10 September 2021 / Press Release
TIFF 2021: Central Partnership focuses on international co-productions

The major Russian distributor announced its brand-new titles and upcoming fall premieres at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), highlighting the first co-production with Latin America's BF Film (Chile-Brazil) called Schizophrenic and the co-financed project Boundless, a story of the first round-the-world journey conducted by Magallanes and El Cano.

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Vadim Vereschagin, CEO of Central Partnership, commented: 'Our slate has become more diverse as we continue our efforts in bringing the best of Russian cinematography to international audiences. It's not only important for us to work with domestic talent, but also look at international co-production and co-investment opportunities. This summer we announced our first co-production with Latin American powerhouse BF Film called Schizophrenic, while we are co-financing Boundless, a story of the first round-the-world journey conducted by Magallanes and El Cano, and also working on some truly global projects that we will be announcing very soon at CineEurope in Barcelona'. 

The First Oscar, WWII drama by Sergey Mokritskiy (Battle for Sevastopol), is set to premiere in 2022. It centers on student cinematographers in pre-war Moscow who volunteer for the front line where the horrors of war and the heroism of Soviet soldiers transform their attitude towards their art and life in general. The movie is inspired by the true story of Moscow Strikes Back, a documentary film that won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature at the 1943 Academy Award ceremony.

100 Minutes, Locarno official selection in 2021, is a new drama by Gleb Panfilov – a laureate of Berlinale, Venice, Locarno and Cannes. It tells the story of a Russian soldier Ivan Shukhov who returns from a Nazi prison camp. Under Soviet law he is declared a traitor to the state and sentenced to ten years of forced labor in Gulag. Despite all the injustice, hunger, humiliation and fear, Ivan manages to maintain his best human qualities and stay hard-working, honest and sincere. He possesses simple folk wisdom and unshakeable faith in miracles even on the brink of death. Philipp Yankovsky, the lead actor, was awarded the Boccalino d’Oro for this role this year in Locarno. 

War action Mission Sky by Igor Kopylov is based on a true story that happened during the Syrian war in 2015. During a combat flight, an aircraft of two Russian soldiers is shot down. Both pilots eject after the aircraft is hit, but only one of them returns home alive. The movie will be released this October.

Central Partnership will handle global sales for Ostap Bender trilogy from the Gogol creators – Sreda production company. The adventure trilogy by Igor Zaytsev consists of three feature films. Ibrahim Bender and his young apprentice Ostap hunt for imperial gold, a priceless scepter which has slipped from under their noses and ended up in possession of an anarchist army commander. With mafia, partisans, and officers of the Red and White armies all determined to get their hands on the fabled gold cache, Ostap and his mentor must surpass their own brilliance to outmaneuver their rivals and snatch the prize. Other long-awaited fall premieres include The World ChampionThe Pilot. A Battle for Survival and Row 19

Thriller Row 19 by Alexander Babaev centers on a young female doctor and her 6-year-old daughter, caught in a violent storm on an overnight flight. When passengers on the plane inexplicably begin to die, the woman’s grip on reality weakens and she is forced to relive her worst childhood nightmare. The WWII movie The Pilot. A Battle for Survival by Renat Davletyarov is inspired by a true survival story. It centers on an IL-2 pilot who crash-lands in a remote forest clearing after an action-packed air fight, and has to find his way back to a friendly territory battling hunger and extreme cold, evading packs of wolves and detachments of Nazi soldiers. The feature will premiere early November.

The World Champion by Alexey Sidorov (T-34) will premiere on December 30th. Co-produced by Three T Productions by Nikita Mikhalkov and Russia 1, the film follows the most dramatic and legendary showdown in the history of chess – the match between Anatoly Karpov, then world champion, and Viktor Korchnoi, a recent emigrant from the USSR. In this battle between two outstanding chess players, a duel of personalities under immense psychological pressure, the stakes are incomprehensibly high.

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