niffiwan (niffiwan) wrote,

Overview of upcoming Russian animated features: part 15

Our Masha in the Strawberry Country (Dec. 18, 2008)
The New Adventures of Alyonushka and Yeryoma (Dec. 25, 2008)
The Tale of Fedot the Strelets (Jan. 1, 2009) (Dec. 18, 2008)
Ivan Tsarevich and Grey Wolf (Feb. 1, 2009)
Alice's Birthday (Feb. 19, 2009)
Star Dogs: Belka and Strelka (Dec. 31, 2009)
Alien Pile (likely 2009)
A Room and a Half, or A Sentimental Journey to the Homeland (likely 2009)
Little Muk and the Pirates of the Caspian Sea (maybe 2009)
Kin-dza-dza-dza! (2010)
The Ugly Duckling (~2011)
Blue Beard (????)
New Buttermilk Village (????)
Mad Hair (????)

Gofmaniada (Wikipedia, Soyuzmultfilm "new projects" page)
Release date: Maybe 2009 (source)
Director: Stanislav Sokolov
Studio: Soyuzmultfilm
Budget: ? (in this 2006 interview, Akop Kirakosyan wished for $1.5 million)
78 minutes

A film based around stories by German writer E.T.A. Hoffman, with Hoffman himself as the main character. There already exists a very nice English Wikipedia article, so I would suggest you go there for most information. But to quickly summarize:

This puppet-animated feature is the biggest project that the once-great Soyuzmultfilm studio has taken on since the fall of the Soviet Union. A pilot film of 20 minutes was released in 2006 and got positive reviews. It has a number of very talented people behind it, including veteran director Stanislav Sokolov and well-known sculptor Mikhail Shemyakin making the gorgeous puppets and sets. The actors are also talented people. By the way, Shemyakin doesn't admit it but the Hoffman puppet - with the black hair - is a bit of a caricature of the director. Compare these two images:

Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at

There has been (and maybe still is) a major problem with finding funds. The release date was pushed back from 2007 to 2008, and now this month they're saying "2009 if all goes well". Whenever somebody says "if all goes well", this usually means they're doing quite a bit of wishful thinking, particularly in Russia (Melnitsa is the only Russian studio that has been consistently punctual about its announced release dates for features). With such talent behind it, though, it is going to be worth the wait.

Here are some translated words from the former official website (deleted in mid-2007 as part of a conscious effort by Soyuzmultfilm's management to minimize their internet presence - yes, it sounds crazy to me also):

The project is intended as a widescreen movie of 78 minutes.

The wealth of characters (over one hundred), a combination of puppet and drawn animation, the use of modern digital technologies to create virtual special effects, transformations, metamorphoses, the application of new materials for the heads of the characters, extensive decorations, unusual fantastic interiors (a crystal city, Atlantis, mysterious palaces, temples) - all of this will require substantial financial investments, beyond the frame of the usual government financing of standard films.

It is indispensible to have the corresponding technical equipment, the quality record sound system Dolby Stereo, and to attract the top creative forces of Russian animation: artist-animators, artist-constructors , sculptors, painters, decorators, masters of computer graphics, animation and special effects.

Currently work is completed on a 20-minute pilot film whose mission is to test the characters and style of the movie, to allow the project's members to visually imagine the quality and creative direction.

We are confident that the distinctive design of the "Gofmaniada" film will attract to itself demanding aesthetes, who after investing money in the project, will receive pleasure from being involved in the creation of a highly artistic work.

And here's a news report from the 2006 screening of the pilot:

Concept art:

For some more information in Russian and images, go to one of these two links: (this is a post by the SMF director of marketing, before he left the studio in mid-2007)

Or you can download an 11mb .zip file containing every image related to the film that I've found (some are very large).
Tags: feature film, gofmaniada, sokolov, soyuzmultfilm

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