STALINGRAD: 3D-Show 60 Years After The Battle

Stalingrad

Stalingrad_1Cast: Pyotr Fyodorov, Thomas Kretschmann, Sergei Bondarchuk Jr., Mariya Smolnikova, Yana Studilina
Director: Fedor Bondarchuk
Screenwriters: Ilya Tilkin, Sergei Snezhkin, Vasiliy Grossman
Composer: Angelo Badalamenti

The $30 million war drama STALINGRAD by Feodor Bondarchuk is a Sony Pictures release of a Non-Stop Production, Art Pictures Studio production in association with Twin Media, Russia 1 TV.

It premiered at Rome Film Festival (non-competition) in October 19, 2013. A massive PR campaign was launched in Russia to raise domestically $51,7 million box-office (7 million admissions) and… a bitter controversy. Russian public opinion was split.

The first-in-Russia feature released in 3D IMAX format is stuffed with stunning special effects, excellent DOP artwork by Maxim Osadchiy and breath-taking sets by production designer Sergey Ivanov. However, the film is a far cry from the great war masterpieces of the Soviet-era classics.

Lots of Russian WWII vets and younger-generation filmgoers were disappointed

Lots of Russian WWII vets and younger-generation filmgoers were disappointed

Lots of Russian WWII vets and younger-generation filmgoers were disappointed. The mega-battle which claimed over 1,2 million lives looks like a computer shoot-out game. Many criticize Rambo-like war actions and Hollywood soap-opera-style love stories. Others deplore overly positive depiction of the German officers and primitive Russian defenders, who in fact, were the true heroes.

Finally, as the festival film critics noted,the English subtitles on the print screened at the Rome Film Festival were often incomprehensible. Russian filmgoers also found some inconsistencies in the dialogs and messed up historical facts.

No wonder, STALINGRAD had little chances in the foreign language Oscar race.

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Sounds Strange? – It Is

December 2013 – Stuttgart (Germany).  Right now we´re working on our documentary about immortality for the German TV. We have filmed different protagonists around the globe who do not want to die. They all try to achieve radical longevity through different ways.

One of them is cryonic: the way to preserve human life with the intent of restoring good health when technology becomes available to do it. So, as soon as some particular person dies he/she or part of his/her body gets deep-frozen and stored in a special freezer  container filled up with liquid nitrogen. Hopefully, sometime later in the future he/she may rise from the dead or a new clone body is activated from his/her body fragments.

Cryogenic freezer repository

Cryogenic freezer repository for storing human brains and fragments

Sounds strange? It is. Anyway, Russia is the best location to shoot such strange fascinating things.

Russian landscape

During our research we got to contact Eugene Zykov from Russian Film Commission.
This gentleman is a perfect line producer, speaking fluent English. He seems to know everybody in Moscow. Eugene rendered both creative and logistic support during our shoots in Russia. He dedicated much time with his heart and soul to our film subject, offered a lot of great ideas for our movie which will definitely become part of the film. He also took care of everything so that we could work without any hindrance.

Eugene and his English-speaking driver Vladimir (who could be also a Russian stand up comedian) transported us safely and fast around Moscow or its suburbs despite a horrible traffic.

Eugene Zykov

Eugene Zykov, line producer

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Our driver Vladimir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During our week-long shooting in Moscow we´ve interviewed amazing people: cryonic experts and their clients who dreamed and contracted to get frozen after they die.

irina-photo

Irina, a former space research scientist and cryonic client who already froze her deceased mother

We´ve also interviewed a formidable orthodox priest, who informed us that only God is able to let people rise from the dead.

Cyrill, orthodox priest

Cyrill, orthodox priest who is strictly against cryonics

In fact, there were a lot more great stories we learnt during our highly productive shooting in Moscow.

Retrospectively, I‘d say, our Moscow shoot was a very memorable experience for all of us. We´ve got an eye-opening material, visited spectacular locations and talked to fascinating people. Also we‘ve made fantastic friends there.

crew moscow

Our joint German-and-Russian film crew

Andreas Schnoegl, Director
EIKON SÜDWEST GMBH
TALSTR. 41 D-70188 STUTTGART, GERMANY

Posted in Documentary Films, Russian/Western Co-Productions, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

THE FLYING ELEPHANT On TV Channel “Russia-Culture”

On Wednesday, December 18th at 10.00 pm a 52-minute documentary “The Flying Elephant – Dynasty Of Sculptors)” produced by our FILM MEDIA with the financial support of the Russian Ministry of Culture will be shown by TV channel “Russia-Culture”.

Alexander RukavishnikovThe film portrays Alexander Rukavishnikov, one of the top 30 contemporary sculptors in the world. Many of his works of art are in various state art galleries or in different private collections.

Born in a famous dynasty of Russian sculptors and artists, he reflects on modern fine art in Russia and shines a curious light upon censorship in the USSR and on some modern realities which have an impact on his creative life.

