Press releases

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

For Immediate Release 9/28/16

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

Fourth Film from VMP Productions to Premiere at Crest-Westwood Theater on October 18

Los Angeles—Independent film studio VM Productions will hold the North American premiere of its film, Notes from the New World, in Los Angeles next month. The film, a contemporary retelling of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s existentialist novella, Notes from the Underground, is the second of a series of films the company has dubbed the Dostoyevsky-LA Project. It will be screened at 7 p.m. at the Crest-Westwood Theatre in Los Angeles on Thursday, October 18. Cast and crew will be on-hand for the red carpet ceremony prior to the film. Information about the festival and how to obtain tickets is available at

Notes from the New World film stars Rebecca Sigl-Light (interview), Natasha Blasick (interview) and Nathanael Theisen and many other talented actors. It was written, directed and produced by the President of VM Productions, Vitaly Sumin. Originally from St.Petersburg, Russia, Sumin holds an M.S. in Oceanography from Russian State Hydrometeorological University. He started his career making documentary films related to 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 Dostoevsky's 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.

Dostoyevsky's Notes from the Underground is considered by many to be the first existential novel. The story revolves around a bitter, isolated man living alone in St. Petersburg, Russia in the 1860’s. The novella consists of the "notes" the man writes, which are a confused and sometimes self-contradicting set of memoirs describing his alienation from modern society. In the film, Sumin has both retold and continued the story in a modern setting. Notes from the New World features a young actor who, in the process of preparing for the leading role in a play based on the novella, is drawn into a world of intrigue, romance, and murder. Sumin said that he never meant to make the film into a faithful adaptation of the novella, but rather used the ideas and themes of the original writing to develop a modern-day "life imitates art" storyline that echoes the theme of isolation and alienation in the original work. "In the story of Notes From The New World, Steven, a young actor at the beginning of his career, is asked by Bob, a mad Machiavellian-type director and playwright, to perform the part of the Underground Man in real life. Once Steven puts on the mask of the Underground Man, there's no way back — he's entering a world of mythical forces that will push him all the way through the labyrinth into the Unknown."

Notes from the New World is the first North American premiere for any film from VM Productions. The company has a non-inclusive distribution agreement with Intellect Pictures, a film production, finance and distribution Corporation based in Los Angeles and Toronto. Intellect Pictures opted to include Notes from the New World in this festival because the festival has a good reputation for screening high quality films that reach a wide international audience. The World International Film Festival is a global industry event held around the year in the world's biggest cities. The around-the-world festival will bring new films and audiences together in locales that are international centers of the arts, creating a meeting place for auteurs and cineastes, filmmakers and movie fans. The World International Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing new and innovative films while fostering the next generation of filmmakers. It is a strong advocate for social change, and encourages cultural diversity and understanding between nations. It strives to foster the movie art of all continents by stimulating the development of quality cinema and promoting meetings between cinema professionals from around the world. The festival in October is the second of three showcases that will be held in the city during this year's festival.

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 the Notes from the New Worldstrong> premiere, our films, or information about additional US screenings, please contact Stacey at 713-456-9429 or stacey[at]vmpfilms[dot]com. You can learn more about VM Productions online at