niffiwan (niffiwan) wrote,

Overview of upcoming Russian animated features: part 1

Today marks the opening of the Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema, the only film festival in the world dedicated entirely to animated features. I had a great time last year (where I discovered the outstanding, tasteful and funny Czech feature One Night in One City), and I'll be visiting again this year from Friday to Sunday.

Unfortunately, unlike in past years, no Russian features are among the line-up. Here's to next year, then! Over the next little while, I'll be posting information about every single feature film project currently in production in Russia, roughly in order of release date or likelihood of getting released.

Our first candidate is:

Our Masha in the Strawberry Country (formerly known as "Krakatuk"/"Кракатук")
Наша Маша в Земляничной стране
Release date: December 18, 2008 Who knows?
Director: Yegor Mikhalkov-Konchalovskiy ( profile), Roman Starikov
Studio: Gala-Film / "Amedia" Studio
Budget: $5 million (source) - was $3 million, before 70% of the animation was redone in 2008

This film has a complex and checkered history, starting in early 2002. It started out as an adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffman's The Nutcracker and the Mouseking for kids 5-10 years old, but by the end of 2007 had somehow morphed into a sex-appeal & action film for an audience of 35-year-olds. Goodness knows what it is now.

Did I mention that it was also supposed to be the first widely-released Russian 3D film? It was beaten to that goalpost by "The Adventures of Alyonushka and Yeryoma" (released on Oct. 23, 2008).

Leonid Kaganov (the film's writer), after being involved from the beginning, left the project over a year ago and wrote an entirely fictional account of its production history on his blog (it was stated very clearly in a disclaimer at the bottom of his article that it is entirely fictional and of course, the only reliable source for information about the film is the official website). His website was recently hacked and everything deleted, but the original article can still be downloaded and read here (for those who can read Russian).

For that matter, the official website of the film also disappeared from the internet sometime this year. The film was also renamed from "Krakatuk" into its current name ("Strawberry Country" in Russian is a euphemism for something or other, possibly to do with drugs...). No new trailers or posters have been put up, yet an official release date was announced. Whether it will actually be released after all this time is anybody's guess.

UPDATE 23/01/2009: Due to the company Amedia having difficulties connected to the financial crisis, the premiere of the film (which has now been revealed to have cost $5 million so far) is postponed for an indefinite period.

Here are some old trailers:


Tags: 3d, feature film, krakatuk

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