Film ‘The Chief of Chukotka’ has been restored for the film director’s 95th birthday
On May 3, the Lenfilm movie studio will release a restored version of ‘The Chief of Chukotka,’ one of the best known films by Vitaly Melnikov, to mark the film director’s 95th birthday.
“For many years Vitaly Melnikov entertained the hope that his film The Chief of Chukotka would be restored,” the film studio press service said. “Vitaly Melnikov died on March 21, 2022, shortly after the beginning of the restoration work on the film. Now it has been completed, and on May 3 Lenfilm will present the restored version of the film to the public.”
Vitaly Melnikov shot The Chief of Chukotka in 1966. The story is set in 1922 when Commissar Glazkov is given an assignment to go to Chukotka to establish Soviet power. However, he dies during the long journey and only the young clerk Alexei Bychkov reaches the place of destination and then happens to become “the chief of Chukotka.”
The film was shot in two opposite corners of the country: for winter scenes they travelled to the Kola Peninsula and for summer scenes to Crimea. In the vicinity of Lisya Bay, which Vitaly Melnikov chose as a suitable shooting site, the filmmaking group was stopped by border guards, who explained that a secret missile base was stationed in that area and unauthorized individuals were not allowed to enter. However, Melnikov managed to settle this issue with the military authorities and shot the film in this area.