Not since Tobe Hooper directed Life Force has someone made such an audacious vampire thriller as Empire V. And today, we have a first look at all the fantasy horror with three new photos direct from the movie to stare at, eyes gap in awe and wonder. 'What is this?'
Director Victor Ginzburg's widely-anticipated second film, Empire V, produced by the Kvadrat Film Company, will be available to distributors at this year's AFM with international sales handled by executive producer Jim Steele (Cut Throat City, Running with the Devil, Blackway). The film has completed production and will be targeted for release at the end of 2019. It is the follow-up to Ginzburg's art-house sensation, Generation P.
The film has been financed largely through the recently launched crypto-currency Bablos and crowdfunding. Empire V is an independent film that will prove that there are new ways to make movies. The initial crowdfunding on platform Planeta.ru collected a record amount for Russia which made it possible to start shooting. The Russian Cinema Fund, Lexus, The Macallan, Webmoney and several other sponsors came to support the project. Finally, the bablos.com cryptocurrency platform was created to raise the finishing funding. The Bablos tokens are now going through the ICO stage and have raised over a million dollars.
The film is a macabre and epic fantasy set in modern-day Moscow, where a young man whose life is on a straight course to mediocrity gets recruited by an elite band of vampires with startling powers. He falls in love with a beautiful young woman among the ranks, and together they traverse the ancient underworld to uncover a horrifying global conspiracy: vampires rule over humanity through the cult of beauty, blood and "bablos", a mystical substance distilled from live human beings.
Empire V and Generation P and are both based on books by Victor Pelevin, an internationally acclaimed novelist who the New York Times called, "the enfant terrible of post-Soviet Russian literature..." for his novel Homo Zapiens, the source material for Generation P. The story follows a poet who sells his soul to the advertising industry, goes slightly mad, tries to channel Dostoevsky among many other drug-induced hallucinations, and still asks the question, "who is controlling all of this?"
In Empire V, we start to get the answer. Says Executive Producer Jim Steele.
"It is appropriate that Empire V is financed through crypto-currency as one of its main themes is the relationship between money, blood and mortality."
Jim Steele's credits as an executive include the films Terminator, Platoon, Reservoir Dogs, Made in the USSR, Generation P, The Arrival and upcoming Running With The Devil, Cut Throat City and Empire V. The film's DOP Alesxei Rodionov worked with British director Sally Potter and shot Orlando, Party, Yes, Talk of Angels and Passion in the Desert as well as the World War II classic Come and See.
The film stars leading Russian actors Pavel Tabakov, who plays Rama, the hero and his nemesis, the cunning Mitra, is played by the rapper Oxxxymiron (Miron Fedorov). The identity of the lead actress is a well-guarded secret, she was chosen by a nationwide open call, and it's rumored that she resembles Mila Jovovich. Over three thousand young ladies applied for the role.
In the part of Ishtar, the graceful, aging, terrible goddess, is legendary Russian film actress Vera Alentova, known for the Oscar-winning film Moscow Doesn't Believe in Tears.
Behind the scenes, computer graphics guru Alexey Tylevich of Los Angeles studio LOGAN will lead the design of all CG. He is known for his work on Apple, Nike, Microsoft, Sony, Lexus, Madonna, and Marvel. The Polish studio Platige Image, a global brand in digital 3D-animation, will handle the CG production. Dutch genius Julius Hosrthuis is in charge of all fractal animation, a new trend in blockbusters such as Doctor Strange.
Empire V is targeted for wide distribution in Russia (1000+ screens), Eastern Europe, India, and China in 2019. Large television networks and corporations have shown an interest in the television and digital rights to the film. If, as the Wall Street Journal claims, Generation P was a "cultural firebomb," then Empire V plumbs the depths of the wreckage to uncover the truth. Who is controlling this chaos that is our lives?
Director Victor Ginzburg was born in Moscow and immigrated to America as a young man. He began his film career in the US directing commercials and music videos for the likes of Lou Reed, Robbie Robertson, Belinda Carlisle, and Gorky Park. In 2008 he returned to Russia to produce and direct Generation P, which went on to become the highest-grossing Russian film of spring-summer of 2011. Featured in more than 50 international festivals, including Toronto, New Directors/New Films in NY, a nomination for Best Foreign Film at the Palms Springs IFF and won a Special Jury prize at Karlovy Vary and Sofia and Audience Ward in Warsaw, among others.
Take your first look at this fascinating vampire thriller with the first three images from Empire V, as it heads to the AFM. How soon will we see these fangs bared in the States? We'll know soon, but for now, these should keep you satiated.