NEON announced today that they have acquired U.S. rights to Andrei Konchalovsky’s Dear Comrades!, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival where it won the Special Jury Prize. Written by Konchalovsky and Elena Kiseleva, the film was produced by Alisher Usmanov. This morning, Dear Comrades!, which stars Julia Vysotskaya, Vladislav Komarov, Andrei Gusev, Yulia Burova, Sergei Erlish, was announced as Russia’s official submission for this year’s Academy Awards.
When the communist government raises food prices in 1962, the rebellious workers from the small industrial town of Novocherkassk go on strike. The massacre which then ensues is seen through the eyes of a devout party activist. Dear Comrades! received critical praise out of the Venice Film Festival, with Variety calling it “scintillating” and “meticulous and majestic, epic in scope and tattoo-needle intimate in effect,” and The Playlist describing it as “a fascinating blend of dark satire and bleak archaeology.”
Ayo Kepher-Maat negotiated the deal for NEON with Jean-Christophe Simon and Julien Razafindranaly from Films Boutique.
Famed Russian filmmaker Konchalovsky’s most recent work includes Il Peccato (The Sin). His two previous features, The White Nights of Postman and Paradise, brought him best director Silver Lions at the Venice International Film Festival. His work has also won him numerous accolades, including the Cannes Grand Prix Spécial du Jury, a FIPRESCI Award, three Golden Eagle Awards, and a Primetime Emmy Award.
NEON has followed up their Best Picture win for Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite with recent acquisitions like Michel Franco’s New Order (Venice’s Grand Jury Prize winner), as well as Night of Kings, Philippe Lacôte’s Ivory Coast Oscar submission. The company has several projects in various stages of development and production, including Pablo Larrain’s Spencer, Ben Wheatley’s Horror Film In The Earth, and The Painter and the Thief narrative remake.