BLITZ FILMS PRESENTED NEW PROJECTS AT THE RUSSIAN PAVILION IN CANNES
On May 21, 2019, the Russian Pavilion at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival and Marche du Film organized a showcase of Sergey Sarkisov’s production company Blitz Films. Producers Mikhail Makharadze and Alexander Zhizhnevsky presented the company’s new projects: narrative features To Paris! and Show Me What You Got, animated movie Fixies vs Crabots, and a documentary on Charles Aznavour, Charles. Un Regard Certain. The session was moderated by Andrei Plakhov, film critic, honorary president of FIPRESCI.
Feature film To Paris! is the directorial debut of Sergey Sarkisov who also produced. Co-producers are Alexander Zhizhnevsky, Rustam Yusipov, Valeria Kolesnik. The film is based on real events as remembered by Alexander Milyukov, Hero of the Soviet Union. The story is centered around Soviet officers who fought together in the Second World War and decided to celebrate victory in Paris. The friends came all the way to Berlin and are now directed to a new life: love and adventures in the dream city.
“This is not as much a war movie as a film about people, feelings, about love for life that comes back when the horrors of war are over. The film is cast with brilliant actors, including young, up and coming performers and seasoned, popular stars of Russian film,” says Sergey Sarkisov.
Playing on the war slogan To Berliln!, the title promises a peaceful, comedic adventure. The star-studded cast includes Dmitry Pevtsov, Sergey Makovetsky, Renata Litvinova, Mikhail Efremov, Evgeny Stychkin, and others. Stanislav Govorukhin co-wrote the script, which turned out to be his last screenwriting work. The film was shot on location in Poland, Moscow and Kaliningrad region.
“Our film isn’t a war drama or an action movie. At the production stage, we were thinking about it in terms of the road movie genre. We wanted to show how euphoria drove people to certain follies and yet it was fueled by positive energy,” said Alexander Zhizhnevsky.
Fixies vs Crabot is the second instalment of the popular Fixies franchise. It is headed for Russian release on December 26, 2019. The film is produced by Aeroplan and Blitz Films, supported by the Cinema Foundation of Russia. The first film, Fixies. A Big Secret, was released in 2017 and earned 452 million rubles at the box office. That placed it in the top ten animated Russian films since 2010. The new film’s budget is 1,5 higher than the previous one, at 300 million rubles. The animated film is produced by Georgy Vasiliev, Ilya Popov and Sergey Sarkisov, directed by Vasiliy Bedoshvili and Oleg Uzhinov.
“We are positive that with the Fixies movies, we’ll create a niche for animated educational entertainment: this kind of content is not represented at the market at all. Fixies is a very informative cartoon, useful for children,” said Mikhail Makharadze.
International co-production Show Me What You Got by Svetlana Cvetko was also showcased. The film is produced by Sergey and Nikolay Sarkisov, Philipp Noyce (Australia) and David Scott Smith (USA), starring Cristina Rambaldi, Neyssan Falahi and Mattia Minasi.
“One of our priorities is helping young directors. Our plan is to finance 3 or 4 such films per year, and Svetlana was the first to get support,” Nikolay Sarkisov commented.
The film tells a story of three young people who become best friends, fall in love, marry and break up, but not necessarily in that order.
“The film presents a story about love, sex and friendship. It’s international, since the characters come from different countries: Italy, France, and the USA. I am grateful to the opportunity that Blitz Films gave me. Nikolay Sarkisov supported my idea right away after hearing the concept,” Svetlana Cvetko said at the event.
In the documentary Charles. Un Regard Certain, produced by Charles de Meaux, Mischa Aznavour and Sergey Sarkisov, directed by Marc di Domenico, the viewers will see footage made by the famous French singer, Charles Aznavour. Until recently not many people have known about the performer’s passion for film: he always carried a camera around, filming himself, his loved ones, other great performers.
The soundtrack is collected from original recordings from the 1950s and until 2018. The film will feature Aznavour’s hits as well as more obscure songs. The documentary intentionally romanticizes Aznavour’s life to become a novel about life, childhood, travelling, encounters, failures and successes, joy and sadness, bravery, and above all, love. The material included in the film is exclusive and was presented for the first time to the pavilion’s guests.
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