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Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 04/2012

Shooting wrapped at the end of September on Berlin-based US director Tony Pemberton’s film adaptation of Victor Pelevin’s eponymous novel Buddha’s Little Finger which marks producer Rohfilm’s first foray into English-language production.

The film opens during the 1991 coup of the Soviet Union as communist hardliners try to oust Gorbachev from power. Pyotr Voyd, a young gangster, awakes in the notorious prison of Lubyanka, captured by the KGB. During the interrogation process, he loses his memory and believes that he is a Russian revolutionary poet in 1919 where he joins the real-life Red Army hero Vasily Chapayev and his sidekick machine-gunner Anna. Soon, Pyotr is on the run simultaneously in the Moscow of 1991’s gangster capitalism and in the Ural Mountains of precarious post-revolutionary 1919. Two revolutions can’t exist in one man’s head at the same time for very long!

Thanks to an introduction from Canada-based German producer Regine Schmid, Stöter got to know Martin Paul-Hus of Montréal’s Amérique Films. “I sent him the screenplay and he was just as enthusiastic as we are about the story,” he recalls.

Stöter explains that he had initially tried to cast the lead role of Pyotr out of Canada, “but we couldn’t find the right person in Quebec. We got in touch with the UK casting director Gary Davy with whom we had worked in the past and he put a list together with possible actors, including Toby Kebbell. We thought Toby was charismatic and ideal for this part as he has to play a character living in two different times – he looks the perfect fit for 1919, while in 1991, he looks as if he doesn’t belong somehow.”

The cast includes local actors who have experience of international projects ranging from André Hennicke (PANDORUM) and Trystan Pütter (PASSION) to Stipe Erceg (UNKNOWN IDENTITY) and Ivan Shvedoff (MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 4).

Genre Adventure, Drama, History, Love Story / Romance
Category Feature
Director Tony Pemberton
Screenplay Tony Pemberton, William Jennings
Cinematography Stephanie Biron-Weber
Cast Toby Kebbell, Karine Vanasse, Stipe Erceg, André M. Hennicke, Anne-Marie Cadieux, Christoph Bach, Ivan Shvedoff, Trystan Pütter
Producers Karsten Stöter, Benny Drechsel, Martin Paul-Hus
Co-Producers Frank Evers, Helge Neubronner, Andreas Eicher
Production Companies Rohfilm Productions, Amérique Film/Montreal, in co-production with cine plus Filmproduktion
Shooting Dates August-September 2012
With backing from Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, German Federal Film Fund / DFFF Deutscher Filmförderfonds, Creative Europe MEDIA, SODEC, Telefilm Canada, Eone Canada, Cine+

Rohfilm Productions GmbH
Idastr. 39
04315 Leipzig/Germany
phone +49-341-393 784 60
fax +49-341-393 784 61