Vladimir Urin, appointed by the Kremlin as director of the Bolshoi in the wake of the acid attack to restore the theatre’s reputation and put an end to the company’s power struggles. Speaks candidly about the immense challenges he faces and lifts the lid on the theatre’s behind the scenes links to the Kremlin.
Anastasia Meskova, dropped from a prestigious tour at the start of the season, struggles to get noticed, and cope as a single mother. She reveals just how tough it is to make it in the Bolshoi without help from outside.
Maria Allash dances the lead in several productions, from Swan Lake to Don Quixote, but knows that – aged 39 – her days at the top are numbered. A company veteran, she speaks candidly about both performers and managers.
Maria Alexandrova is one of the company stars: a People’s Artist of the Russian Federation and prima ballerina, she is widely respected and brutally honest about the internal machinations of the theatre.
Sergei Filin, the head of the ballet company and victim of the acid attack, resumed his job in the wake of the acid attack but his troubles are far from over as a new season begins. He struggles to impose his authority on the company and soon realises that old animosities between him and Urin are far from buried. For the first time he reveals publicly why his job is a like a “minefield.”
Nick Read – Director
Based in London, Director & DoP Nick Read is a British filmmaker known for making acclaimed observational documentaries, often shooting in difficult and dangerous locations. Having trained as a cameraman, since 1990 he has directed and filmed a number of award-winning documentaries for both British and American broadcasters including films inside Israeli jails, Baghdad’s Green Zone and more recently a Kabul trauma hospital. Nick has worked in over 60 countries, and has won 2 x Foreign Press Association awards (Inside Israeli Jails), the Rory Peck Impact Award (Slumdog Children of Mumbai), and the Creative Diversity Award for best documentary (Letting Go), and is a 3 times BAFTA finalist for best director & best cinematography. His first feature documentary ‘The Condemned’, about a Russian prison exclusively for murderers, premiered at Moscow Film Festival in 2013, and screened at over 20 festivals around the world.
Mark Franchetti – Producer & co-director
Producer & co-director Mark Franchetti is the Moscow correspondent of the Sunday Times of London. Fluent in five languages, he won the British Press Awards for best foreign correspondent for his coverage of the Moscow theatre siege when he entered the building twice during the hostage crisis to interview the terrorists. He also won the Foreign Press Association Award for his reports on the alleged abuse of Iraqi civilians by U.S Marines. He has covered extensively Russia and the former Soviet Union, the wars in Chechnya, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Georgia and Ukraine. He works both in print and TV and has reported and presented several prime time TV documentaries. Among them are, “Terror in Moscow” for Britain’s C4 which was shortlisted for a Bafta. For the BBC: “Britain’s Most Wanted”, about Andrei Lugovoi, following the death by poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko. “Should We Be Scared of Russia”, a BBC Panorama on Russia after the war in Georgia. “The Berlusconi Show”, about the former Italian Prime Minister and “Italy’s Bloodiest Mafia”, an investigation into the Camorra, the Naples mafia. Mark produced ‘The Condemned’, his first feature length documentary, about a Russian prison exclusively for murderers.
Simon Chinn – Executive Producer
Executive Producer Simon Chinn is a double Academy Award winning producer who has been responsible for some of the most successful feature documentaries of recent years, known for their high production values, powerful narratives and innovative blending of documentary and fiction techniques. Chinn conceived and produced Man on Wire, directed by James Marsh, which won over thirty international awards, including the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, the BAFTA for Outstanding British Film, the Producers Guild of America (PGA) Award and the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and was named by The London Observer as one of the best British films of the past 25 years. It was released theatrically in over 25 territories around the world in 2008/9 and became one of the highest grossing documentaries of recent years. His follow-up film, Project Nim, also directed by James Marsh, opened the Sundance Film Festival where it won the World Cinema Documentary Directing award. It was released theatrically around the world to great critical acclaim and won the Directors Guild of America’s (DGA) Award, was nominated for a BAFTA and a PGA Award and shortlisted for an Academy Award. Chinn launched three new films in 2012: Searching for Sugar Man, The Imposter, and Everything or Nothing – a feature documentary directed by Stevan Riley for MGM and Sony Pictures to mark fifty years of the Bond film franchise.