Paris-based sales agent Alpha Violet, which sparked a feeding frenzy at Cannes for Ukrainian Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s “The Tribe,” is bringing onto the market at Berlin his follow-up, “Luxembourg,” which won a Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Award on Tuesday and a Rotterdam Cinemart Arte International Award yesterday.
“Luxembourg” will now be presented at the Rotterdam-Berlinale Express, part of the Co-production Market at the Berlin Festival where Alpha Violet, once more looking East, will also introduce a second title: Russia’s “Pioneer Heroes,” which will world premiere in Panorama.
Produced by Slaboshpytskiy and co-produced by Anna Katchko at Germany’s Tandem Production, “Luxembourg” returns Slaboshpytskiy to the scene of his short “Nuclear Waste,” set in the restriction zone around the Chernobyl nuclear plant, which exploded in 1986, and which won a 2012 Locarno Silver Leopard, from a Mark Peploe headed jury. In “Luxembourg,” a film noir, which also takes place in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, Sergey, a policeman, confronts radiations, passion and a manhunt, which immerse him in heart of darkness.
“The Tribe” continues to sell – in Germany, Rapid Eye Movies will create a new label for its release, and Alpha Violet is close to sealing two pending territorios, Australia and Mexico, said Alpha Violet’s Virgine Devesa – the sales agent will also be selling “Pioneer Heroes” at Berlin.
Directed by Russia’s Natalia Kudryashova, the drama turns on the last generation of Russian’s to be born under the Soviet Union, who now in their 30s, no longer believe in Cold War ideology nor inevitable progress to a bright future, but do yearn strongly for something bigger.
In this case, the pioneer heroes are Olga, a TV actress, Katya, a PR agent in love with a married man, and Andrey, a lonely political analyst and workaholic. Back in 1987, as young kids in the provinces, Andrey dreamed of inventing an anti-death pill, Olga of tracking down spies; Katya finds out her grandfather is a bootlegger, has nightmares about pioneer heroes. 30 years later, their past has left hostages to fortune. Struggling for stability in contemporary Moscow, they are successful, but neither satisfied nor happy.
“Pioneer Heroes” competes for the Berlinale’s First Feature Award.
A young actress-turned-director Kudryashova’s “Kholod” won short at the 2011 Art Kino Festival; her 2013 follow-up “Utro Lizy” took a special award at the Open Cinema Festival.
“’Pioneer Heroes’ explains the troubles and paradox of Russian society today, why the country is undergoing such a big crisis, why people are only focused on money and have lost their values, since their Soviet education focused on dreams which will never come true,” Devesa said.