Rukavishnikov, Pak and Kostenko

Alexander Rukavishnikov (left) in the sports hall

The film follows the sculptor as he works in his studio, meets his students at the Moscow Art Institute after Surikov, receives a prestigious award at the Modern Art Academy, or compliments from Vladimir Putin on the monument to renowned cello player Mstislav Rostropovich.

 

It is an insight into an amazing talent: his monuments always move and interact with audiences. His friends and colleagues reveal a few more of his hidden talents, such as launching eye-opening vernissages or his passion for karate, which earned him the nickname THE FLYING ELEPHANT.

Directed by Valery Krechetov, Anatoly Ivanov
Script by Valery Krechetov, Eugene Zykov
Producer Eugene Zykov
Production & World Rights: FILM-MEDIA Ltd
© 2012 FILM-MEDIA Ltd
Tel/Fax: (495) 686 18 88 Mob (905) 545 34 14
E-mail form

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Russian films at the 56th BFI London Film Festival

Russia is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets regarding film exhibition. In the last decade dozens of multiplexes were opened, yet now the vast territory  still totals only 2,500 movie screens. In 2011 Russia’s box office topped $1.2 billion, however, domestic movies accounted only for $170 million, or 14.7 per cent of the total. Predominantly US films out of 308 films released in 2011 collected the Russian audience: domestic film production can’t still recover from the world economy crisis.

This is why, each time a few Russian, often controversial, award-winning films show up at global film festivals, it could be regarded as nearly a miracle. Here’s an impressive Russian line-up at the BFI London Film Festival.

LONDON. October 10, 2012. The 56th BFI London Film Festival (October 10-21) will present five films recently shot by contemporary Russian award-winning filmmakers.

I’M GOING TO CHANGE MY NAME  (ALAVERDY) by filmmaker Maria Saakyan

This Russian-Armenian-French co-production is the second feature directed by Maria Saakyan Her debut short FAREWELL was nominated for the best film at the Karlovy Vary Fresh Films Festival.

 

I’M GOING TO CHANGE MY NAME  (ALAVERDY) is the story about Sona and her daughter Euridica who live in a small town of Alaverdy in Armenia (Caucasus). Sona is a conductor of a famous male choir, which performs Armenian folk songs. Her teenage Euridica makes a movie with the camera on her cell phone about her mother.

IN THE FOG (V TUMANE) by filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa

 

Director Sergei Loznitsa is a Russian, currently Germany-based award-winning documentary filmmaker. In London he presents his second fiction feature, which won the FIPRESCI award in Cannes. 

 

The historical drama is based on the novel by famous Belorussian writer Vasyl Bykov. In 1942 a trackman in the German-seized territory of Belorussia is falsely accused of collaboration with the Nazis. Two Belorussian guerrillas find him to execute for treason. The trackman tries to prove his innocence making a moral choice in such immoral circumstances.

LIVING (ZHIT’) by filmmaker Vasili Sigarev

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jit-pic4-452x302-80470[1] This is the second feature directed by Vasily Sigarev, one of the most controversial filmmakers in Russia.  LIVING won the main award at Wiesbaden Film Festival and Silver Camera 300 award at the Bitola Festival (Macedonia).  Sigarev’s first feature WOLFY was an award winner at Karlovy Vary three years ago and his play BLACK MILK was staged in New York and London.  

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The apocalyptic film filled with shocking naturalism focuses on three stories of life and death in the Russian province of Yekaterinburg. A dream of a tied alcoholic nearly comes true regarding the return of her parental rights, however she suddenly learns that both of her daughters die in a car crash. A couple of just-married young lovers attract a bunch of skinheads with their informal image.

Sigarev’s Russia is disgusting: people are always indifferent or aggressive, pouring and drinking vodka, roads are traditionally bad, plastic wreaths are scattered everywhere, personal belongings are cheap etc. After all this, anyone wants to live in Russia? No comment…

SHORT STORIES (RASSKAZI) by filmmaker Mikhail Segal

This is the third film by former clip maker Mikhail Segal. His debut feature FRANZ + POLINA won awards at film festivals Biarritz, Geneva, Montreal etc.

poster[1] RASSKAZY-2[1]

A young writer brings a collection of short stories to a Moscow publishing house. His manuscript mysteriously changes the karma of any employee who reads even a page of it.

TOMORROW (ZAVTRA) by filmmaker Andrei Gryazev

Director Andrei Gryazev presents his the second documentary. 

poster2[1] zavtra-1

zavtra-2

The documentary follows the Russian controversial leftist radical group Voina (War) which became known to the public in 2008. The two main protagonists are the founders of the movement. They live underground in a small family with their baby hoping to change the Russian society with their anarchistic political statements and performances, which balance between vulgar art and criminal code.

