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Making Matilda by Amber Wilkinson

Matilda and Nicholas. Alexey Utichel: 'It was quite unusual before the film was screened because, no one saw it but we had those very grave accusations that I believe were undeserved' Photo: Courtesy of Kinostar Films Aleksey Uchitel on the set of Matilda Photo: Courtesy of Kinostar Films Aleksey Uchitel's Matilda (Mathilde) - which closes London's Russian Film Week tonight (November 26) tells the story of Tsar Nicholas II's (Lars Eidinger) romance with ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya (Michalina Olszanska) prior to becoming emperor and his marriage to Alexandra Feodorovna (Luise Wolfram). Given its Merchant Ivory-style sumptuousness and fairy tale-inflected storytelling, it may seem an unlikely candidate for controversy, but before its release in Russia it sparked mass protests and even terror attacks because Nicholas is now considered a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church.

During the first Fipresci colloquium on Russian Cinema, Uchitel was on hand to introduce the film
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Christianist extremists arrested over attacks on Russian film by Jennie Kermode - 2017-09-24 16:02:42

Aleksey Uchitel's Matilda

The leader of extremist Christianist organisation Christian State-Holy Rus, Aleksandr Kalinin, has been detained in relation to attacks that took place in Moscow earlier this month. Letters attributed to his organisation were sent to cinema owners threatening violence if they screened Aleksey Uchitel's new film, Matilda, shortly before arson attacks were carried out on related targets in Moscow, Yekaterinburg and St Petersburg.

In accordance with Russian law, Kalinin can be held for up to one month while police carry out their investgation. Three other members of the organisation are also being held in custody.

Matilda, which is set to be released across the country from 26 October, chronicles an affair between Nicholai II and the ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya before the former became tsar. Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of the Chechen Republic, has called for it to be banned across the northern Caucasus, arguing that it is a premiditated attack on religious belief.
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Matilda: Watch The Trailer For Aleksey Uchitel's Gorgeous Russian Historial Drama

One of Russia's greatest living filmmakers, Aleksey Uchitel (The Edge) returns to screens in 2017 with Matilda. Based on the real life of Matilda Kshesinskaya - a ballerina who became the mistress to three different Grand Dukes in the twilight of Russia's Imperial era - the theatrical trailer has arrived for the film and it looks absolutely gorgeous. I can't pretend to know an awful lot about this particular era of history but in Uchitel's hands this looks like a sumptuous period drama with just the right amount of edge. And, yes, there are English subtitles included for those who don't speak Russian to follow along. Check it out below....

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...]
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Holland Film Meeting reveals Co-Pro Platform line-up

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Holland Film Meeting reveals Co-Pro Platform line-up
Titles include Molly from British director Sally Potter (Ginger & Rosa) [pictured].Scroll down for full line-up

The 12 projects that will make up this year’s Holland Film Meeting Co-Production Platform (Sept 22-25) have been revealed and include titles from the UK, France and Germany among others.

Filmmakers this year include British filmmaker Sally Potter who will present her latest project, Molly.

Potter’s films include Oscar-nominated Orlando (1992), starring Tilda Swinton; Rage, which competed for Berlin’s Golden Bear in 2009; and her most recent feature, Ginger & Rosa (2012), which screened at Toronto and Iffr among other festivals.

Bulgaria’s Maya Vitkova is back at Hfm with upcoming project Love, following the success of her previous film Viktoria, which played in competition at Sundance and Iffr.

Serbian director Nikola Ležaić will present The Religion of Night Walks, his second feature length work after Tilva Ros, which was selected for Locarno and won the top prize at Sarajevo in 2010.

From Sweden, [link
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Corrections Class wins four at Cottbus

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Corrections Class wins four at Cottbus
Russia big winner at FilmFestival Cottbus for second consecutive year.

Russia was the big winner for the second year in a row at the FilmFestival Cottbus with Ivan I. Tverdovsky’s Corrections Class picking up four awards at the weekend.

The feature debut received the International Jury’s main prize ¨for its unsentimental and unpretentious presentation of a powerful social theme presented through the prism of an excellent ensemble performance¨, thereby qualifying for the Connecting Cottbus Special Pitch Award, which will allow Tverdovsky and his producers to pitch a new project at the East-West co-production market in a year’s time.

Tverdovsky’s Russian-German co-production, which won the Best Debut prize at Kinotavr in Sochi and the East of the West Award in Karlovy Vary, also picked up the prizes from the Fipresci and Interfilm juries in Cottbus.

Last year, the main prize at Cottbus went to Russian director Alexander Veledinsky’s The Geographer Drank His Globe
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Clouds of Sils Maria to open Efp showcase

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Clouds of Sils Maria to open Efp showcase
Olivier Assayas’ Cloud of Sils Maria will open European Film Promotion’s (Efp) second edition of its WestWind showcase of European cinema in Moscow’s Formula Kino Horizont Cinema tonight.

