The Inhabited Island
In this two-part adaptation of a popular novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, an improbably handsome cosmonaut, played by Vasily Stepanov, crashes on a hostile planet. Fyodor Bondarchuk, who directed the 2005 hit The 9th Company now ventures an epic spectacle along the lines of Timur Bekmambetov's Night Watch. Produced by Art Pictures Studio and CTC TV, the first part topped the Russian box office following its release in January, and has grossed $10.8m to date.
Int'l sales: Mike Simpson, William Morris Agency, (1) 310 859 4000
Burnt By The Sun 2
Nikita Mikhalkov's long-anticipated follow-up to the Oscar-winning Burnt By The Sun (1994). Mikhalkov's Three T Productions plans to release it as a two-part sequel in the local market in May and autumn 2010, and is in talks with Wild Bunch to handle international sales. Expect a major festival release.
Contact: Three T Productions, (7) 495 699 3102
Based on a true story, this pan-European collaboration between Essential Filmproduktion (Germany), Phenomen Films (Russia), Societe Parisienne de Production (France) and Plattform Production (Sweden) examines the life of a renowned physicist working on Stalin's atomic bomb. With producers Philippe Bober and Susanne Marian on board, Dau's arthouse credentials - and international festival berth in 2010 - seem assured.
Contact: Essential Filmproduktion, (49) 30 32 77 78 79; Phenomen Films, (7) 495 143 9133
UK actor Jason Flemyng, whose credits include The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, stars in this English-language horror thriller as an 18th-century English cartographer who stumbles upon a cursed Ukrainian village, in this adaptation of a story by Nikolai Gogol. This English-language film is directed by Oleg Stepchenko, produced by Rospo Film Group with the Ukraine's Inter TV and Russian distributor Caroprokat, and will be released in Russia by Caroprokat in March.
Contact: Rospo Film Group, (7) 495 780 0001.