EMPIRE V Set to Premiere at Screamfest

Russian-set sci-fi horror film EMPIRE V is set to hold its North American premiere at LA’s Screamfest. The controversial film is directed and written by Victor Ginzburg.

EMPIRE V is a social parody of modern Russian society being controlled by vampires. The film was set to be released by Sony on several thousands screens across Russia in 2022, making it one of the most hotly anticipated Russian releases of the year. After the start of the Ukrainian war and one week prior to the film’s release, it was pulled from theaters by the Kremlin, effectively making it a film without a country. The film stars popular Russian rapper Oxxymiron, whose anti-war stance has recently led to him being declared a “foreign agent” by the Kremlin, a designation used to attack the government’s critics and journalists. Based on the satirical and incisive novel by Victor Pelevin, EMPIRE V was produced by Heartland Films/USA and Kvadrat/Russia, and Andrey Trubitsyn, Maria Kapralova, Alexei Tylevich and James Steele. The film also stars Pavel Tabakov, Taya Radchenko, Miron Fedorov and Vera Alentova. EMPIRE V recently held its world premiere at Fantasia Film Festival in July and will debut to Los Angeles audiences at Screamfest this October.   In the film, a 19-year-old Moscow nobody is turned into a vampire, and thereby becomes part of  an elite and powerful echelon of society who have controlled humanity since time immemorial. EMPIRE V is an astounding visual feast, featuring innovative and propulsive visual effects sequences that enhance and elevate its timely social commentary. For me, Empire V was an opportunity to experiment in the vampire genre but within a uniquely challenging narrative structure: telling a post-modern Moscow love story against the backdrop of a ruthless satire of modern civilization while retaining Pelevin’s brutal eye for the ironies of Russian society. Of course, there was the opportunity to design and create never before seen worlds and creatures,” said director Victor Ginzburg. “For the first time in my life, when I was confronted with the ugly specter of state censorship, it was a heartbreaking feeling for me and for all the people who put years of work and love into this film. The same goes for literally millions of Russian fans that have been waiting for the release, many of whom helped crowdfund this truly independent film.” 

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