Ю.Мамин: В защиту отечественной культуры. Обращение к зрителю. "
 
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Katerina Ksenyeva
actress, singer, composer, author and journalist

In October 2012 Katerina Ksenyeva have received a working artistic O-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa to enter the USA.

Lives in the USA.


Ludmilla Samokhvalova

General Producer and General Director of the Fountain Fund 

Ludmilla Samokhvalova is a professional actress. In the film "Fountain" by Yuri Mamin she plays a Russian actress who trying to earn some money has to sell tulips that her husband grow in a greenhouse at their small flat. She is taken to the police station for the black marketeering. It should be said that the director did not deviate from the truth at all: many Russian people lead such a life at that time. The tragic monologue of Ludmilla Samokhvalova in this comedy is impressed by its truth, power and female strength, and it still makes this film burning and urgent impressing onlookers and professionals. We would like to remind that it was the "Fountain" that twenty years ago was ordered by American senators for serious analyses of the situation in Russia.   

   Nowadays Ludmilla Samokhvalova involved completely in producing activity and Yuri Mamin creations.  An actress Katerina Ksenyeva is talking about her with delight: "I think there are two types of producers. Some of them try to make films for masses thinking about their work in terms of statistics terms almost like Hitler and Stalin considered peoples of different countries as "statistics". Such primitive producers-dictators try to calculate the tastes of the masses decreasing creative approach to the film production. But they lose in the main thing. Their films like chewing gum....You spit it out and forget about it.

   And there are producers - and I think Ludmilla Samokhvalova is one of them – that see in every person among the audience the Personality and Interlocutor. And such producers rely only on talented and unique directors-creators. And they win. The audience is not a simple mass but the community of individuals and sensitive hearts. And the "cinema for the heart" always wins. And such producers always win. Their interest to the cinema never declines with years it is only arises. Among them a beautiful actor and great producer Michael Douglas is among them it was him who believed in Forman and his "Cuckoo's Nest". It is Saul Zaentz, Robert Redford, Mel Gibson, producers of the "Deer Hunter", "Once in America", "Forrest Gump" and other humane and stirring projects. Ludmilla Samokhvalova is such type of a person. And at the same time she makes commercial cinema - cinema demanded by a group of individuals. But this is a Cinema with a capital letter: the Cinema that deserves Festival success!"

   Ludmilla Samokhvalova is planning "Window on Paris 2" together with foreign partner relying on a camera work for Yuri Mamin. It will be French or American cameraman who will be able to understand the director drive and social and civil voice of the creator of the film Yuri Mamin. Yuri Mamin needs a person with the same views on contemporary Russia and France, he needs such a director of photography as Andrew Moore.                                                          













Katerina Ksenyeva

 actress, singer, composer, author and journalist

 Career: 2000 to the present

 Religion: Christian

 Family:

 Father: Film producer Yuri Mamin

 Mother: Actress Ludmilla Samokhvalova

 

Awards: Special International Jury Diploma at the International Film Festival in Rabat, Morocco, for the part of Dasha in the film “Don’t Think about White Monkeys” (2009).

 

 

FAMILY AND CHILDHOOD

 

Katerina Ksenyeva was born in Saint Petersburg , Russia (former USSR). Her father is the widely acclaimed Film director Yuri Mamin. During Katerina's childhood years, Mamin was working as an assistant for various film directors on diverse projects, fulfilling virtually all of the most complex and difficult tasks on film sets. Her mother, the beautiful actress Lyudmila Samokhvalova, who played in the films “The Prince and the Pauper”, “Hold on to the Clouds”, “Fontain” and “Gorko!”, worked part-time at the theater. In order to make ends meet, Samokhvalova had to wait in long lines of pawn shops. Katerina’s talented and beautiful parents were never members of the Communist Party. Yuri Mamin was always against the ruling communist authorities; because of this, their future was filled with hopelessness and their present was filled with humiliation and deprivation. A breakthrough in their fate happened in 1985, when Perestroika began. In 1991, Perestroika ended and the era of Russian cultural degradation began, along with the onset of the powers of neo-feudal oligarchy. However, the childhood forever left its mark on the character and social position of Katerina Ksenyeva, arousing in her a sharp hostility against the humiliation of hard-working, honest and talented people and against the arrogance and cruelty of those in power (at that time against the communist and Komsomol party leaders; later against the Russians who made their fortune by deception, theft and forgery during the   1990's, and who made their way into all state spheres and into the Russian mass media).

