Krasnodar, 27 September – Yug Times.The Black Sea resort towns are well known as a favourite venue for concert tours of Russian show-business stars. Vera Khalina, our today’s interviewee, for nearly thirty years has been engaged in organising tours of popular artists. She explains how a concert should be arranged to become a haunting event, and what are the needs of spectators of different ages, tastes and incomes.
Q.: The Kinoshok Film Festival is over. In your opinion, is it developing – both in meaning and in spectacularity?
A.: The Kinoshok Festival is a life by itself. Twenty-eight years have passed since it was held for the first time. I remember that when we were discussing the very idea of this festival, a rotating outage took place in Anapa. We together with the representatives of Russian cinematography, Irina Shevchuk and Sergei Novozhilov (who was a secretary of the Russian Union of Cinematographers), were sitting in total darkness, talking and discussing the concept of the festival.
Then Sochi was the venue of suchlike shows, but we decided to organise one in Anapa. We had been sitting until three o’clock in the morning, until the name Kinoshok [‘film-shock’] was born. Roman Viktiuk was its first director. He liked acute questions, tough plots, and unusual movies with a social core. The program turned out to be very interesting, it really was a ‘shock’.
Regretfully, now the festival has become much calmer. The quality of the films and the tension of the moment have partially changed – so that films do not arouse an exclusive degree of astonishment any more, how they used to do in the past.
Q.: How do you manage to maintain high standards when organising concerts? What are the main principles you are guided by?
A.: All can be explained by huge mutual trust. We are such close friends that we know each other’s home addresses and telephone numbers; even our families are close friends. For instance, I became a godmother for the child of my partner. Taken this approach and such mutual support, there is no chance for a failure – only mutual assistance. Of course, I follow the news in the show business. For instance, Dmitri Pevtsov was cheated in April; Filipp Kirkorov cancelled his concerts in Crimea. We cannot afford this – not only because it would be a risk for our reputation, but also because our team simply cannot be cheating.
Q.: How has the nature of our celebrities changed? What has become trendy now: dances, proximity to the audience, or sharp social songs?
A.: I have never looked at artists’ personal aspects or followed how they may be changing. However, about the trends I can say that the artists’ approach and the audience’s demands really have changed. One can’t simply appear on the stage and start singing – the audience wants a show. It is spectacularity that is able to win the hearts of the audience. Of course, we do not exclude such factors as the singer’s voice or other personal features, but the people want to see much more.