Gaijin Entertainment, a Moscow-based game developing studio, will lend its financial and technological support to Panfilov’s 28 Men, a crowdfunded feature film, it was reported earlier this week.
The film, produced by St Petersburg studio Libyan Palette and directed by Andrey Shalyopa, aims to immortalise on screen the story of the Red Army’s 316th Rifle Division that took part in the defence of Moscow in late 1941. According to official Soviet history, the group of soldiers known as “Panfilov’s 28” was killed while defending the village of Dubosekovo to the north of Moscow, but in the process managed to destroy 18 German tanks using only light weapons and hand grenades. This version of events was disputed in the USSR as early as 1948, which is one of the issues the film’s authors aim to address. “Any teenager these days can Google ‘Panfilov’s 28’ and become overwhelmed with “facts” about the so-called myth of the 28 soldiers who gave their lives to stop the German tanks,” the statement on the project’s website reads.
Panfilov’s 28 Men is one of Russia’s most successful crowdfunded film projects to date. Its current goal is 60 million roubles ($1.1m), over half of which has already been pledged by 32,000 individual donors. The film’s website now lists over a dozen sponsors and partners, including Russia’s Ministry of Culture and Russia’s most popular daily tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda. Its latest partner, Gaijin Games, specialises in war-themed games like IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey and is mostly known for its online multiplayer game War Thunder in which players reenact epic battles of the Second World War.