A film about saigas wins a special prize at the Vertical -2021 Moscow Film Festival

The special prize of the 24th Moscow Film Festival Vertical-2021 in the nomination "Best Cinema Story about the Reserve" was awarded to the film "Kalmykia: The Kingdom of the Saiga".

The popular science film directed by Rodion Buchukuri (Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia-Alania) is dedicated to saigas - the ancient inhabitants of the Eurasian steppes and semi-deserts, roaming the territory of the state reserve "Chernye Zemli".
The life of saigas is closely connected with the life of the Kalmyks who settled among the endless steppes in the 17th century. The Kalmyk epic is filled with fairy tales, proverbs, legends, songs about the close relationship with the "eternal nomad", the saiga. One of the legends about saigas is the legend of the White Elder (‘Bely Starets’ in Russian). One day a Kalmyk decided to start hunting a huge herd of animals. But the White Elder appeared in the centre of the herd. He ordered the hunter never to hunt saigas huddled in a herd. It is believed that at this time they are milked by the White Elder. The wise, peaceful, fast-footed, freedom-loving saiga has always been defended by the patron of the steppe expanses, White Elder. 

The international jury headed by the Honorary Polar Explorer of Russia, Honoured Master of Sports Vladimir Chukov approved the list of winners and nominees of the competition, leaving "Spectators Sympathies" prize for the audience's judgment. One of the documentary filmmakers will receive it based on the results of the screenings at Moscow Centre of Non-Profit Organizations on November 10-12, 2021.