Valenki Ru

Made from plain sheep wool, Valenki - traditional felt boots from Russia – have a surprisingly colourful history. The feltmakers went by different names in different regions, and they communicated in a secret language to keep outsiders from learning their craft. Today, only a few masters remain with knowledge of the original production methods and the secret jargon shared by the feltmakers of old. In their second film together, directors Anton Belousov and Yury Nemtsov eavesdrop on the colourful characters who, for one reason of other, continue to keep the art of zhgonyat and turyzhat alive in their primitive workshops. Belousov and Nemtsov’s black and white documentary is an ode to the hands and manual labour that has been shown at various festivals in Russia. The film is also in competition at the 2021 International Festival of Ethnological Film in Belgrade, Serbia.