IFC Midnight announced today that it is acquired the North American rights to Egor Abramenko’s directorial debut Sputnik from XYZ Films.
Abramenko’s sci-fi thriller short film The Passenger played in the 2017 Fantastic Film Festival in Austin and was the inspiration for his feature debut. The film stars Oksana Akinshina who debuted in Lukas Moodysson’s award-winning film Lilya 4-EVER, alongside Fedor Bondarchuk, Pyotr Fyodorov, and Anton Vasilev.
The script was written by Oleg Malovichko and Andrei Zolotarev. Producing is Vodorod Pictures, Art Pictures Studio, Hype Film, Cinema Fund, NMG Studio, and CTC Network. Producers are Mikhail Vrubel, Alexander Andryushenko, Fedor Bondarchuk, Ilya Stewart, Murad Osmann, Pavel Burya, Vyacheslav Murugov.
In the film, at the height of the Cold War, a Soviet spacecraft crash lands after a mission gone awry, leaving the commander as its only survivor. After a renowned Russian psychologist is brought in to evaluate the commander’s mental state, it becomes clear that something dangerous may have come back to Earth with him.
Arianna Bocco EVP of Acquisitions and Productions of IFC Films said, “Egor has created a stunning film with SPUTNIK in the vein of the classic sci-fi epics that captivate U.S. audiences. We’re thrilled to bring this visually impressive debut to audiences across the country.”
Director Egor Abramenko added, “I’m excited to share my film with American audiences. I was inspired by many American films when making SPUTNIK so it’s a very important country for me to show this film. I am so happy to be partnering with IFC Midnight who represents a great family of international filmmakers.”
Initially, the film was supposed to be released in Russia on April 16 via Sony Pictures, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russian opening is scheduled for a digital release on Russian platforms on April 23rd.
The deal for the film was negotiated by Director of Acquisitions at IFC Films Aijah Keith and Pip Ngo from XYZ Films on behalf of the filmmakers. Egor Abramenko is represented by UTA and managed by Peter Van Steemburg at XYZ Films. International sales are handled by Art Pictures Distribution.
Sputnik was set to have its world premiere in the Midnight Section at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival. IFC Midnight will release the film on August 14th, 2020.