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The Infoholic: Will Ukrainian Comedy Conquer the World?

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On March 2, it was released a Ukrainian romantic comedy “The Infoholic”. This feature-length film was commissioned by the TV channel NLO TV and co-produced by the Idea Production, the “Mamahohotala” Studio (creative) and the “Film Company MMD” (distribution).

Just during the prerelease, it became apparent that the comedy was bound to succeed. The audience laughed, applauded, praised the film and queried the filmmakers. Light and joyful atmosphere along with good humor, this is what a comedy should bring, in fact. At such moments, the Ukrainian cinematography can be justifiably proud of. “This is a bomb!” – The audience exclaimed while leaving the cinema hall.

The “Mamahohotala” Studio is a real-life reproach to those who claim that television can not do anything worth without big money. The Mediasat featured before that a team of talented students, sponsored by the NLO TV, made a top-rated show and a prosperous studio. This time, they have reconfirmed their reputation of a good housewife who can make dinner out of nothing, since the declared film budget was USD 100 thousand. The film shoots did not take place on stages, but in the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute (KPI), real trolleybus in downtown Kyiv, at producer’s home… Thereby, the film looks true and natural. Even a camel and Pavlo Zibrov (a Ukrainian singer) were real. The best trump card of the film is its script and the live action of Evgeniy Yanovich (main character), Oleg Maslyuka (acts Senya, a friend of the main character), Elena Borozenets and others.

The main character is reading news all the time on his phone without stopping, and thus neglecting his existing life. The plot has no local binding and is relevant throughout the world, and this is what the producers are planning to use. Ivan Bukreyev, CEO at NLO TV, shared with the Mediasat his plans to enter foreign markets. There are no specific agreements yet, but they have already initiated negotiations. In Ukraine, “The Infoholic” will be released in cinemas, and then through online services like Megogo and OLL.TV. The producers rely on a good box office, however, the expected amount was not revealed.

The plot of the romantic comedy “The Infoholic”:
Caution! You will pick out yourself or your friends in the film, and we guarantee it will be funny! The British scientists have found out that a modern man spends an average of one and a half hours a day on news reading. However, this does not refer to Maxim, a young and promising investment company’s manager. He is an infoholic who is keeping his phone near all the time. His addiction becomes a real curse, when all the news that Max learns starts coming true in his own life. How to deal with it? To search for some information about it over the Internet?

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IVAN BUKREYEV, CEO at NLO TV:

“This is our first feature film, a test story, just to understand how the film distribution works, and to make a long way from script to delivery and distribution, for our future reference. “The Infoholic” is a Ukrainian film about any of us. We focus on what is happening generally around the world and notably in Ukraine, and it seems we have managed to discover a topic, which is becoming increasingly important. The film is very easy to find yourself and the close ones”.

VALENTIN SHPAKOV, producer, film director

“In my judgement, a film should not only entertain, but also to teach and to suggest ideas. The point of chronic sticking to a phone is not just funny, since for many people it is not yet apparent, but a serious problem in the near term. We are trying to hint at the audience in a comic form: “Hey, buddy, get out of your phone! Why do you need information about the number of sold iPhones in Denmark?! As long as you read it, there passed by a pretty girl you could be happy with forever”.

BEKIR MAMEDIEV, scriptwriter at the “Mamahohotala” Studio:

“To write a feature-length film is the very dream of any scriptwriter. We had a couple of stories that we wanted to film. While opting for the best one, we constantly got stuck in the phone, flipping through the news feed. Thus, it was decided to bring that particular idea to life. It is actual, funny and somewhat melodramatic”.

FAST FACTS

  • The shoots of one film episode took place in the capital on Saksaganskiy Street. There was involved a “disabled” trolleybus in the frame, which did not allow other trolleys (following their usual routes) to pass. A collapse was possible to avoid thanks to the efforts of a driver, who was later nicknamed Superman. He took away “horns” of trolleybuses and dragged the vehicles through the shooting location to a free space, where he put those trolley poles back.
  • The directors of “The Infoholic” decided that they wanted everything to be the most natural and real in their film. Therefore, the role of the She-camel Nana was cast to a real female camel. She played to perfection and was conferred the title of “Angelina Jolie among she-camels” by the film director Vladislav Klimchuk.
  • To be the main character is not only the glory and pleasure, but also a hard work and curiosities… Evgeniy Yanovich (starring) had to stand once under a cold shower for two hours. At the same time, he had to pretend taking a… hot shower! The property masters, costumers and cameramen also had to do some work. For the shower room to look foggy, it was used a steam iron, and the steam was vaped. By the way, the scene failed to film on the first take.

 

REFERENCE

Title: The Infoholic

Genre: Comedy

Running time: 90 minutes

Produced by: Valentin Shpakov, Ivan Bukreyev

Directed by: Valentin Shpakov Vladislav Klimchuk

Director of Photography: Timofey Avramchuk

Sound: Evgeniy Zaika

Art Director: Alexandr Zherikov

Cast: Evgeniy Yanovich, Oleg Maslyuk, Elena Borozenets, Pavlo Zibrov, Alexei Nagrudnyi, Georgiy Povolotskiy, Sergei Kalantay, Alla Martyniuk, Anastasia Kasilova, Pavel Tupikov, Evgeniy Kaporin, Issa-Sadio Diallo, Dmitriy Solovyov, Elena Svetlitskaya, Sergei Solopay, Anatoliy Somik, Lyudmila Ardelyan.

Production Studio: “Mamahohotala” Studio and “Idea Production”

Key account: NLO TV

Scriptwriters: Bekir Mamediev, Evgeniy Bugrov, Evgeniy Yanovich (“Mamahohotala” Studio)

Indicative budget: the equivalent of USD 100 thousand.