One of the most famous theater and film actors in the post-Soviet space, Leonid Filatov, spent his childhood and youth in Ashgabat. The capital of Turkmenistan for many years became the native home for the People’s Artist of the Russian Federation. Here he studied at school, for the first time became interested in cinema and published his youth poems in Komsomolets of Turkmenistan Youth Newspaper.
“Ashgabat for me is forever,” said Leonid Alekseevich. He was born in Kazan, he was 7 years old when his family moved to Ashgabat. As a teenager, he became interested in theater, wrote theater production reviews, and even before he left school, he firmly decided that he would be a producer.
Brought up among Ashgabat boys and girls, having absorbed the spirit of courage and determination, Leonid went to Moscow to enter the Directing Department of the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK). This attempt was not successful. Then, on the advice of his classmates, he passed the exams for the Acting Department of the Shchukin School – such was the power of the dream, which soon came true with a vengeance.
Many generations of Ashgabat residents felt and still feel proud of their fellow countryman Leonid Filatov. Some people remember the house where the actor lived, others know the places which he liked to visit, and the journalist Vladimir Zarembo was lucky to personally communicate with the famous artist, not only in Ashgabat, but also in Moscow.
“By some quirk of fate, Leonid Filatov was connected all his life with two cities – Moscow and Ashgabat, – says the organizer of the memorial evening, the representative of Rossotrudnichestvo Agency in Turkmenistan Yevgeny Beloglazov. – If his main creative and life path took place in Russia, then here in Ashgabat, he spent his childhood and youth. There is a document where it is said that a sixth-grade pupil Leonid Filatov was included in the book of honor for good studies and social activities, for the honor of Ashgabat school No. 6 – March 26, 1960.”
The cultural evenings held by the representative office of Rossotrudnichestvo in Turkmenistan, which have become a good tradition, do not dispense without the participation of the creative intelligentsia. Immersing the guests in the biographical facts from the meeting hero’s life, the actors of the Ashgabat Artist Theater read poems and prose excerpts from the literary works of Leonid Filatov, which there were quite a few.
“In Ashgabat, Filatov’s first teacher of acting skills was Renat Ismailov, who was the director of the Russian Drama Theater named after Pushkin for a long time, – recalls the actress Tatyana Ovezmuradova. – From 1994 to 2003, we knew literally everything about Filatov from the mouth of Renat Khusnulovich. The master went to visit him and constantly told us, his students, about Lyonya. When, in 2003, Lyonya died, he cried and, we cried, because our teacher is crying. The TV program “So, That We Keep in Memory”, which was hosted by Leonid Filatov until the end of his days, will be for a long time, and we will remember him as well.”