Award-Winning Documentary about Celebrated Harvard Square Performer Igor Fokin Benefits the Master Russian Puppeteer's Family

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All proceeds from the award-winning documentary, The Story of Fenist, about master Russian puppeteer Igor Fokin, are being donated by filmmaker Yelena Demikovsky to benefit his widow and three children. Fokin came to America in 1994 and performed for two years in Harvard Square, drawing audiences from all over the country, until he died of a heart attack at 36. The film has screened in numerous film festivals and is available on DVD.

When he died, his family -- with whom I became close -- was orphaned just like his beloved marionettes. As Igor's friend, and as an artist, I committed myself to helping his widow and children. Fenist, the fairytale recounted in my film, is a prince who brings beauty and light to the world. In my film, Igor is that prince. So the film is really his

All proceeds from the award-winning documentary, The Story of Fenist, about master Russian puppeteer Igor Fokin, are being donated by filmmaker Yelena Demikovsky to benefit his widow and three children. The film has screened in numerous film festivals and is available on DVD.

"Although there have been several documentaries made about the life and work of my husband," said his widow," Anastasia Fokina-Khanina, "The Story of Fenist is the only one that truly represents Igor's life and work. I am deeply grateful for Yelena's vision, as well as her caring support of our family."

Igor Fokin came to America in 1994. For two years, his puppets entranced children and adults alike with memorable performances in Harvard Square, drawing audiences from all over the country. He died of a heart attack at the age of 36, two weeks after the birth of his son. The family could no longer stay in America and had to move back to Russia. Five years after his death, a commemorative statue of Fokin's most popular puppet, Doo Doo, was dedicated in the puppeteer's honor.

The Story of Fenist introduces viewers to Fokin and his magical marionettes, who played a central role in his life. Rich performance footage and insightful interviews with his wife, children, extended family and friends are used to retrace Fokin's life from his time as a Russian university theater student and at his St. Petersburg studio to his life in New England.

The film includes a parallel story to Fokin's artistic struggles based on the Russian fairy tale, Fenist the Bright Falcon -- about an enchanted bird that, overcoming great odds, reaches its star. Two children provide the delightful narration. Merging two stories in one, the documentary brings viewers into the world of beautiful images and metaphors, music and theatre.

"Igor's life was brief but incandescent; he touched many hearts," said filmmaker Yelena Demikovsky. "When he died, his family -- with whom I became close -- was orphaned just like his beloved marionettes. As Igor's friend, and as an artist, I committed myself to helping his widow and children. Fenist, the fairytale recounted in my film, is a prince who brings beauty and light to the world. In my film, Igor is that prince. So the film is really his," said Demikovsky.

Demikovsky is founder of Red Palette Pictures. Born in Russia, she has lived in the United States for 16 years. Demikovsky is a documentary filmmaker with a broad theatre background in the United States and Russia.

Demikovsky has directed three full-length documentaries -- Unity (in distribution), the award-winning The Story of Fenist and happy to be so…, which recently had its world premiere in New York City at the Lincoln Center Dance on Camera Film Festival. Her short narrative film, Shell, received honorary mention in the Accolade Competition and was screened at the San Diego Black Film Festival. Demikovsky is also working on I am Vera, about well-know Russian poet, Vera Pavlova (post-production) and And Then Comes the Glory... whose subject is Rudolf Nureyev (production).

Demikovsky has produced two symposia about Rudolf Nureyev -- one in New York (1997), the other in St. Petersburg, Russia (1998). She also contributed interviews and translations to four authors of Nureyev biographies.

Demikovsky has two masters degrees, one in theatre (Moscow, Russia), and another in video/TV (Boston, USA) and taught theatre directing in Moscow.

For more information or to purchase The Story of Fenist, visit http://www.redpalettepictures.com.
For more on the Fokin family, go to http://www.igorfokinfamily.com

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LESLIE J. YERMAN
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