Explore the Political Complexity of Modern Russia Through the Story of One Girl in the Award-Winning Doc, Putin’s Kiss

Premiering Sunday, July 1, as Part of Global Voices on the WORLD Channel, Doc Provides an Inside Look at the Polarizing Political Views Among Youth in “The New Russia”

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(San Francisco, CA, June 6, 2012) — Nashi is an increasingly popular political youth organization in Russia with direct ties to the Kremlin. Officially, its goal is to support the current political system by creating a future elite among the brightest and most loyal Russian teenagers. But the organization also works to prevent the political opposition from spreading their views among young people. The award-winning documentary Putin’s Kiss follows 18-year-old Masha Drokova, a Nashi commissar and spokesperson, who is an ambitious middle-class student from the outskirts of Moscow. After joining Nashi at the age of 15, Drokova moves to the very top of the organization, and is rewarded for her dedication with a university scholarship, an apartment, and even a pro-Putin talk show. Everything changes when she becomes acquainted with a group of liberal journalists, including popular anti-Putin reporter Oleg Kashin. At first, she remains devoted to Nashi while pursuing tentative friendships with its left-wing critics — but when Kashin is brutally beaten by "unknown perpetrators," Drokova has a genuine change of heart and decides to take a stand. Directed by Lise Birk Pedersen, Putin’s Kiss premieres on Global Voices Sunday, July 1 at 10 PM on the WORLD Channel (check local listings). 

About the Subjects

Masha Drokova was born in Tambov, Russia in 1989. She joined Nashi at the age of 15 and quickly rose to be a spokesperson for the movement, as well as a well-known blogger and TV host. Since her departure from Nashi, she has abstained from participating in national politics; she currently lives in Moscow and works with communication in a private company. 

Oleg Kashin was born in Kaliningrad, Russia in 1980. Originally a journalist for a pro-Kremlin paper, he now writes for the daily Kommersant and is one of the profiled voices of the current protest movement in Russia. In November 2010, he was almost beaten to death after criticizing a long list of government projects and pro-Kremlin groups. 

About the Filmmakers

Helle Faber (producer) is the founder of the Danish production company Made In Copenhagen. She has produced a large number of documentary films for the international market, among them the award winning films Putin’s Kiss (2011), Dark Side of Chocolate (2010), Shanghai Space (2009), and Enemies of Happiness (2006), which received the Silver Wolf Award at IDFA 2006, the World Cinema Prize at Sundance 2007 & the Cinema for Peace in Berlin 2008. Faber graduated from The Danish School of Journalism in 1991.

Lise Birk Pedersen (director) graduated from the National Film School of Denmark in 2003. She made her graduation film, Margarita, about the complex mind of a Russian teenager immigrating to Denmark. Since then, Pedersen has made various TV programs and short documentaries. Her films in 2011 include two films from Russia: Nastya in Love, a teenage love story from a transit home in Saint Petersburg, and Putin's Kiss, which is her first feature-length documentary. Putin's Kiss was selected for Sundance Film Festival in 2012 and won the World Cinema Cinematographer award. 

Produced by ITVS International, Global Voices is a 26-week series bringing internationally themed documentaries made by U.S.-based and international filmmakers to a national audience. This season, the series will feature the U.S. premieres of thirteen documentaries funded by ITVS International, as well as encore broadcasts of other acclaimed ITVS programs. In addition to the WORLD broadcast, select episodes will be available online post broadcast — via iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, and on PBS’s Video player through http://video.pbs.org.  For the complete lineup and schedule, visit www.itvs.org/series/global-voices.  

WORLD is produced and distributed by WGBH Boston, WNET New York Public Media, and American Public Television (APT) in association with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA). The WORLD channel is available in markets representing more than 52% of US TV households, and 12 of the top 20 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas, Boston and Atlanta. Funding for WORLD is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). CONTACT Krissy Bailey, ITVS 415-356-8383, ext. 254 krissy_bailey@itvs.org For more information about the series, visit www.itvs.org/series/global-voices

Posted on June 6, 2012