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Russian indie pops

'Generation P' gets online backing

MOSCOW — Victor Ginzburg’s “Generation P,” a rare example of a Russian indie film, opened in the country on Thursday.

Nearly 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union heralded the rapid and chaotic transition from communism to capitalism, pic covers how the so-called Pepsi Generation made good in the brave new world of advertising, branding, politics and big money.

Produced by Ginzburg’s wife, Gina, and based on Viktor Pelevin’s cult novel of the same name, “Generation P” has been more than four years in the works. Its $7.5 million budget is largely financed by brand sponsors after it was refused financing by all local TV channels and government sources.

The film, which had its red-carpet premiere Wednesday in Moscow, centers on the rapid ascent to power and privilege of Babylen Tatarsky, who starts out as a down-at-heel college graduate working in a street market and ends up as a minor oligarch.

Los Angeles-based Ginzburg — who left Moscow for New York at age 14 — says the film took off after a Moscow industry screening when Konstantin Ernst, powerful head of state TV Channel One, bought TV premiere rights. The film will be broadcast between September and January.

For advertising and promotion, the film got a big boost from Facebook and Russian Internet platform Yandex who came in as media partners on the project, a first for both.

Ginzburg told Variety there were four production halts as finance ebbed and flowed. Eventually, after shooting a third of the pic, cinema chain Karo came in with coin to finish the film.

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