 

CAREER

 

Katerina Ksenyeva planned to become an opera singer and laboriously studied vocal singing since her school days. At the same time, she also studied choreography.

She enrolled in the Department of Opera Vocals at the Musical College at the Bishkek Conservatory, where she studied for a year under Vladimir Mukovnikov, and then took lessons from Bulat Minzhilkiev; both her teachers are renowned opera singers.

In 1994, she enrolled in the drama department at the Saint Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy.

In 1998, she graduated from the master workshop of the actor and director Yuri Tomoshevsky, an honored art worker of the Russian Federation. Her diploma role was the part of Elvira in Max Frisch's play “Santa-Cruz” at the Comedian's Refuge State Theater (“Priyut Komedianta”).

While working on Elvira's role in this play, Katerina Ksenyeva began to study modern jazz dance with Natalya Kasparova and took master-class lessons from the Broadway choreographer Phil LaDuca. The ingenious choreography of the theatrical choreographer Sergey Gritsay, who worked with the director Yuri Tomoshevsky, demanded “nervous” control of her body, which reveals the internal breakdown of the heroine

Film Director Yuri Mamin and scriptwriter Arkady Tigai saw Elvira's tragic role in “Santa-Cruz” and they were stunned by Ksenyeva’s acting. From this moment, Mamin recognized Katerina as an actress of the deepest natural intuition and powerful dramatic temperament, and began to invite her to participate in his films.

However, Ksenyeva's first two screen roles were romantic comedy characters: a naïve 1960's bride in the film “Gorko!” (1997), and the cross-eyed journalist Masha in Yuri Mamin's popular original TV series “Grim Tales From Russia” (2000-2003), which was created as an analogue of the American “X-Files” planted on Russian soil.

Ksenyeva brought freshness and authenticity of dramatic-tragic moments even her in comedy roles, e.g. at the “doublet psychological attack” in the “Grim Tales” episode related to the journey to Zagibalovo.

In 2004, Katerina Ksenyeva accepted the offer to take part in the Kirill Kapitsa TV series “Cops”, in the episode “Sniper”, playing the part of actress Zoya, who killed a rapist with a sniper rifle.

 

DEBUT AS A FILM PRODUCER AND BIG CINEMA ACTRESS

 

In 2005, due to the most difficult situation of lack of help and support for director Yuri Mamin, Katerina Ksenyeva began assisting in the production of the film “Don’t Think About White Monkeys,” screenplay by Vladimir Vardunas. Because of political pressure and covert persecution, the film director Yuri Mamin, as an active denouncer of social injustice, was excluded from work in large-scale cinematography for ten years. Katerina helped to attract investment in the project, thus becoming de facto a co-producer and the creative producer of the film. The work on the film was finished in 2008 and it was released in Russian theaters in January of 2009.

In the film “Don’t Think About White Monkeys”, Katerina Ksenyeva played a role that was personally very important for her: the role of Dasha, a destitute young Russian woman who finds herself in a humiliating situation and struggles to survive. In this role, Katerina Ksenyeva showed all her power of social protest against the coming tyranny of the current “masters of life” in Russia. Her suicidal heroine, Dasha, escapes from a psychiatric hospital along with two of her friends, the alcoholic artist Gena (Aleksei Devotchenko) and the mute Buddhist with the nickname Khu-Pun’ (Anvar Libabov). They return to artist Gena's attic, where they are discovered by Vova - the hero of the film, a successful barman and businessman. At first, Vova dreams of using all three of them for cheap labor, but then Vova’s life changes under the influence of these destitute, restless, non-conformist and talented people. When he betrays them and ruins their lives, Vova understands that his life is devoid of meaning. Now he will sit on the roof of his chic office, in the place where he was once happy together with them, where he found and betrayed his love. From now on he will never be able to “not think about white monkeys”.

The film “Don’t Think about White Monkeys” was distributed by the company “Paradise”. Because the genre of satiric tragicomedy is unpopular with the Russian authorities, only twelve copies of the film were released across the country, and they were only shown in theaters during the daytime. The film received almost no publicity because the Cinematography Department at the Ministry of Culture refused to provide Yuri Mamin with advertising support.

At the same time, the film was stolen and handed over to Russian pirates. Katerina Ksenyeva convinced the film director Yuri Mamin not to make films ever again in Russia, where copyrights are not protected. Instead, she convinced Mamin to direct only foreign cinema projects.

