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A film about polar bears won first place at the Northern Character Festival

29 november 2021
The 13th International Film Festival "Northern Character" has ended in Murmansk. In the nomination "Documentary Film" the diploma of the first degree was received by director Vladimir Marin for the film "How to Train Your Bear". Experts from WWF-Russia also contributed to the creation of the film.

Vladimir Marin filmed the documentary "How to Train Your Bear" for more than two years in Chukotka. Inside the film there are two short stories, with two heroes - polar bears Ryrka and Umka. The main character of the film is Tatyana Minenko and the Polar Bear Patrol team p. Ryrkaipiy, they save orphaned bear cubs from severe frosts and hunger. But what's next for these cubs? Zoo life or return to native wildlife? After the screening of the film, Varvara Semyonova, director of the film and chief coordinator of WWF Russia's Arctic biodiversity conservation projects, discussed with the audience what efforts it takes to save one polar bear cub and why it is even more difficult to leave him free.

(с) Dmitry Sumerin
“Polar bears are more comfortable in the ice. When there is no ice, they come ashore to people. In recent years, there have been more orphan cubs. It is still difficult to say about the reasons, but it is encouraging that each case becomes resonant and is considered by a special commission under Rosprirodnadzor. Now the scientific and environmental communities are looking for solutions to this problem,” comments says Varvara Semyonova, coordinator of the WWF-Russia Polar Bear Patrol project.
(с) Dmitry Sumerin
“When we release a documentary film, it becomes an occasion for further discussion and thoughts. We talk, we think, we draw attention to problems. Thanks to the festival for the opportunity to show such films, and thanks to WWF Russia for their support in organizing filming and expert assistance,” says Vladimir Marin, director of the film How to Train Your Bear.

WWF-Russia has been cooperating with the Northern Character Film Festival for two years, which is rightfully one of the hallmarks of the Murmansk Region. This year the festival took place in a hybrid format - films could be seen in cinema halls, on the Internet and in street cinemas. Also, a mobile exhibition "Sea of ​​the Russian Arctic" was opened for spectators and guests of the festival. The exposition immerses the viewer into the Arctic depths, vividly and interestingly introduces the northern region and its inhabitants, tells about the work of WWF-Russia to preserve the nature of high latitudes.

(с) Tatiana Yulusova/WWF Russia

About the Northern Character Film Festival:

The festival has been held in Murmansk since 2008, it started as an initiative of journalists. For 13 years it has become a recognized film forum.

The focus of the festival is a northern man with his own history, life, joys and problems. This year the organizers received more than 250 applications from participants from more than a dozen countries. Works from Russia, Norway, Finland, Armenia, Iran, Germany, Sweden are presented. The Expert Council selected 89 films and programs for competitive screening

"Northern Character" has become one of the important cultural events of Russia's chairmanship of the Arctic Council.


For additional information please contact
Senior Arctic biodiversity coordinator WWF-Russia
Press officer of Barents ecoregional programme