German actor Lars Eidinger, who appears in the French-us co-production with Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche, will come from the shooting of Alexey Uchitel’s historical drama-thriller Mathilde (working title) to attend the screening for a Q&A.

Clouds of Sils Maria was shown at last week’s International Media Forum in St Petersburg and will be released theatrically in Russia by Cinema Prestige.

Running until Oct 19, Efp’s event will present 11 European films to Moscow audiences, including two Oscar candidates - Germany’s Beloved Sisters by Dominik Graf and the Czech Republic’s Fair Play by Andrea Sedlackova - as well as Rok Bicek’s Class Enemy, Ragnar Bragason’s Metalhead and Petra Volpe’s Dreamland.

Other talent attending WestWind include Slovenian director Bicek, actresses [link=nm
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Kozlovsky to star in Russian epic Mathilde

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Kozlovsky to star in Russian epic Mathilde
Exclusive: “Russia’s Brad Pitt” to star in Alexey Uchitel’s period drama.

Danila Kozlovsky, known as Russia’s Brad Pitt, is to star in Alexey Uchitel’s historical drama-thriller Mathilde (working title) - set to be the biggest Russian production to be filmed this year.

The $30m production by Rock Films and the single purpose company Mathilda Ltd., with backing from the Russian Cinema Fund, centres on the love affair between the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II and the legendary ballerina Mathilde Kshesinskaya.

Speaking exclusively to ScreenDaily last week in St Petersburg, producer Kira Saksanganskaya explained that Kozlovsky, who was the lead in last year’s box-office hit Legend No 17 and made inroads into a Hollywood career with a part in Vampire Academy, plays a rival to Tsar Nicholas II, played by German actor Lars Eidinger (Clouds of Sils Maria)

Other Russian actors in the cast include Evgeny Mironov, Grigory Dobrygin, [link
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Us majors eye Ukrainian blockbuster

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Us majors eye Ukrainian blockbuster
Speaking at the Odessa Film Festival the producer of Sergey Mokritsky’s war drama Unbroken said that the project had now completed principal photography.

20th Century Fox and Universal are among the Us majors ¨in talks¨ to take on worldwide distribution for Sergey Mokritsky’s € 3.7m biopic/war drama Unbroken.

Speaking at this week’s Works in Progress showcase at the Odessa Film Industry Office, producer Egor Olesov of Kiev-based Kinorob said that the Ukrainian-Russian co-production - which had previously previously gone under the working title of The Battle Of Sevastopol - completed principal photography in Kiev on last Tuesday (July 15).

Expected to be a blockbuster success in Ukraine, the film recounts the story of student Lyudmila Pavilchenko who was a legendary sniper during the Second World War with 309 shots to her credit and later became friends with the First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

In an interview with Russia’s Ria-Novosti , producer Natalia Mokritskaya said that the film
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Leviathan producer named Russian leader

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Leviathan producer named Russian leader
Non Stop Productions, producer of Cannes winner Leviathan, is among nine “industry leaders” selected by the Russian Cinema Fund (Fond Kino) to take a share of $55m (RUB1.9bn).

Alexander Rodnyansky’s Non Stop Productions, producer of Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Cannes winner Leviathan, is among nine production companies selected as ¨industry leaders¨ for 2014 by the Russian Cinema Fund (Fond Kino) for the allocation of $55m (RUB1.9bn) to be distributed among them as subsidies or repayable loans.

Leviathan will be the closing film at the weekend for this week’s ‘Kinotavr’ Open Russia Film Festival in Sochi, and Non Stop is also represented by Konstantin Buslov’s second feature Adventurers as part of the open-air programme

The line-up of ¨leaders¨ also includes Igor Tolstunov’s company ProFIT, which has two films in Kinotavr’s main competition - Alexander Kott’s Test and Nigina Saifullayeva’s Whatayacallme -; Sergei Selyanov’s Ctb - in Sochi with the animation
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Festival chiefs back Ukrainian colleagues

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Exclusive: Call for directors, producers and sales agents to give their films for free to festivals in troubled Ukraine.

Cannes’ Thierry Fremaux, the Berlinale’s Christoph Terhechte and Venice chief Alberto Barbera are among 92 people working at 60 festivals in 38 countries to have answered a call to show solidarity with their Ukrainian festival colleagues.

