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Sakha-French project that drew attention of Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

  • Published in Culture
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Instagram account of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation posted online the information dedicated to the coldest permanently inhabited place in the world - the village of Oymyakon in Yakutia.

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The description says that not so long ago in the village recorded near-record temperature readings. Thermometer one night dropped to -62 ° C. “Locals said they haven't recorded such levels in the past 15 years. #climatechange is posing a real threat to local people's lives and life structures (…),” says the explanation.

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The publication is accompanied by footage from the documentary film Oymyakon, made by Dominik BARI, Felipe PAIVA, and our fellow countryman Petr VINOKUROV who lives and works in France.

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"The project was conceived by my friend from Slovakia Dominik Bari, a classmate at the Film School in Paris," said Petr. "He was very interested in Yakutia and the fact that I was Sakha, directly from there. He invited me to become a producer of a film project. I agreed almost without thinking, because if not me, who could tell about my homeland with love? Later, our cameraman from Brazil Felipe Paiva joined us.

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We were planning the project for a long time - about a year. To go from Europe to Yakutia with equipment in the middle of winter is an expensive event. Cameras could easily fail due to temperature differences and condensate. So, initially we tested video cameras in a cryolaboratory in Bratislava, Slovakia.

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Of course, Oymyakon is a hyped place, but we still decided to shoot there because of the logistics convenience. This was our first experience of filming under such conditions. We found the right people, agreed on accommodation, food, and transport. Every project is an experience, and now we can take on more bold projects. We have a lot of plans.

As for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, its employees became interested in the French film and offered their own account in Instagram. As is known, the Foundation works to protect wildlife and is engaged in the programs related to climate change. It is important for them to increase knowledge in this area among the population.  In Yakutia, they often do not realize the importance of the problem like many in the world. Climatic changes directly affect residents, flora and fauna, which can lead to disastrous consequences.

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Now the documentary is at the final stage of editing in London. The premiere is scheduled for April. "Through our film, we hope to tell the world about a small village of Oymyakon, which is far from the world's routes, where people are literally forced to fight for survival in the most difficult conditions, and that, whatever one may say, this is part of the world," said Petr.

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Peter's brother - well-known Moscow journalist Sergei Vinokurov on his Facebook page has published a short post: "I am proud of my brother Petr Vinokurov. He is engaged in a noble work.”

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“I am happy that my brother, after twenty years of diplomatic activity, he decided to radically change his life and now he devotes himself entirely to filmmaking. Everybody should have an adventurous streak. In 2017, his short film ALIVE was included in the official program of the Cannes Film Festival,” said Sergei.

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