The Story of Sakhalin Volunteers to Be the Subject of #IVolunteer Documentary

Sakhalin volunteers took part in the production of a social film. Long before the official start of the Volunteer Year, a group of professional documentary makers had an idea to produce a film about people who care about what is going on and are willing to help absolutely free of charge.

Gayane Petrosyan, director, and Vyacheslav Krasakov, operator, both of them being representatives of The Third Sector, Social Films Laboratory, flew to Sakhalin to make a film. Gayane is involved in the production of #IVolunteer, documentary feature. The film to include 12 to 15 most amazing and bright volunteer stories in Russia will show people the way they are with their sincere emotions and feelings. Sakhalin was lucky to become a part of this film.

The Sakhalin story will narrate about the Friends of the Ocean, Russia's first project aimed at training volunteer rescuers of sea mammals. The Sakhalin project: Man and the Sea project implemented with the support of Sakhalin Energy was later financed by the Presidential Grant Foundation and was recognised one of the best social projects in Russia.

"We are tremendously impressed by and have virtually fallen in love with the history of Sakhalin we have travelled to see. This project has united all people who care about and can venture into the ocean to rescue huge whales. We were pleased to see their responsible and professional approach. It is an excellent example to all Russia and a good start of assistance to our minors", Gayane Petrosyan shared her impressions.

The shooting of the Sakhalin story took place on Maloye Vavayskoye Lake during the next volunteer training when they demonstrated the method of untangling and releasing whales from fishing nets.

According to Vyacheslav Krasakov, the film operator, Sakhalin's wonderful nature provides an opportunity to show one of the most interesting areas of volunteering, it being environmental volunteering. "We were lucky to have the right weather, we enjoyed a wonderful rain shower on the shooting day. And any conditions which are close to the real ones are a great advantage. And I was even more impressed that there were so many young girls among volunteers", Vyacheslav Krasakov said.

Gayane Petrosyan shared that after she had published the call for volunteers to become the characters of her IVolunteer project, she received a lot of wonderful stories of people with an amazing life stance you cannot stop admiring from all over the country. For instance, there was a story about the volunteers who used own helicopters to help to search for lost people and another story about the people who "heal" churches by renovating the architectural landmarks in the north of Russia.

Since the film timing is limited and not all received stories can be shown, apart from the documentary, the production team releases separate videos about the heroes who are worthy of a film story. All stories which will not be included in the final film will be published on social networks and on the project website.

The film will be first shown across Russia on 5 December 2018, the International Volunteer Day, in more than 100 cities. Sakhalin Energy, regional partner of the #IVOLUNTEER media project, is expected to support the film first show on Sakhalin in the regional centre and Korsakov. And the day after it will be broadcasted on one of federal channels.

"We are eager to see the film. Sakhalin Energy values this amazing #IVOLUNTEER project more because it resonates with the Company's internal philosophy. First, we focus on volunteering and certainly support social projects aimed at its development. And this project is also very creative. We are happy that Russia's single island-based region will contribute to the range of the goods deeds of our country. The picture would not be complete without Sakhalin", commented Natalia Gonchar, Head of Social Performance at Sakhalin Energy.

The video about Sakhalin volunteers is planned to be made available on #IVOLUNTEER project website in a month.

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18 July 2018