×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Charades Boards Rock-Filled Drama ‘Leto’ by Russian Director Under House Arrest (EXCLUSIVE)

Charades, the sales company launched a year ago by former Wild Bunch, Gaumont and Studiocanal executives, has acquired “Leto,” an edgy, music-filled drama helmed by Kirill Serebrennikov, the progressive Russian filmmaker and theater director who’s been placed under house arrest by a Moscow court.

A tale of rock, love and friendship, “Leto” takes place in Leningrad over the summer of 1981, when the underground rock scene started blossoming, influenced by Western rock stars like Led Zeppelin and David Bowie. The film delivers a snapshot of this vibrant era and charts the coming of age and rise to fame of young rock singers, including Viktor Tsoi, who turned out to become a pioneer of Russian rock.

Rather than a biopic of Tsoi, “Leto” depicts the love triangle between Viktor, his mentor Mike, who is also a musician, and his beautiful wife, Natasha.

“‘Leto’ is not a political film per se, but it nevertheless has a political dimension because the boom of the music scene during the 1980s in Leningrad sparked a wind of freedom that energized the local youth,” said Pierre Mazars, who co-founded Charades with Yohann Comte and Carole Baraton.

The film is “full of rock music, concerts and some musical-like sequences in the streets of St. Petersburg,” said Jean-Felix Dealberto, sales manager at Charades.

“Leto” is being produced by Hype Film and Kinovista. It’s now in post-production and will be delivered during the second quarter of this year.

One of Russia’s most daring and prominent directors, Serebrennikov has been under house arrest since August, as he has been accused of embezzling government funds allocated to his Platforma theater project. He faces up to 10 years in prison. The critically acclaimed filmmaker is being supported by some of Russia’s most famous actors and directors who believe Serebrennikov is being indirectly punished by the Russian government for his progressive views and the gay themes of some of his ballets, notably “Nureyev,” a ballet staged at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater, about the famed dancer’s life.

Serebrennikov’s best-known films include “The Student,” which played at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard in 2016, and “Betrayal,” which played at Venice in 2012.

Charades, which is attending Goteborg Film Festival’s industry sidebar, will start selling “Leto” at the Berlin Film Festival’s European Film Market.

More Film

  • Oscar Nomination for Short Film 'Detainment'

    Oscar Nomination for Short Film 'Detainment' Sparks Backlash in Britain

    Oscar-nominated short film “Detainment,” about a notorious real-life child abduction and murder, has sparked outrage in Britain from the victim’s mother and from thousands of petitioners demanding that the Academy Award nod be rescinded. The 30-minute film centers on the 1993 killing of 2-year-old James Bulger, one of the most shocking criminal cases in modern British [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron's 'Roma' Companion Album to

    Alfonso Cuarón's New 'Roma' Album to Feature Beck, Patti Smith, El-P, T Bone Burnett

    Not to be outdone by Ariana Grande’s impending record news, filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón has announced the track list and release date for his new album, which, coincidentally, is also due Feb. 8. He’s the curator of “Music Inspired by the Film Roma,” which was already teased by a Billie Eilish track, and is now revealed [...]

  • The Beach Bum Trailer

    Watch: Matthew McConaughey Stars in Groovy New 'The Beach Bum' Trailer

    Matthew McConaughey takes on new levels of drug use in the latest trailer for “The Beach Bum.” True to the film’s title, the trailer opens on a trashy beach town stage where McConaughey’s character Moondog is waiting to accept some sort of musical award. “Before I accept whatever award it is they’re giving me today, [...]

  • SAG Awards Placeholder

    SAG Awards Unveils Presenters After Accusing Academy of 'Intimidation'

    The SAG Awards has unveiled its first round of presenters, including Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Rami Malek, Chadwick Boseman, Adam Driver, Sam Elliott, and Constance Wu. Wednesday’s announcement comes two weeks after SAG-AFTRA accused the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of intimidation in trying to limit actors from presenting on awards shows other [...]

  • Kevin Hart Fatherhood

    Kevin Hart Partnering With STX on Two Comedies (EXCLUSIVE)

    Kevin Hart is partnering with STXfilms to produce on a pair of comedy movies through his HartBeat Productions with an eye to star in both projects, Variety has learned exclusively. The announcement comes on the heels of Hart’s solid box office performance in “The Upside,” in which he co-stars with Bryan Cranston. STX’s comedic drama, co-produced [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    Disruptor Netflix Joins Big Studios at the Table With MPAA Membership, Analysts Say

    Netflix is starting to look a lot like the media institutions it has been disrupting for years. In one fell swoop on Tuesday, the streaming giant racked up an impressive 15 Academy Award nominations, including a best picture nod for Alfonso Cuaron’s black-and-white, Spanish-language drama “Roma.” Hours later came official word that the company had [...]

  • Italy's Notorious Pictures Expands Into Exhibition,

    Italy's Notorious Pictures Expands Into Exhibition, Plans 200 Screens by 2023

    Italian distribution and production company Notorious Pictures is branching out into exhibition, aiming to have 20 multiplexes up and running within the next five years. The company has appointed former UCI Italy chief Andrea Stratta to head up a new Notorious Cinemas unit. The company said it was already in the process of taking out a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content