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Fyodor Bondarchuk goes on an Odyssey

Nov 20, 2014

November 20, 2014 William Moore , specially for RIR The filmmaker behind two of the highest-grossing Russian films of all time was hired by Warner Brothers to direct an adaptation of Homer’s epic. Pin It Fyodor Bondarchuk presents “Stalingrad,” a classic Hollywood-style blockbuster (2013), Russia’s first film shot in Imax 3D. Source: Reuters Beingthe son of a giant of 20th-century cinema might leave a modern filmmaker withthe occasional crisis of confidence. If Fyodor Bondarchuk has this problem, hehides it well. “Fools— fools or haters,” the Russian director said of his critics during aninterview on the Russian talk show “Temporarily Available” late last year. Impeccablein a three-piece suit, Bondarchuk interrupted the interview multiple times tofield personal cell phone calls while the show’s hosts looked on in amazement. Bondarchuk,47, may be all but unknown abroad, but he’s one of the most dominant — andself-assured — figures in post-Soviet film. Togetherwith dozens of starring roles asan actor, Bondarchuk has directed two of the highest-grossing Russian films of all time:the Afghan war drama “Ninth Company” (2005) and the World War II spectacle“Stalingrad” (2013), Russia’s first film shot in Imax 3D. Ataste for epics seems to run in the family. Bondarchuk is the son of thelegendary Soviet filmmaker Sergei Bondarchuk, who wrote, directed and starredin the 1967 film adaptation of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace,” which won an Oscarfor Best Foreign Film. “I’mafraid to talk about some kind of mystical correspondences, but there’s a hugenumber of them … with the life and work of my father,” Bondarchuk said on“Temporarily Available.” Russian flavours Bothdirected their first film at the age of 38. Both raised eyebrows with productionbudgets that shattered Russian records — Sergei with his “War and Peace,”Fyodor with both his sci-fi epic “The Inhabited Island” (2008) and“Stalingrad.” And both men have been among the few Russian directors to breakinto Hollywood. Theyounger Bondarchuk hasn’t matched his father’s Oscar yet, but he had his firstshot with “Stalingrad,” which Russia chose as its submission to the 2014Academy Awards. Thefilm failed to make the Academy’s short list of nominees for Best ForeignPicture — perhaps in part because of the shock of just how “Hollywood” it was.“Stalingrad” is a world away from the art-house fare of Russian directorsbetter known on the festival circuit, such as Andrei Zvyagintsev (“The Return,”“Elena,” “Leviathan”) and Aleksandr Sokurov (“Russian Ark,” “Faust”). Instead,Bondarchuk takes cues from his early years as a music video director. “Everytime, I am trying to break the rules, at least as the conservative people seethem,” Bondarchuk told Salon.com. Hisbrand of iconoclasm has paid off big. “Stalingrad” garnered $55 milliondomestically and another $11 million in China. Still, it divided Russiancritics with its hyper-saturated, digitally enhanced visual style and what somecalled shallow storytelling. SaidLenta.ru critic Sergei Obolonkov: “It’s sad that out of a desire tosimultaneously entertain and frighten, ‘Stalingrad’ became a movie aboutplaying war for 12-year-olds.” Bondarchukmakes no apologies. “I hear the comments: It’s not a war drama, it’s more aboutadvertising and entertainment. But that was my idea!” he told Salon. “We have nocomics or superheroes. Wehave no history of creating something like that, no examples to draw on. Thisis the attempt to create that kind of new genre.” Comicbook heroics have dominated Hollywood for years, so Bondarchuk’s style wouldseem to makes him a natural fit. “We’rein talks to have the same camera crew and visual effects studio from‘Stalingrad’ … on ‘The Odyssey,’” Bondarchuk told Russian daily Izvestiya. Thefilmmaker will be looking to repeat the success of the last Russian director tomake it big in Hollywood, Timur Bekmambetov—while avoiding his failure. In2008, Bekmambetov was tapped to direct the Angelina Jolie action film “Wanted.”It was a box office smash, grossing more than $340 million worldwide. ButBekmambetov followed it with a bomb, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” whichgrossed only $37 million in the U.S. on a budget of $69 million. Bondarchukclearly has the confidence to take his latest high-stakes challenge. Asked byThe Guardian to talk about his fans, Bondarchuk declined.“The haters are themore interesting bunch.”  

Fyodor Bondarchuk Investments

1 Investments

Fyodor Bondarchuk has made 1 investments. Their latest investment was in Must App as part of their Angel - II on September 9, 2019.

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Fyodor Bondarchuk Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

9/30/2019

Angel - II

Must App

Yes

3

Date

9/30/2019

Round

Angel - II

Company

Must App

Amount

New?

Yes

Co-Investors

Sources

3

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