Now we have 40 hours of footage...

The post production session seemed like it might never end. With little money the editing and translation was all done for free when there was spare time. There weren’t many grants available to help us at this stage and it was thanks to the BEARR Trust for their Small Grant Scheme that we made a start. We also received support from Academia Rossica who helped to promote the project. A trailer for the film was run at the Russian Film Festival and many new contacts were made.

Soon after that we were offered the assistance of free translating by two Russians living in New York. For over a month we sat down during their free time and eventually got through tens of hours of footage. This was the first time I had really had a chance to understand my characters and the depth of their ordeal. By studying everything they said and watching hours upon hours of their lives every day I was even beginning to develop a Russian accent. It was also surprising to see that the translators understood Perm’s street slang perfectly. During this time we had invaluable support from Indie Pix in New York.

Finally we had a colour correction treatment courtesy of ARRI Post Production in Munich. They had developed interest in the film in it’s early stages even though they had never worked on a documentary before.

The film premiered at Riverside Studio cinema in Hammersmith London to a sell out audience as part of the DocHouse programme. You can see the Q&A from this event here. Since then it has won numerous awards including Best Documentary at the Canada International Festival.