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Kamchatka bears. Life begins - Irina Zhuravleva



"Kamchatka bears. Life begins". A great documentary work produced by Irina Zhuravleva, involved to protect the environment, and by the nature documentary studio "Lesfilm". Irina introduces us to the life of the brown bears in their natural paradise: Kamchatka.
 
A place where anyone would dream to go. A paradise far from everything and everyone, but populated by a paradisiac fauna and flora. It's the Kamchatka peninsula. 9-hour flight from Moscow to the north-east and you arrive in a land where the brown bears live happily and in total harmony. They don't feel man as a threat and therefore, if equipped with special permits and knowledge, you can admire them or film them very closely.
 
Irina: "The place where we were filming, the Kuril Lake, is in the South Kamchatka Nature Reserve. It is a bear paradise. There are about 1000 brown bears living there, where the humans are not interfering at all. These bears are happy because they are protected and they have all kinds of food they need: fish, berries, pine nuts. Because of that, bears are starting to lose the fear before men. And because of that we had more or less good conditions to film them as close as possible. But you have to follow the rules, of course, how to behave next to these really big wild animals.
 
We managed to film very closely, about 15 to 25 meters. When you approach them with love, respect and basic knowledge of their biology, their emotions, their characters, their reactions, it's more or less possible to film safely very close".
 
This is what a team of expert photographers and documentarists, organized by Irina Zhuravleva, did. The crew was able to follow some brown bear cubs during their first year, from the moment they go out of the tan, till the moment they return to the tan. The images collected are amazing. So the documentary "Kamchatka Bears. Life begins" was born; a work that has already received more than 20 awards and has participated in over 45 festivals.
 
"First of all we wanted to show how amazing, intelligent, beautiful, emotional brown bears are. Then we wanted to open this world of the brown bear family to the audience. I guess, very little people know what is happening inside of the brown bear family. And the brown bear is the symbol of Russia. It is treated, dressed in a little bit rude way, as I feel it. We wanted to change this perception of the brown bear. We wanted to show how amazing the mother-bear is, how protective she is, how gentle she is and what's happening for a whole year of the brown bear cubs. Because we were filming on the protected area, the South Kamchatka Nature Reserve. We wanted to speak about the importance of the protected areas, the importance of protecting biodiversity: brown bears, salmon, which is a crucial thing for this place. There is the biggest sockeye salmon spawning area in the place where we were filming. So this film is also devoted to the nature reserves, to the protected areas".
 
Now the producer Irina Zhuravleva, on the strength of this success, has already launched a new production: "The Ancient Forest". This time the heart of the documentary will be the great ancient forests of Russia. A topic as broad as the vastness of the whole Russian territory. This will require a great productive and organizational effort. At least 3 years of work are expected but the project has already started. The "Lesfilm" studio is searching for funding, collaboration and coproduction opportunities. It will also start the crowdfunding campaign in January. Follow the news.

The Ancient Forest. Documentary film presentation
 
This is a video of the web-tv Veggie Channel.
 
Director: Massimo Leopardi, Julia Ovchinnikova
Editing: Julia Ovchinnikova
 

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