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Russian Gala

Nothing says ‘you’re in for a good time’ faster than being greeted at an event with a glass of Russian Standard Vodka! Such was the case at the 2014 Russian Gala: Photojournalism to Cinematography 1914-2014 held at the National Geographic Society building honoring Karen Shakhnazarov, Chairman of the Board of Mosfilm, and National Geographic Society’s Gilbert Grosvenor, Chairman Emeritus.

“For me it has been a steady pleasure in dealing with Russia no matter who is in charge of the place,“ TH Jim Symington, Chairman of the Board, told Hollywood on the Potomac. “I went there as a student in 1958, learned some Russian, took my guitar and met a lot of wonderful people and began sharing ideas with them. When I got back to the States, I began taking a message to Congress.” After a series of Government positions, Symington was elected to four terms representing Missouri in the US House of Representatives, where he chaired the subcommittee on International Cooperation. He was part of a group that founded the nonprofit American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation in 1992, to support increased cultural exchange between the US and Russia, of which he is now Chairman of the Board. “It’s been a labor of love,” he added.