Muzzled by the increasingly autocratic regime of the “Depression Federation”, 16-year-old Marusya decides to join her generations’ suicide statistics by year’s end. Then she meets Kimi and a love story begins between the two millennials caught in the undertow of their oppressive government.
Together, Marusya and Kimi film the euphoria, anxiety and misery of their youth, burning the candle at both ends, fuelled by drugs and music. When Kimi’s addiction threatens to make him fade away forever, Marusya’s camera becomes her last chance to save the fragile soul.
Filmed over the course of 12 years, How to Save a Dead Friend is a personal cry from the heart, and a message from a silenced generation. It is an unbreakable love story existing in a destructible world.
SCREENINGS & AWARDS
World Premiere: Visions du Réel – April 2022
2022 Indielisboa (Portuguese Premiere)
2022 Dok.fest Munich (German Premiere)
2022 Subversive Film Festival
2022 ACID Cannes
Upcoming: Docaviv IDFF (May 26 – June 5)
- Special Mention in the International Competition at Visions du Réel 2022
- Wild Dreamer Award for Best Documentary at Subversive Film Festival 2022
Reviews: Le Monde (FR), The Film Verdict (EN), Montages (NO), Filmkommentaren (EN), Cineuropa (EN), Business Doc Europe (EN), Screendaily (EN), Variety (EN)
Interviews: Taxi Drivers (IT), Filmexplorer (EN)
“This documentary memoir cum love letter is moving, harrowing and, despite everything, hopeful; above all, it is fearsomely candid.”Jonathan Romney, Screendaily
“Raw and moving, Marusya Syroechkovskaya’s documentary describes growing up in 21st-century Russia, but is so intimate and honest that it would probably work just as well in a vacuum.”Vladan Petkovic, Cineuropa
“Coming from the inside, and from a generation Putin is seeking to silence and then refashion to his imperialist image, How to Save A Dead Friend […] is essential viewing for those seeking an intimate understanding of Russian society from within.”Clarence Tsui, The Film Verdict
DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY
Marusya Syroechkovskaya (1989) is a Moscow-born award-winning filmmaker and visual artist, who had to flee Russia as the March 2022 crackdown on opposition voices increased.
Marusya studied filmmaking at the School for Documentary Film in Moscow under professor Marina Razbezhkina and received her MA in Film Directing at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Moscow (graduated with honors).
Her student short, Exploration of Confinement received a Jury Award at the New Orleans Film Festival 2013 and qualified for the 2013 Academy Awards. It was also selected for the 35th Moscow International Film Festival, the Message to Man International Film Festival 2013, Tenerife Shorts Film Festival 2014, and a number of other international film festivals.
Her training includes workshops such as Ex Oriente Film, Flahertiana, and IDFAcademy. Marusya is a 2015 Nipkow Program Fellow (Berlin, Germany).
Exploration of Confinement (Short) 2013
Chistiy chelovek (Documentary short) 2012
Writer, director Marusya Syroechkovskaya
Camera Marusya Syroechkovskaya, Kimi Morev
Editor Qutaiba Barhamji
Sound recordists Gasan Hagverdiev, Ada Laub
Voice-over recording Sergey Martynov / DoubleRec Studio
VOSIS: Image and video audification synthesizer Dr. Ryan McGee
Original music Felix Mikensky
Sound design Yngve Leidulv Sætre, Thomas Angell Endresen
Producers Ksenia Gapchenko, Mario Adamson
Co-producers Anita Norfolk, Alexandre Cornu, Marusya Syroechkovskaya
Production company DOCS VOSTOK, Sisyfos Film Production
Co-production Folk Film, Les Films du Tambour de Soie, Lyon Capitale TV and Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg in collaboration with ARTE
WITH THE SUPPORT OF
The Swedish Film Institute, Norwegian Film Institute, Western Norway Film Centre
The Fritt Ord Foundation, IDFA BERTHA fund, CNC
PRODUCER’S BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY
Ksenia is a forward-thinking producer and film programmer with 10+ years’ experience, striving to create engaging powerful content with a lasting impact.
Ksenia received her Master’s in German Studies at Moscow State Humanitarian University. Later she graduated from Marina Razbezhkina and Mikhail Ugarov School of Documentary Films and Theatre in Moscow.
For many years Ksenia worked in the field of film programming and festival advising: as a programming director for the Documentary Film Center (first Russian documentary cinema). Ksenia is an alumnus of Ex Oriente (2018) and Eurodoc (2019); a participant of IDFA Forum; recipient of IDFA Bertha Fund and participant of IDFA Forum, EDP, as well as a recipient of the first award of Baltic Sea Docs.
Along with Director Marusya Syroechkovskaya, Ksenia co-founded DOCS VOSTOK, a film company with a focus on the production of independent creative documentaries from Eastern Europe and CIS countries, producing and promoting upcoming directors with a unique voice and vision.
Mario Adamson is a producer and founder of Sisyfos Film Production, an independent production company based in Stockholm, Sweden and Edinburgh, Scotland that produces high-profile documentaries with a focus on creative collaborations with international and domestic directors and producers who have a unique voice, a high artistic ambition and share the passion for the art of cinematic storytelling.
Mario has produced and co-produced such internationally acclaimed films as the multiple award-winning documentary “Scheme Birds” by Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin (Best Documentary Feature, Tribeca Film Festival, 2019), ”Merry Christmas, Yiwu” by Mladen Kovacevic (Winner of the Heart of Sarajevo, 2020), “The Scars of Ali Boulala” (world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival, 2021), “How to Save a Dead Friend” (World premiere at VdR 2022 in main competition) by Marusya Syroechkovskaya, the animated short films “Still Born” (Swedish Academy Award 2015 and The Golden Taube for Best Documentary Short in Leipzig, 2015 ).
Mario is an alumnus of the EURODOC and Jihlava Emerging Producer program, as well as the Sundance Institute Fund. He is originally a sound designer/composer with a career spanning four decades in the film industry.
Sisyfos Film Production
Les Films du Tambour de Soie
+33 (0) 4 91 333 575