Speaking exclusively to ScreenDaily, the initiative’s coordinator, Warsaw Film Festival director Stefan Laudyn, explained: “When we heard the news from Ukraine, after a quick email and SMS exchange with Sara [Norberg of Helsinki Iff ¨Love & Anarchy¨], Tiina [Lokk of Black Nights F], Tudor [Giurgiu of Tiff/Cluj] and the Stefans [Uhrik and Kitanov of Febiofest and Sofia Iff], we decided to prepare a letter of support and sent it to our friends at film festivals worldwide.”

In the letter, the six festival chiefs called on directors, producers and sales agents to give their films “willingly and for free to all film festivals in Ukraine” and also not to charge any screening fees from Ukrainian festivals this year.

In addition, they asked national
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Bekmambetov to direct Yolki 1914

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Bekmambetov to direct Yolki 1914
Timur Bekmambetov’s first outing as a director since his Hollywood film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter sees him going back in time again to the beginning of the First World War at the end of 1914.

Yolki 1914 is the fourth instalment of Bekmambetov’s New Year hit comedy franchise Yolki, which his production-distribution company Bazelevs launched in 2010.

Bekmambetov directed the first Yolki (aka The Six Degrees Of Celebration), which took $26m at the box office in the Cis territories in 2010/11.

Since then, Bekmambetov has only served as the producer on the following two Yolki films.

The first sequel Yolki 2012 – which posted $30m at the Cis box office in 2011/12 – took place on New Year’s Eve in 11 cities from small regional towns to Saint Petersburg and Moscow, and was directed by Dmitry Kiselev, Alexander Kott, Oksana Bychkova and others.

Kiselev, Kott, Alexander Karpilovsky and Olga Kharina directed the episodes of the third film Yolki 2014 which was released on Dec
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Russian government to boost film funding

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Russian government to boost film funding
Meanwhile, Russia pulls the plug on its co-development fund with Germany.

Russia’s Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has announced plans to transform national support for the film industry into a revolving fund, increasing investment into film production by 100% by 2017.

Speaking at a press conference in Moscow reviewing the “smooth reform” of state support for cinema introduced last year, Medinsky said that, as from 2014, the proportion of the film funding budget distributed between the Ministry of Culture and the Russian Cinema Fund would increase for the latter to 60% “and maybe even more.”

He stressed that the most important principle in future would be to see revenues flowing back to the Cinema Fund from successful productions so that they could “increase the overall amount of money we invest in the film industry.” According to Medinsky’s calculations, this would mean that the $22.9m (760m Rubles) would be recouped by the Fund from 2013’s productions and $36m (1.2 bn Rubles) this year
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The Sea wins at Euro Panorama

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Films from former socialist bloc countries swept the awards at the 26th Panorama of European Cinema Festival in Athens.

Alexandra Strelyanaya’s The Sea, a Russian production by Alexey Uchitel, received the best film award.

The film is a sentimental drama with social and environmental overtones set in the Russian Kola peninsula on the North Sea coast.

Class Enemy by Slovenian Rok Bicek, in which students and teachers clash at a high school, received the Fipresci award.

Withering by Milos Pusic, a Serbian-Swedish-Swiss co-production about a young villager’s efforts to escape poverty by emigrating to Switzerland, received the audience award.

A career award was presented to local director Yorgos Tsemberopoulos, back from the UK where his latest The Enemy Within played at the London Film Festival.

Other career awards went to veteran art director Anastasia Arseni and celebrated theatre and film actor Minas Hatzissavas.

The festival, steered by artistic director Ninos Fenek Mikelides, featured more than
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Tiff 2013 Review: Break Loose (Vosmerka)

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Stars: Vilma Kutaviciute, Aleksey Mantsygin, Alexander Novyn | Written by Alexander Mindadze, Yuliya Pankasyanova | Directed by Aleksey Uchitel

Review by Scott Clark of Cinehouse

Russia circa 1999 (perhaps even now?) looks like a dangerous place, a place where men are men and looking at someone the wrong way can result in carnage. At least in Aleksey Uchital’s Break Loose, a high-testosterone tragedy that documents the concepts of family, poverty, and cyclical violence around a Russian Ghetto at the turn of the millennium.

The first and most prominent thing about Uchital’s delve into the grungy atmosphere of Russian casuals is the inherent violence of that circle. Violence is rife and actually egged on in both the professional and non-professional lives of this band of brothers. With a keen sense of the injustice of fighting, Uchital professes at first what could be a romancing, but is ultimately a condemning of Clockwork Orange gang violence.
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Break Loose | 2013 Tiff Review

Loose Caboose: Uchitel’s Latest Clings to Convention

Russian director Alexey Uchitel returns with Break Loose, a romantically tinged period piece crime drama that’s nicely packaged, but for a film about breaking free from ties that bind, it ironically adheres to formula. Set during the anxiety ridden days leading up to the new millennium, a close knit group of police officers are oblivious to anything outside a current conflict with a local mob boss. While all elements are seemingly in place for a boisterous good vs. bad guys actioner laced with peculiar political shifts taking place in the background, Uchitel’s exercise is akin to the watered down stakes of Gangster Squad sans the hysterically overwrought performances.

