Principal photography of the new film by Natalia Meshchaninova, “Core of the World”, in production by CTB Film is nearing completion. The shooting began in mid-September and took place in the Leningrad and Pskov Regions and the town of Sebezh.
Producers: Sergey Selyanov, Natalia Drozd
Screenplay: Natalia Meshchaninova, Boris Khlebnikov, Stepan Devonin
Cast: Stepan Devonin (The Hope Factory), Dmitry Podnozov (Icebreaker), Yana Sekste (The Thaw), Vitya Obodkov, Ekaterina Vasilieva (Visitor from the Future, Leo Tolstoy), Evgeny Syty (Arrhythmia, Gogol, The Beginning).
Synopsis: Egor is a vet at a training facility for hunting dogs in a remote region of the country. Surrounded by foxes, deer, badgers, and dogs, he lives in a small building next to the house of the facility’s master. He treats the dogs, cleans the kennels, oversees the workers, and meets with clients and their dogs. It’s easier for him to get along with dogs than with people. Egor is willing to take on any job to get closer to the facility’s master and his near and dear. He wants the impossible—to become a member of that family.
The director and screenwriter of the film is Natalia Meshchaninova. Her debut film, The Hope Factory, participated in the main competition program of the 2014 Rotterdam International Film Festival, as well as numerous programs of other international film festival, and received worldwide recognition (Grand Prix at the 2014 Baltic Gaze Vilnius International Film Festival, Best Actress Award at the 2014 Listapad International Film Festival, and many more). Arrhythmia by Boris Khlebnikov, which Natalia Meshchaninova co-wrote the script for, is enjoying successful screening in Russia, and has also won numerous award at local and international film festivals (Grand Prix, Best Male Actor, and People’s Choice Award at the 28th Russia Open Kinotavr Festival, Best Male Actor at the 52nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Grand Prix at the 2017 Sakhalin Krai Sveta International Film Festival; in addition, Arrhythmia was nominated for the Best Screenplay Award at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards international initiative).
Producer Natalia Drozd: “This is a joint project between Russia and Latvia and we’re looking for a third international partner to minimize our financial risks. We really enjoyed the script, which immediately inspired our hopes and expectations of the project. The film addresses one of the most prominent issues of our civilization, which has led to many humanitarian disasters of the 20th century—the tendency to interpret other people’s worldview and problems through the filter of our own system of values; the forced subjective interpretation of good and bad. It explores the consequences of active disruption of a fragile ecosystem and alien ethnocultural and social dimensions under the pretence of fighting for universal rights, without understanding the actual needs of those you’re trying to help and others around them. The plot centres around a hunting dog training station. It’s a unique facility, which functions according to its own, simply and clearly defined, set of rules. I’m not aware of any attempts at depicting such facilities in movies before, especially taking into account the fact that such hunting dog training facilities are outlawed in many countries. The very location is an excellent vehicle for exploring the inner world of our protagonist Egor, a modern-day Mowgli, who finds it much easier to connect and offer his tenderness and care to animals, rather than people.”
Many thanks to Animal Art Agency for the use of their foxes, deer, and dogs in the making of the movie. (www.animal-art.ru)