Russian distributor Central Partnership kicks off 2021 with a bunch of brand-new films presented at EFM. These films include “The World Champion”, “December”, “The Pilot. A Battle for Survival” which have not been announced at the global market yet, as well as “The Ice Demon”, “Row 19”, “White Snow”, “Zoya” and the high-budget blockbusters “Chernobyl” and “Fire”.
“Film business in Russia is coming back to life, despite the pandemic-related restrictions. Most of the productions have resumed and we are boosting our international sales and digital distribution. At EFM we announce new films based on high-quality genre storytelling: powerful female characters, real-life events, thrillers and more… This year it’s still our main focus to bring national productions to the global audiences”, says Central Partnership’s CEO Vadim Vereschagin.
Starting with “The World Champion”, co-produced by Nikita Mikhalkov’s Studio TriTe and Russia 1 – a story where a chessboard becomes the battlefield for human brightest minds. The title centers around a legendary match of 1978 between Anatoly Karpov, the Soviet world champion at the time, and Soviet dissident Viktor Korchnoi fighting for the world’s highest title. Based on the true events, it is not simply a chess story, but a personal one – a competition of two genius minds and strong characters in the complicated historical context, due to Korchnoi’s emigration from USSR. Directed by Alexey Sidorov (“T-34”), the film features Konstantin Khabensky (“Fire”, “Sobibor”), Vladimir Vdovichenkov (“Leviathan”), and a rising national star Ivan Yankovsky (“Fire”, “Text”).
The WWII feature “The Pilot. A Battle for Survival” centers on an IL-2 pilot who after an action-packed air fight crash-landed in a remote forest clearing and has to find his way back to a friendly territory, battling hunger and extreme cold, evading packs of wolves and detachments of Nazi soldiers. A bone-chilling survival story, starring Pyotr Fedorov (“Stalingrad”, “The Blackout”, “Dead Mountain: The Dyatlov Pass Incident”), is set to premiere in May 2021.
“December” focuses on the last days of Sergey Yesenin, a famous Russian poet and a big love of Isadora Duncan, who plans his escape from the Soviet Union. All he has to do is run from Moscow to Leningrad, catch a train and get to Riga, but the way to Duncan will not be an easy ride. The thriller is set in the captivating noir atmosphere of 1920s Russia, directed by Klim Shipenko (widely known for “Son of a rich” comedy, the absolute national box-office hit of 2020). The title is co-produced by Yellow, Black and White and START, with the support of Fond Kino cinema fund and Kinoprime.
Central Partnership keeps emphasizing stories driven by women, their love, passion and power. Another new addition to the lineup is “White Snow” which is a true story of Elena Vyalbe, a world-known Russian skier who won record-high gold medals at the Nordic World ski championships, including all five golds at the championships in Trondheim in 1997. Elena was born in a small Northern town in Russia and made her way to the top through hardships and challenges thanks to her strong character and courage.
Another war movie on the slate, “Zoya” tells the real story of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, one of the most celebrated heroes of WWII.
Central Partnership also presents a new horror “The Ice Demon” from the creators of “The Mermaid: Lake of the Dead” and “Baba Yaga: Terror of the Dark forest”. In the film by Ivan Kapitonov, a man in a coma is returned home after years of missing – his wife having remarried and his daughter barely remembering him. Terrifying things start to happen, and the girl realizes a supernatural force has entered the house with its former master… The movie is now in post-production, set to premiere in the fall.
Another autumn premiere will be “Row 19”, a thriller about a young female doctor, trapped on a flight in a violent storm with her small daughter. When passengers on the half-empty plane inexplicably begin to die, she is forced to re-lieve her worst childhood memory…
Along with titles in production, the distributor brings its well-known ready-mades. “Fire” by Alexey Nuzhniy, a heroic story about firefighters and rescuers, falls in the line of successful blockbusters already released by the company. The film is produced by Studio TriTe, Russia-1 and Central Partnership, with the support of the Fond Kino cinema fund. To date it has been sold to North America, where it will be released this summer, German-speaking Europe, Spain, Japan, South Korea, Australia and other territories.
The big-budget action drama “Chernobyl” by Danila Kozlovsky will premiere in Russia this April, on the anniversary month of the nuclear disaster it tells about. In addition to directing and producing the film, actor Kozlovsky (“Vikings”, “McMafia”) stars in it along with Oksana Akinshina (“Sputnik”) and Phillip Avdeev. The producers list also includes Oscar-nominated Alexander Rodnyansky and Sergey Melkumov (“Loveless”, “Leviathan”, “Stalingrad”), Rafael Minasbekyan (“Furious”, “Frontier”) and Vadim Vereschagin (“Billion”, “Text”, “Son of a Rich”). The movie has been sold to North America and a number of other territories, including Spain, Latin America, South Korea, Japan, Israel and the Baltics.