It’s 1999, right on the cusp of a new millennium, and a group of four friends that served a tour together in the army all currently work together for Omon, a Russian
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Tiff 2013 Review: Break Loose Doesn't Quite Hold Together

All the ingredients are here for a fine thriller - political discord, corrupt cops, ruthless proto-oligarchs, and car chases, all set against the backdrop of the waning years of Yeltsin, and the massive social and political change that would take place under Putin ushering Russia into the new Millennium.Alas, despite its slick facade and moments of overly choreographed brutality, one's left after Alexey Uchitel's Break Loose simply wanting more - wanting more believable interactions between our characters, more believable consequences for some of the actions, and simply more excitement.This group of Special Police that have a beef with a local developer, tied to a passionate betrayal of love, should provide enough spice to keep things interesting, but even with a brisk running time things seem...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
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Roskino welcomes 20 companies at Tiff

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Roskino welcomes 20 companies at Tiff
Russian promotional body’s deal with Gravity Venture and Hulu set to expand.

Russian promotional body Roskino continues its Doors travelling film market in Toronto, with films promoted including Alexey Uchitel’s crime drama Break Loose [pictured] and Yury Bykov’s The Major (both of which are selected for Tiff’s Contemporary World Cinema section), Avdotia Smirnova’s romantic comedy 2 Days, Vasily Serikov’s action thriller 22 Minutes, Vladimir Karabanov’s road movie Elephant, and Svetlana Baskova’s drama For Marx.

More than 20 companies are attending Toronto under the Roskino umbrella, including Central Partnership, Koktebel, Glavkino, Mosfilm, Len Film and Sverdlovsk Film Studios.

Roskino CEO Catherine Mtsitouridze said that the Doors deal with Gravity Ventures and Hulu, which presents Russian films on the online platform, is set to expand soon.

Doors will also include industry screenings at the Message to Man International Film Festival later this month in St Petersburg, which will invite global buyers.

“The Russian
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Tiff 2013: Watch the First Trailer for Russian Crime Thriller ‘Break Loose’

The first trailer has been released for the Russian crime drama Break Loose, directed by Alexey Uchitel, of Russia’s 2010 entry for the foreign language Oscar The Edge. The film will make its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September as part of the Contemporary World Cinema section. The film is based on the Russian novel Vosmerka by Zakhar Prilepin, which draws comparisons to Training Day and Goodfellas. Set amidst the amoral criminal underbelly of Russia during the last days of 1999 – after Glasnost and before Putin – Break Loose is described as an explosive crime drama about crooked cops, smooth talking mobsters, and a femme fatale who will all do anything to survive.

The post Tiff 2013: Watch the First Trailer for Russian Crime Thriller ‘Break Loose’ appeared first on Sound On Sight.
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Tiff 2013: Violent First Trailer for Russian Crime Thriller Break Loose (Now With English Subs)

It's Russian government billy clubs-a-plenty in the first trailer for the latest from The Edge director Alexey Uchitel. From its opening scene featuring a gritty, take-no-prisoners gang brawl inside a hot and sweaty Russian nightclub, Alexey Uchitel's new crime drama explodes onto the screen. Breathlessly paced, Break Loose hurtles us into a violent rivalry between two groups of street thugs, and offers a classic story of love and camaraderie in a dangerous milieu. Herman, Lykov, Shorokh, and Grekh are the best of friends. Having each done their service in the army, they now serve as operatives in Omon, the Russian special police force. By night, they troll the crime-ridden streets, looking for whatever excitement is to be had. When a simple misunderstanding with the...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
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Wide boards Break Loose

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Exclusive: Wide Management has acquired world sales rights to Russian crime drama Break Loose, directed and produced by Alexey Uchitel.

The film will have its world premiere in Toronto’s Contemporary World Cinema section.

Break Loose is based on the autobiographical best-selling Russian novel Vosmerka by Zakhar Prilepin, and tells the story of a police operative who falls for a ganster’s moll.

Uchitel’s Rock Films produced. The Wide deal excludes Russia and the Cis, where Rock Films has already sold the rights to Timur Bekmambetov’s Bazelevs Distribution (which will launch in early 2014).

The sales deal was negotiated by Loïc Magneron, President and founder of Wide Management, and Olga Aylarova on behalf of Rock Films.

“Loïc Magneron of Wide Management is impressive in his knowledge of the market trends and the buyers but even more impressive in his individualized handling of each film and each filmmaker,” said co-producer Kira Saksaganskaya.

“This powerful
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