The film magazine "Fitil" was very popular in the Soviet Union; it was often shown in cinemas before the show. In the early seventies, director Alla Surikova decided that it was necessary to create the same newsreel for young viewers. And she sent a letter to the Central Committee of the CPSU. Surikova's initiative received support from the country's leadership, it was decided to start publishing a children's humorous film magazine "Fitilek".
But, already at the stage of preparation, the name "Fitilek" was rejected. How the name "Yeralash" appeared, now no one can remember. According to one version, it was the idea of a schoolgirl named Maria, the daughter of playwright Alexander Khmelik, who, together with director and screenwriter Boris Grachevsky, began work on a newsreel. The first graduation took place in 1974. It includes three miniatures, and Agnia Barto became the scriptwriter of one of them, called "Shameful Spot". It is interesting that the word "eralash" is mentioned in the famous dictionary of the Russian language by Vladimir Dahl. It means: "nonsense, trifles, nonsense, game, stranger, nonsense."
11 interesting facts about "Yeralash" magazine
- Each issue of the newsreel consisted of several short stories, it began with the song "Boys and Girls". Moreover, for each of the short stories, an animated screensaver was prepared. For a long time "Yeralash", like "Fitil", was shown before the start of the film in cinemas. "Yeralash" can be called a long-lived magazine, it has been regularly appearing on screens for 45 years.
- All these years "Yeralash" cannot be imagined without Boris Yuryevich Grachevsky. From the end of the sixties he worked as an administrator of a film studio, and from the mid-seventies his activity was inextricably linked with "Yeralash". And in 2009 Grachevsky released his first full-length feature film "The Roof".
- Many children who starred in "Yeralash" eventually became famous actors and singers. Among them are Yulia Volkova, a member of the Tatu group, actor Alexander Golovin, singers Vlad Topalov, Sergey Lazarev, Natalia Ionova (Glucose) and others.
- One of the most recognizable young actors of Yeralash is Sasha Loye, who in the nineties successfully starred in this newsreel and also advertised the Hershey Cola drink. After graduating from school, Alexander Loye entered GITIS, then transferred to the Higher Theater School. M.S.Schepkina. Loye became a professional actor and has also been involved in directing in recent years.
- Sergei Shelgunov was no less famous. Having starred in only a few issues, Sergei fell in love with the audience. It seemed that he was waiting for a wonderful acting career. But, in the early nineties, Shelgunov disappeared from the screen. There are no details about his life after leaving the cinema.
- Who writes the scripts for Yeralash? It can be both famous screenwriters and amateurs. For example, a few years ago, a contract for 12 scenarios for a children's newsreel was signed with Maria Loseva, a library employee from the city of Shakhty, Rostov Region. And the script for the miniature "Why do we say that?", Where Spartak Mishulin was filmed, was written by the popular Soviet satirist Leon Izmailov.
- The text of the song "Boys and Girls", with which each episode begins, was written by the creators of "Yeralash" - Alexander Khmelik and Boris Grachevsky. But the composer was not found immediately. First, an order was made to Vladimir Shainsky. But, he greatly reduced the text, which did not like the authors. As a result, a competition among composers was announced. Alexey Rybnikov became the winner.
- The song was performed by Elena Kamburova. The recording with her voice came out on screens for 20 years. But, in the nineties, the film became obsolete. A new recording was made. This time the performers were members of the children's group "Fidgets". And animated screensavers appear thanks to the animation artist Yuri Smirnov. Each screensaver is created individually, they are not repeated.
- For young actors "Yeralash" often becomes a launching pad for big cinema. But, often in "Yeralash" you can see famous actors. For more than forty years such "stars" as Semyon Farada, Tatiana Peltser, Evgeny Morgunov, Spartak Mishulin, Gennady Khazanov and many others have been filmed in the newsreel.
- According to Boris Grachevsky, "Yeralash" is constantly in search of talented children. Any child has a chance to get on the set if he attracts the attention of the film crew. It often happened that the actors were found in the most ordinary schools or kindergartens. As Grachevsky says: "Laughter is more important for children than vitamins." At the same time, the actors are required to have excellent endurance, sometimes filming continues for 12-15 hours in a row.
- In March 2018, "Yeralash" newsreel celebrated its anniversary - its 1, 000th video was released. True, many critics note that child actors of the Soviet period were much more talented than their 21st century peers.