Paris-based Les Films d’Ici, producer of Denis Do’s “Funan,” has teamed with Barcelona-based Boogaloo Films, whose credits include Miguel Ángel Blanca’s “Magaluf Ghost Town,” to co-produce documentary feature “Tolyatti Adrift.”
Directed by Laura Sisteró – an on-the-rise Catalan talent – “Tolyatti Adrift” is being presented at the WIP’s showcase of this week’s Malaga Festival Spanish Screenings.
The film depicts a collection of young characters desperately searching for first opportunities and life dreams in an emblematic setting: the old Russian city of Tolyatti, formerly a symbol of progress and source of Soviet pride due to its car industry (the legendary LADA). It’s now the poorest city in Russia.
“I felt shocked by the images’ energy and aesthetic power. I couldn’t help but wonder what a young Spanish woman looked for in these car stories, in the depths of Russia,” Valérianne Boué at Les Films d’Ici said to Variety, in reference to when she first saw footage of the film from the Spanish director. Boué added: “The very talented Sisteró makes us plunge into this story of rebels without a cause lost in icy streets and parking lots, as elsewhere, and how difficult it is to become an adult. That makes this cinematic film so unique and universal at the same time.”
“The film excels in its capacity to describe an uncommon place, as well as a bunch of youth coming onto an adult stage in Russia’s Detroit, where an entire subculture emerged hooked on the old Lada cars,” Bernat Manzano at Boogaloo told Variety.
As the director explained, this subculture is based on buying the cheap Lada cars that their grandparents manufactured and drove more than 50 years ago.
“They repaint the cars, graffiti them and drift with them, to feel the adrenaline as an unconscious way of expression through the roars of their engines and the skidding of their wheels on the asphalt,” Sisteró said. Sisteró also has in mind a project linked to “Tolyatti Adrift.” This time she will train her eyes in Chongqing, the fastest growing city in China and with the highest ratio of security cameras per citizen. If in “Tolyatti” the director analyzed the characters facing the past, in Chongqing, the characters will be confronted with the future.
“Tolyatti Adrift” has participated in international labs and forums such as DOK Leipzig, Idfa, Abycine, Fipa or Lau Haizetara.