On October 19-20 a conference devoted to the centenary of Russian and Polish animation was held at Yale University, New Haven (USA). The conference was organized by the European Council, the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature and the Polish Cultural Initiative of Yale University.
Stanislav Sokolov, a VGIK professor, film director and animator, a Merited Artist of the RF, was invited to Yale to take part in the conference and give a number of master-classes.
The reports of the Yale experts in European culture and invited guests highlighted and analyzed the main stages and trends of Russian and Polish animation starting from the first public show of Wladislaw Starevich’s puppet films in Moscow in 1912 to modern projects.
At the conference, Stanislav Sokolov presented his animation films based on Shakespeare’s plays – “ The Tempest” and “The Winter Tale” – and the movie “Gofmaniada. Part One. Veronika”. After the screening Stanislav Sokolov spoke about Russian animation and the art of puppet animation little known in the USA. The conference participants were shown the sketches of the puppets and sets and story-boards for the second part of the feature-length film “Gofmaniada” made by Mikhail Shemyakin, Yelena Livanova and Stanislav Sokolov.
On October 22 the so called Pierson College Master’s Tea devoted to Stanislav Sokolov’s films took place.
Yale has a system of 12 residential colleges of undergraduate studies, a graduate school and a number of professional schools. Harvey Goldblatt, Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Master of Pierson College, has at his disposal a complex of Georgian style administrative and academic buildings, residential houses for the faculty and student dorms.
At the Master’s Tea other films made by Stanislav Sokolov – “The Guess” (1977), “The Fish Carriage” (1982) and “Gofmaniada. Part One. Veronika” were shown. After the screening and Stanislav Sokolov’s lecture there was a discussion on Slavic culture, world literature, animation and its significance in raising children.
In the following three days of Stanislav Sokolov’s visit to Yale he was able to see the remarkable collections of classic and modern art at the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center of British Art, to have a talk with the Yale Art School faculty and students.
Stanislav Sokolov participation in the conference on animation and the exchange of experience with American colleagues proved very useful for the objective evaluation of the training process and its results as well as for revealing the advantages and disadvantages of both Russian and American educational systems.