LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Noted film producer Mikhail Makeyev is sharing his passion for period dramas with a social message when he premieres his short films “Delta Girl” and “Magic 85” at the Oscar-qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival this weekend in Los Angeles.
“Magic 85” will be screened at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11 while “Delta Girl” will be screened at 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 13. For tickets and more information, visit www.HollyShorts.com.
“‘Magic ‘85’ is a very personal story to our director. It follows a closeted homosexual who turns his house into a hospice for terminally ill patients suffering from AIDS in the middle of 1980s Los Angeles,” Makeyev said. “We wanted to show the audience how the AIDS virus affects the body and soul of a human being and corrupts every single cell making it even more difficult to handle the pain and the life itself.”
The film, directed by Annika Kurnick, stars Charles Baker (“Breaking Bad”) and Andy Bean (“Here and Now”) and is the recipient of the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Grant.
Also screening at the festival is “Delta Girl,” which tells the story of a 17-year-old Magnolia who is torn between right and wrong after witnessing a racist act by her brother at the height of the Civil Rights Movement.
“The movie shows life in Mississippi in the middle of 1960s from a perspective of a white girl named Magnolia. She lives in a conservative environment and doesn’t ask questions, but the events of few days earlier completely shake her,” he said. “This perspective is rarely taken, but it was part of life. Magnolia is a teenager from a family with certain values and rules. She is only about to find herself and her place in life when everything she knew turns into a fraud and evil.”
The film was directed by Jaclyn Bethany and stars Isabelle Fuhrmann (“Hunger Games”), Caitlin Carver (“I Tonya”) and Ashley Bell (“The Last Exorcist”).Delta G
The two films come just as Makeyev is set to begin production on the upcoming independent feature film “Indigo Valley,” starring Rosie Day (“All Roads Lead to Rome”) and Brandon Sklenar (“Mapplethorpe”).
Having worked on a number of short films such as “JieJie,” as well as a number of documentaries and short films, Makeyev set his own path as a boy in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, Russia, when he was raised by his parents who were both artists. Having been exposed to art as a child, he found a passion in his own art which he would later set aside when he discovered his fascination for film and television production.
At 18 he learned the ropes of TV production when he joined a team from a local television station that had traveled to the North Pole to broadcast from the harsh environment. He would go on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in corporate management in film and television while he
worked for a number of broadcast stations and networks, as a camera operator, video editor, assistant director and line producer.
Having worked in marketing business, doing interviews for RT, Russia’s international television network and documentaries for My Planet, the most popular Russian version of Discovery Channel, Makeyev turned his attention to Hollywood to strike out on his own as filmmaker and producer in Los Angeles. Today, with several projects already under his belt, including his two short films, Makeyev is already making plans for more films.
“The primary reason why I made these shorts are the great inspiring female directors and writers behind each story. We were exploring risky topics and different perspectives rarely seen on historic events,” he said. “Movies are powerful and are a great tool to show the diversity of the world. I never looked for specific genres. What attracts me is a strong story and a filmmaker willing to tell it. Cinema is capable of bringing your message to a very broad audience, to make them question the environment, and to open hearts and minds to the beauty of the diverse world.”