Elena Naumova praises Russian president Putin’s agreement to annex Crimea and Sevastopol.

“Hurrah. A historical moment! We’re finally back HOME! Crimea to Russia!” declared Elena Naumova, founder and CEO of the Sevastopol International Film Festival, with the ink on President Putin’s agreement to annex Crimea and Sevastopol still drying.

“Be happy for us, friends!”, Naumova wrote on her Facebook page. “I am very proud of my country! Thank you, my dear Sevastopol people and citizens of Crimea! Thank you, Vladimir Vladimirovich! You are the best! Of course, not everything is perfect here, but thank you for Sevastopol, of course! I am so happy that it brings me to tears of joy!!!!!!”

Following Putin’s action on Tuesday, Sevastopol’s website now has the festival - scheduled to take place from September 19-24, 2014 - is located in “Russia”.

Ironically, the Odessa International Film Festival is one of the “favourites” in the film category of Naumova’s Facebook page.

Proposal for VGIK to expand to Crimea

Meanwhile, Vladimir Malyshev, rector of the All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK), announced on Tuesday after Putin had put pen to paper that he was proposing to establish an outpost of the film school on the Crimean peninsula, although he didn’t mention any date for the opening.

Malyshev said that the initiative had received the blessing of the Russian Federation’s Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky and one should pay “particular attention” to a “Yalta Film Studio” and a “Yalta Film Festival”.

Founded in 1919, the internationally renowned VGIK already has outposts in such places as Rostov on Don, Irkutsk and Kalingrad region and has film-makers from more than 80 countries studying and working in its facilities.

Past graduates include such directors as Nikita Mikhalkov, Alexander Sokurov, Otar Iosseliani, Konrad Wolf, Andrey Tarkovsky, Kira Muratova, Frank Daniel and Siddiq Barmak, among many others.

Malyshev was among the figures from the Russian cultural scene who signed a declaration of the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Culture supporting President Putin’s policy in Ukraine and the Crimea last week.