Despite its failure in the Russian theaters, this fable-like tragicomedy in verse keeps attracting new fans.  

Katerina Ksenyeva was successful in arranging premiers of the film in the United States (New York and Minneapolis) and in England, where “Don’t Think About White Monkeys” received the grand prize at the The End of the Pier International Film Festival (2009). The film has received many international and national awards, including the grand prize at the International Film Festival in Rabat, Morocco (2009). After Katerina Ksenyeva's negotiations with her English partners, the film is being prepared for dubbing in one of the most professional studios of the famous London sound engineer Ray Gillon. It’s worth noting that Ksenyeva asked an American translator, a specialist in Russian and Pushkin poetry, to write a poetic translation for this film. For the first time in history, a Russian film in verse will be dubbed into English verse.

The film “Don’t Think About White Monkeys”, with Katerina Ksenyeva's role as the Russian dissident Dasha, received the first prize at the first online film festival, “Double 2”, organized by the Russian Gazette ("Rossiyskaya Gazeta").

 

MUSIC

 

In 2001, on the night of the catastrophe of the submarine Kursk, Katerina Ksenyeva was shocked by the treason committed against the submarine crew and the lack of assistance for the perishing sailors. In response, she wrote a rock ballad dedicated to the deceased crew of the Kursk.

At that time, Katerina wrote lyrics for this rock ballad, along with the Russian bard Eva Kondrasheva. However, Katerina finished the laborious work of arranging this song requiem only after five years. Katerina Ksenyeva's rock ballad “Lullaby for a Man” was top-rated by open voting on Gennady Bachinsky's Radio Maximum Sunday programs, in February and March of 2007. It was received with delight by the famous foreign musicians, including Zhurbin, Tristan Dell, Bernard Stollman, as well as by the general listening audience. However, the rock ballad dedicated to the submarine Kursk is not being circulated by the leading Russian radio stations. At the present time, work is underway to create a music video for “Lullaby for a Man” in Russian, English, and Ukrainian, performed by Ksenyeva.

In 2009, the company Bomba-Piter released Katerina Ksenyeva's first vocal album, “Lullaby for a Man”, which includes the actress’ rock ballad. The remaining songs in the album, which belong to various genres, are works of other composers - some are rock, some are French chanson. The songs are joined by short audio clips of amusing and paradoxical psychological slices of life, which makes the actress’ album original and unique. It’s worth noting that this album includes the mystic ballad “Insomnia” from the film “Don’t Think About White Monkeys”, which was also performed by the actress in English and in French.

In 2008, after having read the novel “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by the famous New York writer Jonathan Safran Foer, Katerina Ksenyeva wrote the English lyrics and music for her song “New York, New Life, New Love”, and dedicated it to all New Yorkers, to the unity of mankind and to the victims of the September 11 terror attacks. Ksenyeva’s song, a life-affirming hymn of love and faith, was sent to the renowned American producer Tristan Dell, who was stunned by the acting, vocal and composing abilities of Katerina, and invited her to Los Angeles. Tristan Dell introduced Katerina Ksenyeva to vocal coach Seth Riggs and to Tina Turner’s producer Denny Diante. The reaction of these famous musical figures was the same as Mr. Dell's. However, Katerina Ksenyeva didn’t like the Bohemian and idle spirit hovering over Hollywood. In spite of Seth Riggs' advice to stay in Los Angeles to sing and mingle with the right people, she left for New York. She received blessing for her work on the song “New York, New Life, New Love” from Donald Francis, a New York pastor, and began working on recording with a Gospel choir with her comrade and friend David Quinones, a talented musician and society figure. After finishing work on recording and mixing, Katerina Ksenyeva will film a music video for her song, dedicated to New Yorkers.

Ksenyeva is also the writer and composer of other songs: the anti-glamorous hymn to romanticism “Blues for three”, “Sing Me Poetry from Heine”, “Saga of a Siberian Rocker” (dedicated to Max Bushin) and instrumental compositions to be released at a later date.

 

JOURNALISM AND SOCIAL ACTIVISM

 

Katerina Ksenyeva is also a journalist and author of literary works. Her social and civic activism is inseparable from her creativity.

