Russia

Russia Greenlights Its Own 'Social Network' on March 14, 2013

yandex.jpgHow do you say "Google" in Russian? Yandex. The Yandex search engine is the most-visited site in Russia and the fourth-largest search engine around the world with over 50.5 million unique users a day, as the locally developed program has a more sophisticated understanding of the Russian language and inflection than its Silicon Valley competitor. And now, Yandex is getting its own feature film, Startup, which spans from 1995 -- shortly after the fall of Communism -- to the present, and will focus on the friendship between Yandex's two main developers, Arkady Volozh and Ilya Segalovich. The film will cost just $2 million compared to the $40 million invested in David Fincher's The Social Network, and producer Irina Smolko stressed that there are other individual reasons why this story needs to be told. "Russia has its own mentality, their understanding of life and attitude to success. And it is fully reflected in our characters," said Smolko. "These people are not just born, and suddenly became so smart. These are people who in the '90s suffered ridicule, they were told 'If you're so smart, show where your money is.' Is this similar to what happened in the U.S.? I would say that this is a film about a time when art and consciousness conceived the most innovative, interesting people in Russia."

BOX OFFICE ACTUALS: 'Oz' Dwarfs Competition, But '21' and 'Mama' Post Solid Takes on March 12, 2013

With a $14.7 million haul -- a tremendous take in an otherwise modest year at the Russian box office -- Oz: The Great and Powerful made nearly 6 times the haul of each of its two closest rivals on the charts. But the crazy college comedy 21 and Over and the Jessica Chastain ghost thriller Mama both launched to a more-than $2.5 million take, respectable numbers for films that barely got a big marketing push in the States. In a slower weekend, either might have had a fighting chance at claiming the top spot on the charts. The test now will be to see if they have legs -- but as both boasted budgets that were a mere fraction of Oz's estimated $300 million cost, 21 and Up and Mama could be on track to be the more profitable films. Full box office chart below.

RANK

TITLE

GROSS

TOTAL

WEEKS

1

Oz: The Great and Powerful

$14.7M

$14.7M

1

2

21 and Over

$2.9M

$2.9M

1

3

Mama

$2.6M

$2.6M

1

4

What's Happening Men

$2.5M

$8.4M

2

5

Nevermind the Girl

$2.1M

$2.1M

1

6

Metro

$1.2M

$10.9M

3

7

Dyatlov Pass Mystery

$1.0M

$4.3M

3

8

Escape From Planet Earth

$1.0M

$2.4M

3

9

Gambit

$640K

$640K

1

10

Guardians

$394K

$394K

1

FIRST NUMBERS: 'Oz' Opening Weekend Should Surge Past $15 Million on March 10, 2013

oz_shot.jpgNumbers are still coming in, but Oz: The Great and Powerful is averaging just under $5 million per day in Russia over the weekend, which when combined with the nearly $2 million it made during Thursday shows should drive the total opening haul past $15 million. That alone is almost enough to rank it as one of the country's top 20 grossers of the year. (Last year's #20, Brave, made a total of $16.1 million.) Expectations for Oz are higher, but the film seems likely to follow the arc of last summer's Men in Black III, which launched to $16.9 million in Russia and went on to make a total of $36.5 million.

Russian Crew in California Shooting Historical Epic 'Fort Ross' on March 09, 2013

fort_ross.jpgThe San Francisco Chronicle reports that a Russian film crew has traveled to California's Fort Ross, roughly 90 minutes north of San Francisco, to shoot an expensive time travel epic typing together the little-explored histories of Russia and the fledgling United States in the early 1800s. At the time, Russia still controlled much of Alaska -- the territory's gold rush was still decades away -- and seemed as though the Tzar would be a permanent presence in North America. Fort Ross follows a Russian film crew who gets sent back in time to 1820 where they must help a Russian settlement and a local Indian tribe defend themselves against pirates. Director Yuri Moroz (Dark World) and writer Dimitri Poletaev built a replica of the Fort in Russia, but flew to California to film scenes near the Golden Gate bridge. "The factual part is all true," says Poletaev, adding, "Parts of it will look like Indiana Jones." 

2013 Nika Award Nominees Announced on March 07, 2013

nika.jpgThe Russian Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences has announced its nominees for the annual Nika Awards, Russia's version of the Oscars. (The Golden Eagle, a younger, competing award show, is akin to the Golden Globes.) This year's most-lauded nominee is Andrei Proshkin's Horde, which racked up 11 nominations in everything from Best Picture to Best Sound. Popular hit White Tiger made a dent, as did best actor contender Danila Kozlovsky of Soulless,who will make his American debut in the fantasy romance Vampire Academy. The Nika will be awarded in Moscow on  April 2nd. A full list of nominees is below:

 

 

 

 

Best Feature Film
The White Tiger
Conductor
Kokoko
Horde

Faust

Best Director
Aleksei Balabanov - I Want
Andrei Proshkin - Horde
Alexander Sokurov - Faust

Best Screenplay
Yuri Arabs - Horde
Yuri Arabs - Faust
Michael Segal - Stories

Best Cinematography
Bruno Delbonnel - Faust
Gennady Karyuk - Atonement
Oleg Mutu - In the Mist
Yuri Paradise - Horde

Best Supporting Actor
Vladimir Yepifantsev - For Marx
Andrey Panin - Atonement
Oleg Tabakov - Groupie

Best Supporting Actress
Tatiana Drubich - The Last Tale of Rita
Olga Lapshin - Live
Inga Oboldina - Conductor

Best Actor
Anton Adasinsky - Faust
Danila Kozlovsky - Soulless
Maxim Sukhanov - Horde

Best Actress
Anna Mikhalkov - Kokoko
Ian Troyanov - Live
Rose Khairullina - Horde
Maria Shalaev - I'll Be There

Best Music Score
Alex Aigi - Horde
Edward Artemiev - Atonement
Zemfira Ramazanova - The Last Tale of Rita
Andrei Sigle - Faust

Best Sound
Maxim Belovolov - Horde
Vladimir Golovnitsky - The Fog
Gulsara Mukataeva - White Tiger

Best Design
Elena Zhukova - Faust
Viktor Petrov - Spy
Sergei Fevralev - Horde

Best Costumes
Dmitry Andreev, Vladimir Nikiforov - White Tiger
Natalia Ivanova - Horde
Lydia Kryukov - Faust

Best Documentary
Love Arkus - Anton Near Here
Victor Kosakovsky

 - Hail to the Antipodes!
Marina Razbezhkina - Winter, Go Away!

Best Animated Film
Michael Aldashin - Immortal 
Ivan Maximov - Long Bridge in the Right Direction
Alexei Turkus _ Snowy Rider
Sonia Kendel - Pista Leaves
Maria Mouat - The Tale of the Christmas Tree

Best film of the CIS and Baltic States
The Eternal Return
All Gone 
If all the ...
Heaven - My Abode
The Lonely Island

Discovery of the Year
Director Alexey Andrianov - Spy
Actor Fedot Lions - Horde
Actor Vladimir Svirsky - The Fog

 


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