Having spent twenty years split between living in Moscow and the West, Iíve become acutely aware of how little the world really knows about Russia. My intention with MOSCOW NEVER SLEEPS is to help change this. By revealing the Russian spirit to international audiences, Iím hoping to capture the zeitgeist of Moscow and help create a different impression of Russia in the West.

I see Moscow as a place of romance and celebration, but also a city of contradictions - the sense of community is fractured, but everyone shares the deep bonds of a common history. People in Moscow are sustained than each other than by the state - through a unique sense of humanity tht characterises them and a compassion that brings them all together.

Iíve set out to capture the sprit of Moscow by creating narrative portraits of a selection of characters, all of whom live in contemporary Moscow. Structurally, the film is designed as a multi-narrative, in the best traditions of films such as MAGNOLIA and CRASH. Each story takes place in parallel and most characters interweave through multiple narratives. The intended effect of this structure is to draw the audience into the lives of multiple characters, while giving a vivid impression of a singular setting. My expectation is that this structure will allow Moscow the city to become like a central character in the film, fundamentally important to itís core and srikingly memorable for the audience.

The confused and exhilarating cityscape of Moscow will be an important visual element of the film. The golden-domed churches, fume-spewing factories, sparkling new skyscrapers, endless soviet blocks and crowded metros will form a striking visual backdrop to a film that aims to capture the unique look and feel of the city.

My intented style for the film will be the opposite of hand-held, guerilla style. Like the city of Moscow itself, it will be lavish, grand, controlled but with an edginess that will engross audiences while not making them feel too comfortable. The stories, however, will be presented in a naturalistic style.

My casting choices, the style of dialogue, the action and the editing will all be geared towards recreating as near as possible to the reality of Moscow life. While the storylines are more melodramatic than reality, the acting style will be muted and emotions will be suppressed.

MOSCOW NEVER SLEEPS is about awakenings. Itís about the undiscovered bonds that connect us all and the love that we all need and cherish but sometimes canít see. While the setting of the film is unique, the ideas are universal and I believe that both will combine to make an engaging and original drama which will resonate with audiences both in Russia and internationally.

Johnny OíReilly
Website — Polina Serebrennikova