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29 April 2022

Bansu, Metro 2033, The Russian Five: 1-2-3 Production presents projects to Cinema Foundation of Russia

The leaders of the domestic film market made a presentation of their films in the Great Hall of the Russia Today news agency on May 19 with the goal of securing financial support for the projects from the Cinema Foundation of Russia. 1-2-3 Production presented three projects: the action-packed spy drama Bansu, the screen adaptation of the global fantasy bestseller Metro 2033 and the sports drama Russkaya Pyaterka (The Russian Five).

Pavel Kostomarov’s film Bansu was presented to the Cinema Foundation before and received 150 million rubles for its production. The film is based on a story of the same name by Ilya Boyashov and is currently in production. The main filming block was done between September and October 2020 in the Altai Republic. In the story, a 20-metre bomber plane lands for refuelling as part of a land-lease transfer when a member of its crew is discovered missing. Valuable intelligence materials are found inside his parachute and Soviet and American search teams head out at the same time to look for him. During the project’s presentation, the cast members of the Russian and American sides were split up and marked off by their respective national flags. The Soviet military personnel are played by Alexander Pal, Timofey Tribuntsev and newcomer Ilya Leybin. The Americans are played by the famous British actor Sam Douglas, German actor and director Philip Christopher, and Mark Noble.

The second project, presented by producers Valeriy Federovich and Evgeny Nikishov, was the much-anticipated screen adaptation of Dmitry Glukhovsky’s fantasy bestseller Metro 2033. The bestselling author also wrote the script for the film. Egor Baranov directed Metro 2033. He has previously worked with the film’s producers on such projects as the Gogol trilogy and Avanpost (The Blackout).

Metro 2033 is slated for release on January 1, 2024. A large-scale advertising campaign that involves all of Gazprom-Media Holding’s resources will be held in five stages with the aim to energise the fan base of the bestselling book and the games based on its universe, with the help of a transparent film-making process and videos from the film set. The estimated cost of production is 700 million rubles, with an additional 150 million slated for marketing efforts. The project leaders are requesting 200 million rubles from the Cinema Foundation in 2021. The film’s expected box office is 1.5 billion rubles.

The film Russkaya Pyaterka was presented by its producer Nelly Yaralova along with screenwriter and co-producer Andrey Zolotarev (Prityazhenie / Attraction, Vtorzhenie / Invasion, Trener / Coach, Lyod 1 / Ice, Lyod 2 / Ice 2). The film is based on real events.

 The plot sounds like this: Soviet hockey players were condescendingly called ‘commies’ in North America, but the reality is that they taught the NHL to play the kind of hockey that we see in the league today. Yes, they left their home country for the opportunity to play the sport they loved. But under the leadership of the legendary coach Scotty Bowman, they became key players on the Red Wings team and, even in spite of a terrible accident which put one of them in a wheelchair forever, they proved that they can win the Stanley Cup again. This is the “Russian Five”: Fetisov, Konstantinov, Fedorov, Larionov and Kozlov. Together they proved to the world that “there are no borders or nationalities in sport”.

The film’s creators noted that this is not a film only about sporting victories. This is also a film about people who were called traitors by many in their homeland. But by playing in a foreign country and showing who rules the ice, they were able to raise the prestige of the Soviet hockey school to an unprecedented level. This spirit-raising theme, appeal to a wide audience and potential for international success are among the strongpoints of the project.

The film’s production budget is 800 million rubles. The plan is to film it in Russia, the United States and Canada. The film’s creators are asking the Cinema Foundation for 250 million rubles in support in 2021 and 300 million in 2022. The film will be released in theaters in 2023, the same year when Russia’s St. Petersburg hosts the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. The film is expected to collect 1.8 billion rubles at the box office.