left by predecessors. These notes left in wood, metal and stones can be written and decoded not only by us, but also by followers.

The idea of the exhibition about the importance of architectural and historical heritage preservation touched hearts not only of Irkutsk natives and the Russian compatriots in Italy but also the Italian public, creative and cultural associations. Also, great interest in the project is taken by authorities and media.

In the fall, 2017, the project was invited to take part in the Wood Festival in Cantu (Italy, Lake Como), and 62 photo works that were selected by organizers of the festival were presented within the project presentation in a museum format.

Main stages of the project implementation:
July 2016 up to now – an open-air stand exhibition in Irkutsk
September 23 — October 8, 2017 - the Wood Festival (Cantu, Lake Como, Italy)
January 12 — January 23, 2018 – the Russian center of science and culture (Rome, Italy)
February 17 — March 17, 2018 – Factory of ceramics "Grace" (16th century) (Deruta, Umbria, Italy)
May 2018 - the project received patronage of Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Italy
May 11 — May 27, 2018 – Kamposano, Naples, Italy
October 2018 - the project was supported by the Fund of Presidential grants of the Russian Federation
December 7, 2018 — January 15, 2019 - Farneze's Palace (15th century) (Orton, Abruzzo, Italy)

As a next logical step of developing photo project, the video format appeared. The international film festival «Old city New time» was held in Irkutsk on April, 19, 2019.

For summer 2019 exhibitions are planned in Verona under the patronage of Verona city administration and Cultural association "Russian house" in Verona and in Venice under the patronage of Regional board of Italian region Veneto and Cultural association "Russian house" in Verona. The exhibition will also be presented at "All-Russian Society for the Protection of Monuments of History and Culture" in Moscow and as a part of international Forum on saving wooden architecture.

During exhibitions, works of winners and contest participants of the film festival «Old city New time» will be shown to the public.

"The project "Windows of Irkutsk. Doors of Venice" - this is a unique trip to the world of history, architectural and wooden creativity, the world of love to the native land. This is a point of view of hundreds of people to the beauty and details of the native city, that make this place unique, that attracts tourists and that is left unseen by most locals. The purpose of our exhibition – is to draw citizen's attention for the heritage that is still left. In wooden Irkutsk centuries' energy embodied and the city has to save it…." – said the Chairman of the charity foundation "The Heritage of the Irkutsk Patronage" Marina Kondrashova.

The subject of heritage preservation is important in every spot on the globe, for any country, and for any city. Within the project we want to unite the initiatives of communities in different corners of the globe on preservation of historical monuments, culture and architecture.

We are sure that only together exchanging experience and joining efforts we will maintain the unique heritage of the world culture for future generations!


How to maintain wooden architecture or historical and cultural heritage in the cities of Russia: by creation of archaised remakes or by the real professional restoration? Is it possible to remain urban wooden development for future generations or its environment? Are there examples of successful coexistence of wooden and modern architecture, considering needs of a developing city?

The organizer is the charity foundation "The Heritage of the Irkutsk Patronage" with support of Fund of Presidential grants, Public chamber of the Russian Federation and Public chamber of the Irkutsk region.

Venue – Irkutsk, Lake Baikal

The aim of the Forum is the preparation of offers to federal and regional authorities on the improvement of a situation on the preservation of wooden architecture objects, including a discussion on the creation of the regional resource and methodological centres.

Within the Forum:
- representation of the international and Russian experience on restoration and preservation of wooden architecture monuments within the urban environment;
- creation of a discussion for the formation of offers to federal and regional authorities on the improvement of a situation on the preservation of wooden architecture objects and their introduction to the cultural and economic circulation, including the creation of the regional resource and methodological centers;
- representation of best practices of locals involvement in historical and cultural heritage preservation around the world;
- assistance to the formation of the unique international community of the old city lovers representing a view of the city and forming the vogue of historical and cultural heritage preservation.

Participants of the Forum are the international experts, scientists, architects, representatives of the authorities and business, public figures.

The Heritage Fund of Irkutsk Philanthropists (Urban Charitable Foundation of the Irkutsk Community) was established on April 25, 2011 in order to organize and coordinate the process of developing charity in Irkutsk. The Fund is also focused on the development of interregional and international cooperation aimed at the formation of sustainable local communities, developing at the expense of internal resources, preserving their natural, cultural, spiritual, historical heritage.
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