ATTENDING FROM RUSSIA

Directors Mikhail Segal, Andrei Gryazev, Maria Saakyan and Sergei Loznitsa, actress Maria Atlas-Popova (I’M GOING TO CHANGE MY NAME) and producer Roman Borisevich (LIVING) will attend the screenings.  Catherine Mtsitouridze, Director General of Moscow-based ROSKINO also takes part in festivals events aiming to promote these films and filmmakers. ROSKINO is in charge of promotion of Russian films at major film festivals and markets. The company also supports the distribution of Russian films and encourages investing and co-production in Russia.  In 2011 ROSKINO ran a promo campaign for Alexander Sokurov’s FAUST at the Venice Film Festival (the film won the Golden Lion award).

Posted in Films in the Western Festivals/Screenings | 1 Comment

Red Square Screenings Launched For The Western Market

MOSCOW. OCTOBER 11, 2012.  Moscow will host over a 100 international buyers and distributors who attend Red Square Screenings (RSS) on October 15-18.

Fifty Russian films released in 2011-2012 will be screened at the GUM Movie Hall and about a hundred of other Russian titles, as well as some new Ukrainian and Kazakh films produced in the last few years will be viewed in the RSS video library during the event or available online within the next 12 months.

The main 50-titles program offers a variety of Russian films, such as Karen Shakhnazarov’s White Tiger selected for the forthcoming Academy Award from Russia. or a number of winners/participants of the major global film festivals, such as Kirill Serebrennikov’s Betrayal, Lyubov Arkus’s Anton’s Right Here, Sergei Loznitsa’s In the Fog, Alexey Mizgirev’s The Convoy, Vasiliy Sigarev’s Living, Vitaly Mansky’s Motherland or Death, Pavel Ruminov’s I’ll Be Around, Mikhail Segal’s Short Stories, Avdotia Smirnova’s Kokoko and Igor Voloshin’s Bedouin.

RSS also presents a program of commercial films including Roman Prygunov’s Dukhless, Andrei Proshkin’s The Horde, Egor Baranov’s The Suicides, and Rezo Gigineishwili’s Love with Accent.

On October 18 the gala screening of Boris Khlebnikov’s Till The Night Separates Us will crown the RSS closing ceremony.

RSS in partnership with the CentEast Film Market / Warsaw Film Festival will also run a pitching for such Russian films in production or pre-production as Oleg Stepchenko’s Viy 3D, Alexander Voytinsky’s The Jungle, Alexander Veledinsky’s The Geographer Sold His Globe For a Drink as well as Maxim Sveshnikov and Vlad Barbe’s The Snow Queen etc.

RSS is organized by the RAC! (Russians Are Coming!) Creative Bureau with the Russia’s Cinema Fund and it is run in partnership with Ukrainian State Agency Of Cinematography, headed by Director Ekaterina Kopylova, and Kazakh Film Studio, presided by Ermek Amanshayev.

INTERNATIONAL GUESTS OF RSS

Among the VIPs of the international film community attending RRS are Jerome Paillard, Executive director of Marché du Film, a delegation of China Film (the exclusive Chinese film import company), Tom Luddy, the founder of Telluride FilmFest, Nadia Dresti, the Head of Locarno’s Industry Office etc.

RSS will also host CEOs of the leading distribution companies and buyers with prior experience of acquisition of Russian films, such as:

  • Marie-Pierre Valle, Creative director of Wild Bunch Distribution
  • Philippe Bober, Head of Coproduction Office
  • Laurent Danielou, Executive director of Rezo Films International
  • Ellis Driessen from Dutch Fortissimo
  • Eva Diederix, International Sales Director of Elle Driver
  • Per Löwendahl from Swedish TriArt
  • Richard Mortiboys, Film British Artificial Eye Film Company Ltd.                                 

Correspondents from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Screen International, Filmbulletin and other world-known film media will cover the event.

Elena Romanova, Head of the International Department of the Russian Cinema Fund:

Red Square Screenings became a logical follow-up on our work on promoting Russian films in the international film markets. As we were developing the concept of Red Square Screenings, we considered the experience of UniFrance in organizing the annual runs of French motion pictures, and also that of the Latin-American cinema market, Ventana Sur. It was crucial for us to create a comfortable and up-to-date platform where our colleagues from different countries could familiarize themselves in detail with Russian cinema in all its variety. And this should be done not in-between the festival runs, but thoroughly and carefully, as it is worthy of.”

Yevgeny Gindilis, Executive director of Red Square Screenings

“Three years ago, in the fall of 2009, we held the first small film forum, Project for Tomorrow/ CentEast in Moscow, in the Pioneer movie theater. The main goal of that forum was the most broad-based integration of Russian and Eastern European film industry into international distribution. We proceeded from very basic ideas: independent producers and large film companies alike are very interested in making our films available to the widest possible audiences, not only in our country, but also abroad.

Red Square Screenings have become a sequel to Project for Tomorrow – a new platform for promoting Russian cinema. We have also opened our doors to our colleagues from Ukraine and Kazakhstan. I truly hope that RSS will become an important date in the calendar of international film markets for our colleagues all over the world, for many years to come.”

Posted in Festivals & Markets, International sales, Uncategorized | Leave a comment