Press releases

The fascinating, behind-the-scenes struggle to create the award-winning
Notes from the New World

Press release

For Immediate Release 5/11/16

Contact Information:
Stacey Ford Osborne
Communications Director
VM Productions
(713) 456-9429

From oceans to the human soul: oceanographer-turned-director finds his niche in the film noir world
VM Productions takes home two awards at the LA NEO NOIR FILM FESTIVAL

Los Angeles — When Los Angeles director Vitaly Sumin started his career in oceanography, he had no idea that he would one day be accepting an award for a festival dedicated to the film noir genre. But his film company, VM productions, recently announced that two films from their Dostoyevsky-LA Project, Shades of Dayť and Notes from the New Worldť, have been awarded, respectively, the Gold and Bronze awards by the Los Angeles Neo Noir Novel, Film & Script Festival. Both films, which have received numerous awards and critical acclaim, will have their US Premieres later this year in New York and Los Angeles.

Sumin, who holds an MS in Oceanography from the Russian State Hydrometeorological University of St.Petersbrug, started his career making documentary films in his chosen field. But he loved the filmmaking aspect of the work so much that he decided to abandon his scientific career and pursue a BA in film directing. After a brief stint as a game developer he attended the Sorbonne in Paris under a study grant. His script The Idiot, which recast Fyodor Dostoyevsky novel as a contemporary international thriller, received a development grant from The Warner Bros Fund. Later Sumin moved to Los Angeles, California, and created VM Productions to develop and produce quality films based on original stories and masterpieces of world literature.

The writer/producer/director has found that his new life's work is not really that different from the work he originally pursued. The classics of world literature that we work with are really deep investigations into the human condition. So while I started out exploring the deepest and often darkest parts of the ocean, I ended up investigating the deepest — and often darkest—parts of the human soul. It wasn’t exactly the adventure I started out on, but it has been a great one and I am so happy that our work is paying off at festivals like the Neo Noir Festival in LA. It's been very gratifying.

The Los Angeles Neo Noir Novel, Film & Script Festival was created to celebrate, showcase, and sell the work of the greatest independent unknown neo noir filmmakers and writers from Los Angeles and around the world. This year the festival committee received close to 1,000 submissions. The VM Productions projects ranked in the top 150. All submissions were screened solely for industry professionals and a team of anonymous judges. The creator and director of the festival is Carey Westbrook, former consultant for George Tillman Jr. (SOUL FOOD, BARBERSHOP) and Derek Cianfrance (BLUE VALENTINE, A PLACE BEYOND THE PINES). Both of the VM Productions films that won prizes at the festival will be screened at the LA Neo Noir Nooner event, a private event for grand jury prize winners only, on May 28 in LA. The event has been hailed by L.A. Weekly as the film festival with the world's sexiest, darkest, crime films.

VM Productions is dedicated to the art of independent filmmaking. The company develops and produces quality films based on original stories and the masterpieces of world literature. The creative team behind VM Productions admires the great artists of all times. The richness and complexity of their existence and the discoveries they made to help humanity move forward toward a better understanding of life, death, peace and coexistence serve as the source of their inspiration. For additional information regarding Director Vitaly Sumin, the Neo Noir Film Festival Awards, or information about upcoming US screenings, please contact Stacey Osborne at 713-456-9429 or stacey[at]vmpfilms[dot]com. You can learn more about VM Productions online at