When people touch our lives they live on in our hearts forever. This powerful message long cherished by Sasha upon the passing of his grandmother echoes the theme of our cross-cultural drama, "Matryoshka." Set simultaneously in Moscow and Los Angeles, Matryoshka tells the modern day story of Russian immigrants, Sasha and Yulia, as they plan their upcoming wedding in America and reflect on the many loved ones they miss back home. Sadly most of their friends and family overseas will not be able to attend their wedding.
Saying goodbye to loved ones is a bittersweet fact of life. It’s a challenge that seems insurmountable until the night Sasha presents Yulia with a special gift, an old Russian nested doll, the ubiquitous matryoshka. A family heirloom Sasha received years ago. A gift he gives with a powerful message that inspires Yulia to action. All alone, Yulia travels back to their Russian homeland to create a special video of the friends and family that remain, a thoughtful surprise to share with everyone at their wedding, including Sasha. Challenges arise immediately upon her arrival, but one is seemingly solved by a mysterious local driver at the airport. As Yulia's journey unfolds, questions are revealed like the matryoshka, layer upon layer. In her darkest hour, Yulia recalls Sasha’s message and within his words a dramatic revelation.
"Matryoshka" is as much a tribute to those who leave their homeland as it is a celebration of the people who touch our lives and guide us directly and indirectly on our path as we navigate moments of fate and coincidence. And of those loved ones we may be forced to let go, Sasha’s words are a reminder that they live on in our hearts and minds, forever.
From a production standpoint, "Matryoshka" was a test for the limits of ultra low profile, on-location guerilla filmmaking. Written, produced and directed by Pacific Pictures founder Kevin Shahinian, "Matryoshka" was shot over six days on-location in Moscow with no crew whatsoever, with the hope of making few sacrifices in how the film would be executed and avoiding the look of a guerrilla film. Ideas are only as solid as their execution and the conditions proved extremely challenging, from dialogue in moving vehicles to foot chases through dense woodlands; it's exciting to share the results and let the audience be the judge. "Matryoshka" is inspired by true events and co-stars Evgeniy Volovenko and Olga Prikhodko.
Shot with the Canon C100, 5D Mark III, and EOS L-Series Lenses.
Additional gear furnished by Glidecam.com, Zacuto.com, and Cinevate.com