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More cartoons on the Land of Olonkho

  • Published in Culture

The phenomenon of the Yakut cinematography has long been known: movies shot in frosty Republic are shown in different regions of Russia, and at once three Yakut films participate in Berlin International Film Festival. With animation, things are not so rosy: budget millions are not allocated for its support, and the films themselves, albeit translated into foreign languages, are made by enthusiasts, who also teach animation to the children.

The Yakut cartoons come out constantly. There was even a feature film called "Nurgun Bootur the Swift" (about the Yakut hero). The 50-minute cartoon is based on the national epic of the Yakuts – Olonkho, which is recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The film is released in the Yakut language and translated into Russian, English, German, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. The cartoon was made on the initiative of Music and Folklore Museum of Yakutia.

The main aim of the creators of the cartoon is to acquaint as many people as possible with the epic of Olonkho. This noble idea has been embodied en masse. Background - the birds singing, the neighing of horses, and the cries of the evil spirits-Abaasy – was voiced by the students of the local College of Culture. The translation was made by the teachers of North-Eastern Federal University, which is based in Yakutsk. The work on the cartoon began in 2008. A year later the draft version was presented, in 2010 a Russian version was shown to the audience. Two years later, the film was translated into foreign languages. The paradox of "Nurgun Bootur the Swift," which was filmed in Yakutia and based on the Yakut epic, is that in the original language it was presented only in December 2015.

Meanwhile, the animators of Yakutia sometimes get support, but from an entirely unexpected source. "When I was working on the film called "Semenchik d’ollooh kune" (A happy day of Semenchik), I received the financial support from the Ministry of Agriculture of Yakutia. It sounds strange, but I appealed to them, because the film touches the theme of rural life. The most offensive that I anyway went into the red," - says young multiplicator Olga Stepanova. And in 2015, she took part in the online contest "People's Budget" and has received a grant support from the Administration of Yakutsk: 80% of the funds needed to create the cartoon. Last year, with the people’s support and with the help of her team she presented three parts of the cartoon, which tells the story of the city of Yakutsk. The cartoon was released in three languages: Russian, Yakut and English.

by Tuyara Dayan-Pavlova