Friday, May 24, 2024
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Firebird filmmakers seek to release English translation of Sergey Fetisov’s memoirs

English-speaking fans of the film FIREBIRD will now have a chance to read the book that inspired Peeter Rebane’s acclaimed film.

The creative team behind FIREBIRD, 2022’s hit Indie LGBTQIA+ romance drama, have announce a Kickstarter campaign to release the never-before-seen English language translation of Firebird: The Story of Roman, the memoir by Sergey Fetisov that inspired the film.

Almost as if ripped from today’s news, Sergey Fetisov’s memoir of his experience as a conscript on a Soviet Airforce base during late 1970’s Communist rule, tells a tale of queer romance, the terror of authoritarian rule, and the constant threat that LGBTQIA+ citizens lived under at the time.

Originally written by Fetisov under a pseudonym, and published in Russian, the memoir inspired the Indie film hit, FIREBIRD, currently in distribution globally but is currently banned in Russia. Fans around the world have clambered for a copy of the memoir in English. The films director/co-writer, Peeter Rebane, and lead/co-writer, Tom Prior, have picked up that charge and have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the editing, publishing, and marketing of an English language translation of the book world-wide.

“Six years ago, we made a promise to Sergey Fetisov that we would do everything in our power to share his story and his book, THE STORY OF ROMAN.” states Rebane. “Since then, we created FIREBIRD the feature film, inspired by the memoir, and have had the opportunity to share his love with millions of people. Now, we are fulfilling the second half of our promise and working to publish Sergey’s memoir to cement his legacy in his own words. So, today we are launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the publication, marketing, and distribution of his book in English around the world.”

As Rebane revealed to Queer Forty, he was first approached with Sergey Fetisov’s original memoir ‘A Tale about Roman’ at the Berlin Film Festival in 2011and was so moved by the story that he decided to spend the next 10 years of his life turning it into his first feature film. Since then, FIREBIRD has played in festivals and cinemas around the world, and is now available on most VOD platforms. “I read the story of Roman alone over the weekend at home, cried and decided I needed to turn this into a film. What appeals to me the most about this book is the simple, human love story,” Rebane states.

The power of the film has found strong support from celebrity activists like broadcaster and writer, Stephen Fry.  He says “This sweeping yet intimate story, so rich and romantic, needs now more than ever to be widely known. It has been made into a beautiful film and stands as a powerful testament to love, courage and honour.” 

Tom Prior adds, “The story was so important for me when I first came across it because there was something so electric in the connection between Sergey and Roman. And, I was astounded by how determined people act out of love, and Sergey did not allow anything stop him overcome the most extraordinary circumstances to follow his heart into real danger.”

Rebane continues “It was humbling to meet the real Sergey and to see that through all his suffering and pain he had retained his compassion and love for other people. We believe it is important to help uplift LGBTQIA+ voices and stories to ensure they are heard around the world. Sharing first-hand accounts like Sergey’s is one of the most powerful ways to support our community and incite positive change. In a society that seems to be set on pushing back against LGBTQIA+ individuals with anti-queer policies, this change and empowerment has become more vital than ever.

To contribute to the Kickstarter click HERE.

To read Queer Forty’s full interview with Peeter Rebane about the making of FIREBIRD click  HERE.

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