Contact (1978 film)

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Contact painter and alien.jpg
Directed byVladimir Tarasov
Written byAlexander Kostinsky
Music byGeorge Gershwin, Nino Rota
Edited byNatalia Abramova
Distributed bySoviet Union Soyuzmultfilm
Release date
1978 (USSR)
Running time
9 min 46 sec
CountrySoviet Union

Contact or Kontakt (Russian: Контакт) is an award-winning 1978 Soviet animated short film.


A painter leaves the town and walks around countryside. While he is resting on the grass, humming the melody of Speak Softly Love, a large spaceship lands near him. An alien exits the spaceship, photographs the environment and tries to contact the painter by changing his appearance to resemble nearby animals and objects and by touching him. The painter is frightened and tries to run away, but becomes tired, falls from a cliff and lies on the ground, imagining that the alien is going to lock him in a cage and torture him. The alien approaches the painter and tries to hum the same melody that the painter hummed earlier, but makes some mistakes. The painter understands that the alien is friendly, teaches him the correct melody, and they walk away together hand in hand.

The film has no dialogue in any language. All communication is made using music, gestures and gazes; the alien also tries to communicate by shapeshifting. Director Vladimir Tarasov explored this theme of universal communication in his other films; he considered animation "the Esperanto of all mankind".[1]

Influence and recognition[edit]

Even though The Godfather films were not distributed in the Soviet Union,[citation needed] the theme music was familiar to Soviet people thanks to this short film.[1]

Contact received awards at the following festivals:[2]

  • XVIII Festival of science fiction films in Trieste, 1979
  • VIII Festival of short and documentary films in Lille, 1979


External links[edit]