Former Freep Film Festival Opener "The Russian Five" Makes its Big Screen Debut
By: Amber Ogden
March 13, 2019
The Russian Five is more than a historical story, it shows the grit and teeth of Detroit. These five hockey players changed the world of sports and how hockey was played for years to come. Over 20 years ago is when the Detroit Red Wings put together a masterpiece of dynamic players; Sergei Fedorov, Slava Fetisov, Vladimir Konstantinov, Slava Kozlov and Igor Larionov. This film captures the tragedies and triumphs of these Stanley Cup winners, who were truly born to play hockey.
Now old and new hockey fans alike will get to see these five players dominate the ice on the big screen. Local director, Joshua Riehl has been working on this film for seven years.
“This is atypical for a documentary, I was trying to beat the normal timeframe by shortening the time. However there were so many moving parts to such a big scope of this movie. These things take time,” Riehl says.
It’s every filmmaker’s dream to see their box office smash on the big screen across the country. With streaming at home being so popular for movies and it becoming more uncommon for movie goers to actually take their families to the show, this is huge for Riehl.
“We are extremely blessed. So over time we have created very strong theater relationships, with Emagine Entertainment, Celebration Cinema, Phoenix Theatres to name a few theaters and we have a lot of people working on this across the state of Michigan. We are all gearing up for the red carpet premiere. We couldn’t be more excited,” Riehl says.
The Russian Five originally made its debut at the Fifth Annual Freep Film Festival in 2018 as the festival’s opening night documentary. The film was a great success. So much so that Riehl knew that more than just Detroit had to see it.
“Over 40 theaters in Michigan, including Indiana, Minnesota, even Denver, it will be interesting to see how much ‘hate-watch’ we get there”, says a laughing Riel. “But, to me the most exciting thing will be the red carpet premiere that will be starting at 6pm and happening at the Emagine Theater in Royal Oak.”
As many of you know Konstantinov and Fetisov were involved in a horrible limo accident in 1997 that resulted in Konstantinov having a blunt force brain injury which never allowed him to play hockey again. Doctors didn’t expect him to live through the night. Over 20 years later with the same fight and determination he had on the ice if not more, Konstantinov has survived.
The Russian Five will have a red carpet premiere at the Royal Oak Emagine Theater that will start at 6pm with the film beginning at 7pm for the cost of $160. All proceeds from the film will be going to a trust set up for Vladimir Konstantinov to assist his family and take care of his medical costs.