14 June
Press Release: PRESS-RELEASE: THE CREW goes to the Middle East

Film company “Central Partnership” (Russia), Empire (Lebanon) and Buta Films (on the rights of an official, bilateral partner) announce the beginning of the screening of the movie “The Crew” (Russia, 2016) in the Middle Eastern region. The premiere of the picture will take place on 23rd June in Beirut. This will be the first ever release of a Russian theatrical film on the territory of the Middle Eastern nations. Despite the difficult geopolitical situation in the region, cultural exchange and cooperation with Russia did not cease, and the premiere of the picture is yet another bright evidence humanistic and bonding power of art.

“The Crew” was not chosen accidentally for debut of new Russian cinema in the Middle East. This movie was on the one hand filmed using modern western standards, and on the other is in the best tradition of classic Soviet cinematography. “The Crew” combines the mastery of realism and new technology. The store of the pilots, that saved hundreds of passengers under extreme conditions, is universal and understood by everyone. The main theme – the theme of the value of human life – is very relevant to the Middle East right now.

The screening of “The Crew” will open a new edge of cultural partnership between Russia and countries in the Middle East.

Pavel Stepanov, General Director “Central Partnership”, distributor of the film “The Crew”, in Russia and CIS: “The contract of cooperation with film company Empire International, the largest distributor in the Middle Eastern region, one of the most important achievements of the Cannes cinema forum. We are proud to say that “The Crew” has grossed highest out of any Russian movie this year, and will become the first official release of a Russian, theatrical movie in Lebanon, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrein, Oman, Qatar and Iran, and the first one in a long time in Egypt. It is truly a historical event, which underlines that art and culture are outside of politics. We are certain that the audience in the Middle East will appreciate the picture, as millions have come to love in Russia and CIS. And in the future, with the support of Empire International, we plan to continue to introduce to them the hits of the domestic industry.”

Mario Haddad, General Director “Empire International”, distributor of the film “The Crew” in the Middle East: “Central Partnership” – one of the leading film companies in Russia, not only in the production of Russian movies, but also in distribution of foreign projects in Russian Federation and in CIS. The cooperation with Central Partnership was completely logical, one of the leaders of the Russian film industry, with the best distributor in the Middle East and the Gulf region – Empire. The first release will be the blockbuster “The Crew”, and later, other Central Partnership projects. When we met with the head of Central Partnership Pavel Stepanov, we quickly came to agreement, that I was time to introduce Russian cinema to the Arab audience. I was impressed by Mr Stepanov’s professionalism and perfectionism, and how intricately he understands, that to present a Russian movie to the Arab audience for the first time, even a blockbuster, is a very difficult task. Some of the difficulties, which need to be overcome, include – the language barrier and the lack of recognizable celebrities. The chances of success of similar movies in Middle East we will estimate by judging the reaction in other territories.”

Alexander Zasypkin, Ambassador of Russian Federation to Lebanon: “There were never screenings of Russian movies in Lebanon. The film “The Crew”, which will be shown in a third of the country’s cinemas, is the best one to begin with, it is simply a gift, an opening. “The Crew” will be the first step to a long term cooperation between Russia and the Middle Eastern nations, especially Lebanon, in cinematography. We are happy that we have the opportunity to introduce the Middle Eastern audience to our cinematography, in the year that was made to be the year of cinema in Russia.

Produced by Central Partnership

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