This year 80 outstanding videos were submitted for the Contest. We asked teams to find a person in their community who went to America and made a meaningful contribution to American life, society, culture, or business. Or to look for something that was created in Russia and then found its way to America and is in active use today. It could be a physical object, an invention or innovation (technological, cultural, linguistic or culinary) that has survived until today. All videos were evaluated by a team of experts including U.S. and Russian professors of history, representatives of the Fort Ross Conservancy, IT specialists, and international relations experts.
All experts were overwhelmed by the variety of topics used by participants. We learnt about so many Russians who greatly influenced the life of both America and Russia – from Ivan Kuskov and Grigoriy Shelekhov to Igor Sikorsky and Pitirim Sorokin. Creative videos were about such things as honey, hop or wheelchairs to rocket engines, rollercoasters or Terminvox. This year the contest was very competitive; all topics were deeply researched, videos were interesting to watch. All videos about something Russian in America were so well made that the work of the panel was very difficult.
Only twelve teams were selected as semi-finalists. After the Skype interview four winning teams have been selected.
The team from Krasnoyarsk in their video “A Library Uniting Nations” told the story of the library collected by Krasnoyarsk merchant Gennadiy Yudin and sold to the Library of Congress in 1907. Since then the Library of Congress is the largest keeper of Slavic books outside of Russia. Deep research and correspondence with the Library of Congress add lots of valuable details to the story.
The team from Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia created a video “Bridging Two Valaams” about a monk from the Valaam monastery who built the Russian church on Spruce Island in Alaska and called it New Valaam. Hand drawn cartoon and the story written in a form of runes similar to ones from the Karelian-Finnish Epos Kalevala, made the story so attractive.
Tula Access Team
The team from the city of Tula tells a fascinating story of their countrymen Aleksey Chirikov who was involved in Vitus Berings’ expeditions and who became the first European who stepped on the Western Northern-American shore. The team visited the Chirikov’s muzeum in Luzhnoe, Tula region to find out the details.
Burliuk's Dream Team
The team from Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan chose its name to reflect the connection with the main character – the Bashkir and American artist and poet David Burliuk. The story of his life was shown in a form of a performance filmed in Mr.Burliuk’s home in Ufa.