A portfolio in stories

The first time we worked with Hype Film, neither of us really knew it – the film, Leto (Winner, Cannes, Best Soundtrack, and Nominee, Palme D’Or), came to us through a third party.

But the second time we worked with them was very much intentional – they went back to the source to find out who we were. They got in touch, and put us onto the subtitles for Petrov’s Flu for its Cannes Palme D’Or nomination, and then Tchaikovsky’s Wife, and many others.


“Will you come to Moscow? We’ll cover travel costs. He wants to meet you.”

We’d already been working with Mosfilm for some time when this call came through; but this meant bigger things. After a closed screening Will was addressed across the room, asked what he thought of the film, and whether he thought his team could subtitle it. On hearing his reply, Karen Shakhnazarov turned to the room of ministers, actors, and descendents of the author whose work the film was based on, and asked: “Well, what do you say? Do we entrust it to the Englishman?”

Needless to say, we got that contract, and many more from Mosfilm, including for the Venice award-winning restorations of classic Soviet films such as Come and See.


Kantemir, Kira, Vladimir, and Malika may have many things in common, but we only know about two of them. First, they all graduated Alexander Sokurov’s Film Directing School. And second, all their debut films after graduating were translated and subtitled by Eclectic, because all of them were nominated for and/or won top international awards. Kantemir Balagov’s Beanpole was Oscar nominated, and won in the Cannes Festival’s Un Certain Regard category; Kira Kovalenko’s Unclenching the Fists was Oscar nominated, and won in the Cannes Festival’s Un Certain Regard category; Vladimir Bitokov’s Mama I’m Home was nominated at the Venice Film Festival; and Malika Musaeva’s The Cage Seeks The Bird was put forward for Cannes.

The Russian film industry knows who to turn to for subtitles when it’s got films that can win awards.


Ilya, of Smeshariki, met one of our founders at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. Our guy, who saw Ilya dressed in a blue leather Ed Hardy jacket (with skulls!) among so many grey men in grey suits, bounced up to ask him if he was lost, and before long they were signing contracts, casting New York voice talent, and translating film scripts.


Alexandra at Oracle London spent a very frustrating 3 months testing translation firms. Eventually she asked a friend at Forbes Russia whether they provided translation services: “Come on, you guys write in English and Russian, surely you can translate, no?” They couldn’t. But they did refer her to an article featured on the Forbes Russia website about Eclectic.


VK.com, Russia’s Facebook, wanted to build up their international audience in advance of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. To translate their news feed into English, they turned to Andrey, a university friend of VK.com’s founder, and one of Russia’s top young interpreters. He had interpreted for Eclectic at sports events previously, so he had only one recommendation to make.

non stop production

Katya, who works for Alexandr Rodnyansky’s Non Stop Production, was trying to get the script for Stalingrad translated into English. She appealed to a friend of one of our founders. When our translation of the script helped them find US production partners, they gave us the script for Elena to translate. That won the Un Certain Regard award at Cannes. Then they gave us Leviathan to work on. That won at Cannes too, and the Golden Globes, and was Oscar-nominated.


Raisa, co-founder of Intercinema-Art, releases Russian films abroad. The biggest problem she faced was viewers not understanding what was being said in the films. When she watched Renata Litvinova’s Rita’s Last Fairytale, and found out that Eclectic did the subtitles, she recommended us to the producers of The Convoy. Then Mirrors. Then Me Too, and Metamorphosis and… You get the picture.

How did you find us?


Which Very Important Person are you going to thank?