Fine Artists Invade Cinematography with Gogol’s Surrealism 

Gogol, courtesy of The Portrait

Gogol, courtesy of The Portrait

The phantasmagorical fiction of Nikolai Gogol, the most mysterious 19th century author of Russian literature, is capturing the imagination of filmmakers. Innovative technologies are now giving a new opportunity to bring Gogol’s creative vision to a worldwide audience.

For the very first time the author’s most mystical short story THE PORTRAIT is being adapted for the big screen, telling the tale of a penniless, gifted fine artist Andrei Chartkov, who on the way to perfecting his talent is endowed with riches by a frightening, lifelike portrait painting. THE PORTRAIT is being developed by the forces of Russian-American fine artists, screenwriters and creative producers Anastasia Elena Baranoff and Elena Vladimir Baranoff.

The upcoming, international co-production is set to unite talent from the USA, United Kingdom and Russia in an avant-garde collaboration. Twisting together three time periods, through the prism of the art world, The Portrait shall explore everlasting themes of money and happiness, success and failure, popularity and principles, combining great drama, sharp wit and surrealism in the Gogolesque style.

Filming is planned to take place on location in Saint Petersburg, the ancient town of Suzdal, Southern Taiga of the Ivanovo region, and United Kingdom sound stages.

The Portrait motion picture recently took part in Moscow Business Square 2014, the co-production platform of the 36th Moscow International Film Festival, gaining great interest from producers, filmmakers and representatives of the press.

Production is planned to start in 2015/2016, keep an eye out for more information on the release date in the future.

Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol –

Russian author Nikolai Gogol began his literary career in 19th century Saint Petersburg. The world renowned author of Dead Souls (Mertvye Dushi), The Inspector General (Revizor), The Nose (Nos), The Overcoat (Shinel) and others, established himself as the greatest satirist and mystic, fearlessly and truthfully analyzing life and its characters in the most unconventional ways. Nikolai Gogol sculpted bold caricature personalities, supernatural metamorphoses, and unexpected worlds in his deeply original style. His short story The Portrait was first published in Arabesques. Initially written between 1833-1834, Gogol considerably rewrote the story between 1841-42 while in Rome and republished it in its new form in the magazine The Contemporary.

Anastasia Elena Baranoff –

Anastasia Elena is a young, award-winning fine artist whose paintings have been exhibited at the Haggin Museum in California, Dunedin Fine Arts Center in Florida, Bennington Center for the Arts in Vermont, Mall Galleries in London, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Florida, among others and are housed in private collections. Fifth generation of egg tempera painters in a dynasty of distinguished Russian Palekh fine artists and icon writers, art creation of Anastasia’s ancestors can be seen in leading museums and on the walls of the Faceted Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin painted for Tsar Alexander III of Russia. Anastasia is an honorary graduate of School of the Arts and Academy of Art University of San Francisco and studied at Parsons School of Design in New York and Central Saint Martin’s in London. In 2013 she co-founded the Egg Tempera Movement with Elena Vladimir Baranoff. THE PORTRAIT is her debut in the world of film as a screenwriter and development/creative producer.

Website –

Elena Vladimir Baranoff –

Elena is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning master of fine art, whose one of a kind paintings have been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London, Dean Gallery of the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Florida, Gulf Coast Museum in Florida, Springfield Art Museum in Missouri and others, in addition to leading US art galleries. Her rare works of art are housed in prominent fine art collections around the world, including the British Royal Collection of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, and her professional profile is featured in Who’s Who In Art – Biographies of Leading Men and Women in the World of Art in Britain Today. Having earned a Masters of Fine Art in Miniature Painting, Elena was taught the extraordinary egg tempera medium at the renowned Palekh Art College, Russia, where centuries old traditions were inherited from generations of icon writers by generations of fine artists. Over the years, Elena developed her own new style of painting, perfecting and championing the mesmerizing egg tempera fine art medium in our modern society. In 2013 she co-founded the Egg Tempera Movement with Anastasia Elena Baranoff, in an effort to revitalize the rare fine art tradition. THE PORTRAIT is her debut in the world of film as a screenwriter and creative producer.

Website –

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