EXCLUSIVE: Vision Films’ CEO and Managing Director Lise Romanoff has closed a deal with Andrei Bocharnikov of Ukraine’s Festivals Cinema to theatrically release six films in the region—the goal being to provide a little respite, distraction and hope for all those in the country who are struggling, amid Russia’s invasion.
Festivals Cinema, based in Kharkiv, will first exhibit Paul Schneider’s inspirational family drama Just Another Dream, starring Kristy Swanson and Dean Cain, and produced by Charles Franz. It will then release the sci-fi pic Alpha Code, starring Denise Richards, which Keoni Waxman directed with Milan Friedrich producing. Thrillers 7th Secret and Seal of Desire will follow, along with the documentaries Queen Elizabeth II: Her Glorious Reign and Prince Philip: The Man Behind the Throne.
Festivals Cinema will also expand its theatrical release of Tango Shalom to Poland, with full support of the filmmakers. The film, which has been a catalyst for fundraising in support of Ukraine, follows a Tango dancer and a rabbi that develop a plan to enter a dance competition without sacrificing the latter’s orthodox beliefs. Its director, producer and star, Gabriel Bologna, and his wife Zizi co-founded the non-profit Artists4Ukraine, which has looked to champion Ukrainian filmmakers and artists stateside, while benefitting Ukraine’s displaced populations.
Vision has also acquired worldwide distribution rights to the edgy drama Pursuit of Freedom (fka Pulled From Darkness), based on the real story of a Ukrainian woman who was sold into trafficking by Russian gangsters, and who against all odds, and with the help of a determined Dutch nurse, an Armenian missionary, and an American pastor, survived years keeping faith that she would be reunited with her three children. A special screening is planned for June 25 at Grace Point Nazarene Church in Fort Wayne, IN as part of a special conference for local businesses, sponsors and laypeople to build awareness and raise compassionate aid for Ukraine. Vision is planning a day-and-date theatrical release for the film in October. George A. Johnson wrote and directed it, with George and Karen Johnson and Stelio Savante producing, and Lonnie and Connie Norris serving as exec producers.
“I was so surprised to receive an email from Mr. Bocharnikov asking me what other films I had available that he could release theatrically in the Ukraine when “the bombing stopped,”” shares Romanoff. “I replied that he could go to my website and chose whichever films he wanted as I was sure that I could speak for all of our filmmakers when I offered to not charge him any minimum guarantee, especially if it helped bring up the spirits of the people of these war-torn cities giving them hope that life would eventually get back to normal.”
Vision Films is an independent worldwide distributor of feature films, documentary specials, TV series and music programming, which was founded in 1997. The company currently handles a library of over 500 features, 500 documentaries and 100 music programs from some of the most prolific independent film producers in the world. It has recently released titles including Josh Brandon’s thriller A Thousand Little Cuts, Stella Tinucci’s adventure pic The Lost Treasure, Mark Polonia’s fantasy pic Reel Monsters and Bridget Smith’s 7th Secret, among many others.
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