Directed by: Yuri Kara
Cast: Anastasia Vertinskaya, Valentin Gaft, Mikhail Ulya-nov, Nikolai Burlyaev, Leo Durov
In 1994 director Yuri Kara adapted The Master and Margarita for screen. His film was the most expensive post-Soviet production. High inflation and an unstable rouble made the costs go sky-high for the production company TAMP - up to 15 million dollar. When the movie was ready producers Arsen Adamyan, Irena Mineeva, Aleksander Mishin and Vladimir Skory decided not to release it. Vladimir Skory said that Yuri Kara's director's cut was un-acceptable. The soundtrack recorded by Alfred Schnittke was released on CD.
The cast was impressive: it consisted of very famous Russian actors like Anastasia Vertinskaya (Margarita), Valentin Gaft (Woland), Mikhail Ulya-nov (Pontius Pilate), Nikolai Burlyaev (Yeshua), Leo Durov (Matthew Levi). In 2005 a limited number of Moscovites could see the movie on a private session at the Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF). One of the happy few was journalist Valeriy Kitshin of the Rossyskaya Gazeta. He was so impressed that he wanted to make efforts to have it released, and he con-tacted the producers.
In November 2006 Kitshin published an interview with all concerned. Con-clusion: the producers and Kara are coming closer to each other, but a new troublemaker showed up in the person of Sergey Shilovsky. This grand-son of Bulgakov's third wife Elena Sergeevna Shilovskaya now claims, as self-assigned heir, the rights on Bulgakov's literary inheritance. He said that TAMP had the time until mid-2007 to show a lot of money. If they didn't, he would sell the rights to another interested party which he kept in reserve.
On November 15, 2010, Luxor Company announced that they had bought the right to release the film. It would be shown on big screen for the first ti-me on March 3, 2011. Wide audience would be shown a two-hour version of the film, whereas the director's full three-hour version would be available on DVDs to be distributed by Luxor Company as well.
On January 17, 2011, the film was finally shown to the press in Saint Pe-tersburg. The premiere was attended by director Yuri Kara and the actors Igor Vernik (Yehuda), Sergey Garmash (Ivan Bezdomny), Aleksandr Filip-penko (Koroviev) and Valentin Gaft (Woland). The press was, to say the least, not very enthusiastic, despite the big names of the actors who popu-late the film.
From 7 April 2011 the film will finally be shown in Russian cinemas. ...