Memento International becomes the international distributor of Captain Volkonogov Escaped

French company Memento International became the international distribution partner for the 78th Venice Film Festival contestant Captain Volkonogov Escaped, directed by Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov. The film is a joint production of Russia (MC², LOOK FILM), Estonia (Homeless Bob Production) and France (Kinovista). It was produced by Valeriy Fedorovich, Evgeniy Nikishov, Aleksandr Plotnikov, with co-producers Katrin Kissa, Charles-Evrard Tchekhoff and Nadiia Zaionchkovskaya.

“We believed in the film Captain Volkonogov Escaped from the moment we read the script, – asserts the film’s producer Valeriy Fedorovich. – And when development began, with new sketches, costumes, locations, we understood that this movie will make a splash. I have no doubt that this film will garner not only festival attention but will resonate with a wider audience, too. The idea of the film’s universal and global appeal is further supported by interest from international distributors. We have ultimately chosen Memento International as we felt that we are cut from the same cloth, that they view and love our film the same as us, and therefore we will now work on spreading the word on this film as far and wide as possible.”

“Memento International is the perfect agent for us, since this company has experience with such films as A Separation by Asghar Farhadi, Good Time by the Safdie brothers, Call Me By Your Name by Luca Guadagnino, Die Maske by Małgorzata Szumowska, Silent Souls by Aleksei Fedorchenko. These are some of our favourite films,” – notes the film’s director and screenwriter Natasha Merkulova.

The main theme of Captain Volkonogov Escaped is the road to forgiveness.

“We believe that the theme of redemption is universal, especially when speaking about a person who has blood on their hands, – says director and screenwriter Aleksei Chupov. – Can such a person gain a chance at forgiveness? Our film searches for an answer to this question.”

The main character is Fedor Volkonogov, played by Yuriy Borisov, a law enforcement officer who suddenly becomes a suspect himself and is forced to go on the run and hide in the city outskirts. One night he receives a message from Hell, saying that his place there is waiting for him, but he has one chance at avoiding his fate – to do that, he must receive the forgiveness of at least one person to whose home he brought death.

“We are very proud of our entire team and look forward to working with Memento International. We know how carefully they select every film to be worked on by their young and very ambitious team, and how completely they dedicate themselves to promotion work, so we feel that our film is in good hands,” – notes producer Evgeniy Nikishov.

Memento International is one of the most internationally respected distributors of indie films, with a dynamic team with plenty of experience working with festival hits by world renowned directors. As experts in pitch-perfect promotion, they select no more than 8 projects a year and put their full energy behind them.

“The team at Memento International fell in love with Captain Volkonogov, fought for the right to represent the film, and from the first moment of the deal going through the entire arsenal of their expertise has been put to work on the project. We are thrilled to be working with a like-minded partner of this level,” – says co-producer Nadiia Zaionchkovskaya.

The film has received support from the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Kinoprime Foundation for the Development of Modern Cinematography, the Eurimages European Cinema Support Fund, the Ministry of Culture of Estonia, the Estonian Film Foundation and the French foundation L'Aide aux cinémas du monde.

About the film:
Genre: drama, thriller
Country of origin: Russia, Estonia, France
Directors: Natasha Merkulova and Aleksei Chupov
Screenwriters: Natasha Merkulova and Aleksei Chupov with Mart Taniel
Producers: Valeriy Fedorovich, Evgeniy Nikishov, Aleksandr Plotnikov
Co-producers: Katrin Kissa, Charles-Evrard Tchekhoff, Nadiia Zaionchkovskaya
Director of Photography: Mart Taniel
Editor: Francois Gedigier (he has a seriously cool filmography, let’s add a couple)
Production Designer: Sergey Fevralev
Costume Designer: Nadezhda Vasileva
Cast: Yuriy Borisov (Captain Volkonogov), Timofey Tribuntsev (Major Golovnya), Aleksandr Yatsenko (Major Gvozdev), Nikita Kukushkin (‘Malek’ Veretennikov), Vladimir Epifantsev (Colonel Zhikharev), Anastasiya Ukolova (Raechka), Natalya Kudryashova (Elizarova), Dmitry Podnozov (Professor Elizarov), Viktoriya Tolstoganova (Shtayner’s widow), Yuriy Kuznetsov (Ignatiy Alekseevich), Igor Savochkin (Uncle Misha), Maksim Stoyanov (Lependin), Polina Vitorgan (Lependina), Vitaliya Kornienko (Little Girl), Aleksandr Shane (Nina’s neighbour), Natalya Volkova (Nina), Natalya Iokhvidova (Laura Petrovna), Nikolay Shrayber (Vozdvizhensky), Mikhail Khuranov (undertaker), Askar Nigamedzyanov (Sergeant Zverev), Kirill Vasiliev (captain detective), Zoya Kaydanovskaya (librarian) et al.

Captain Fyodor Volkonogov, a well-respected and obedient USSR law enforcer, witnesses his peers being suspiciously questioned. Sensing his turn is approaching, he escapes and is soon on the run, hunted by his former colleagues. Vulnerable and hopeless, Fyodor comes to realize what he had been part of. Suddenly he gets a message from hell: after death he will be sentenced to eternal torments. The only way to avoid is to repent and to find at least one person who will give him forgiveness. But time is running out and the manhunt is closing in on him…

For more information, please contact:

International Press:

claudiatomassini & associates
International Film Publicity
Claudia Tomassini . +49 173 205 5794

US Press
Cinetic Media
Ryan Werner