Lineup includes John Huddles' 'Philosophers'

MOSCOW

Timur Bekmambetov’s Moscow-based Bazelevs is expanding its distribution slate this year to include U.S. and European movies.

Among the eight films scheduled for release in Russia are John Huddles’ “The Philosophers,” starring James D’Arcy (“Cloud Atlas”) and Bonnie Wright (“Harry Potter”), and French director Philippe Lellouche’s Luc Besson produced romcom “Un Prince (presque) charmant.”

Slate will also include a Bekmambetov-produced screen version of Lellouche’s stage play “The Game of Truth,” which under local title “Igra v Pravdu” has been a major hit on Russian stages for the past six years.

Other releases include the third in popular winter holiday franchise “Christmas Tree 3,” this time featuring sequences set in New York and London, and wedding comedy “Gorky” — Russian for “bitter,” which is traditionally chanted at weddings as the bride and groom kiss.

Bekmambetov, who divides his time between L.A. and Moscow, shot to fame a decade ago when he directed sci-fi hit “Night Watch,” the first Russian film to take more than $1 million domestically.

He went on to become the first Russian director in more than 30 years to work in Hollywood, where his credits as a director and producer include “Wanted,” “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” and “Apollo 18.”

Ruslan Tatarintsev, head of distribution and marketing at Bazelevs, said the lineup doubles the number of films released when the distribution arm was set up two years ago.

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