As a journalist, Katerina Ksenyeva is adamant about the position of Russia in modern society. She believes that the contemporary powers in Russia are a symbiosis of the former Soviet Komsomol functionaries' party money and the bureaucrats on one side – and, on the other side, of the bandit capital earned by the dishonest Russian businessmen through speculation, financial machination and theft from trusting citizens, racket and the robbery of the 1990's. As a result of this symbiosis, a new ruling class has appeared the modern Russian feudal corporate oligarchy. This class is devoid of culture and morality, with the rare exception of a few individuals and patrons, and presents a danger not only for Russia, but for the entire world as well. However, the most important fact is that this class is hastening the demise of Russian culture and environment, and honest, talented people in Russia are doomed to lead wretched lives of humiliation and poverty. The imperial politics of this ruling Russian class is, in its essence, anti-Russian and anti-humanitarian. By destroying the Russian culture that is important for the whole world, and by destroying the Russian mentality and by replacing the true human values with the imperial intrusive power, these greedy, soulless and cynical people, who are extremely powerful and are capable of buying for themselves citizenship of different countries, are also capable of ruining the whole world and causing its downfall.

 

CINEMA PRODUCTION

 

The actress believes that the problems of nationalism and racism and religious and racial hostility in the whole world, in Russia and the United States, did not go away; on the contrary, they are currently gaining new power. It is understandable that average people protest against globalization and the tyranny of financial pyramids by defending the right of each nation and ethnic group for self-determination. Therefore, Ksenyeva's film project “Rockman”, which she is producing for director Yuri Mamin together with filmmakers from the United States, is dedicated specifically to the theme of mutual understanding and mutual cultural enrichment. Katerina Ksenyeva is the author of the film's idea and, partially, of the film's script. However, “Rockman” will not be a moralistic film. Rather, the viewers will see a fascinating and enchanting show about the fate of talented people in Russia and America at the beginning and the middle of the 20th century.

In addition, Katerina Ksenyeva is the author of the idea and the co-author of the script for the film “The Joy of Love for Joyce” (in progress) for British cinema production, which she dedicated to Russian intelligentsia – wonderful, solid, decent people with bright souls, who lived at the times of Soviet power and then died for their creative ideas; such people as Elena Verzhblovskaya, Igor Romanovich and Victor Hinkis – the Russian translators of the immortal James Joyce's Irish novel “Ulysses”. These people sacrificed their lives for the sake of the Word.

 

Work in Cinema:

 

1997: “Gorko!” (“Wedding Kisses”), romantic comedy directed by Yuri Mamin. Katerina plays the role of a 1960's romantic fiancée.

2000-2003: “Grim Tales from Russia”, 18 satiric TV series, directed by Yuri Mamin. In the leading role of Masha Palkina, a young squint-eyed journalist.

2003: “The Sniper”, episode in the detective TV series “Cops”, directed by Kirill Kapitsa. In the role of Zoya, a revengeful actress.

2009: “Don't Think About White Monkies”, a tragicomedy, directed by Yuri Mamin. In the role of Dasha, a penniless Bohemian intellectual.

Grand prize for the film the The End of the Pier International Film Festival, England, 2009 (for the film)

Grand Prize at the International Film Festival in Rabat, Morocco, 2009 (for the film)

King Hassan II Prize at the International Film Festival in Rabat, Morocco, 2009 (for the film)

Special International Jury Diploma for best actress and Moritz de Hadeln's special remarks at the International Film Festival in Rabat, Morocco, 2009

Jury Award for best Russian film by the International Federation of Film Societies at the International Film Festival in Moscow, Russia, 2008 (for the film)

Award for innovation in the genre at the film festival "Smile, Russia!", 2008 (for the film)

Grand prize at the Russian Gazette's FInternational Internet Film Festival “Double 2”, 2011 (for the film)


Work in Theater: 1997-2000


Comedian's Refuge State Theater (“Priyut Komedianta”) in Saint Petersburg, led by Yuri Tomoshevsky

Leading dramatic role as Elvira in “Santa-Cruz”

Prizes and Awards:

Grand prize at the All-Theater Contest of Romance Singers, 1995 (while being a 2nd year student at the Saint Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy)

Second place winner of the International Singer Contest AYUM-97, 1997

Special International Jury Diploma for best actress and Moritz de Hadeln's special remarks at the International Film Festival in Rabat, Morocco, 2009

 

Official sites:

 

www.katerinaksenyeva.com

www.yurimamin.com

www.whitemonkeys.net

www.fountaincinema.org

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike License




Контакты: YuryMamin@gmail.com
© Katerina Ksenyeva 2011