05 DECEMBER 2017

VMAYAKOVSKY raised over £42,000 for Gift of Life’s patients

On 1 December, The Soho Hotel in London hosted a charity film screening of the director’s cut of the film VMayakovsky in aid of children with oncological illnesses in the Gift of Life Foundation’s care. The long-awaited official premiere of the film is scheduled for spring 2018, when ATLAS VMAYAKOVSKY project to which this film belongs will be launched.

VMayakovsky is a look at history through the prism of the present. Before the audience’s eyes, the actors metamorphose into the film’s characters (the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky; the women whom he loved and who left him; the friends who admired him and distanced themselves from him; the merciless “knights of the Revolution” who proclaimed him to be their symbol), drawing us into Mayakovsky himself, making us live his drama of love, creativity and humanity alongside them as if it was our own.

The screening finished with a discussion with the director, Aleksander Shein, and the actress Chulpan Khamatova, co-founder of the Russian charity Podari Zhizn, Gift of Life’s sister organisation. The audience asked Shein and Khamatova about the cast and complexities of the stylistic approach in the film, and what role Vladimir Mayakovsky could play in political movement in modern Russia, and his place in modern Russian culture. “When Mayakovsky shot himself the history of Russian culture was split before and after”, as admitted by Aleksander Shein.

In addition to Chulpan Khamatova, playing Lily Brik, the film features Yuri Kolokolnikov, Yevgeny Mironov, Lyudmila Maksakova, Anton Adasinsky, Mikhail Yefremov, Albert Alberts and Nikita Efremov.

The London screening raised over £42,000 through ticket sales and the charity auction with unique experience lots kindly donated by Gift of Life supporters – author and journalist Dmitry Bykov, actor Mikhail Yefremov, SOVREMENNIK Theatre, Gogol Centre and Aleksander Shein. Thanks to the support of Pictet Wealth Management and CULTURAL SOLIDARITY MEDIA, all proceeds from this event will be used directly to aid children who undergo cancer treatments in Russian clinics and need donors’ support to get access to the most effective foreign medicines and vital surgeries.

Gift of Life would like to thank our media partners Kommersant UK and ZIMA Magazine, and BBC Russian Services for their support.

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Photo credit: Evgenia Basyrova