From September 5th-16th , Toronto will once again be the hub of the international film world. As part of Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) the documentary “Red Penguins”, a co-production by Studio Hamburg Enterprises (SHE) and Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) will celebrate its world premiere in the Official Selection of TIFF Docs.

“Red Penguins” tells one of the most bizarre stories of the post-Cold War era – one of capitalism and opportunism, of gangsters and hockey, strippers and beer-serving bears on skates. Shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the professional NHL team Pittsburgh Penguins and the Red Army’s famous national hockey team set up a joint venture to show the world the possibilities of the new Russia. Eccentric marketing genius Steve Warshaw is sent to Russia to turn around the bancrupt hockey squad, making them Moscow’s biggest show event and recruiting new prominent clients. “Red Penguins” takes the audience on a bizarre journey into a unique time in which relations between the USA and Russia have blossomed in a lawless vacuum. An era in which oligarchs made their fortunes, international investors got to know their limits and many murders remained unsolved.

Director and author of the film is Gabe Polsky, whose production company Polsky Productions has already attracted worldwide attention with its feature documentaries “In Search of Greatness” and “Red Army”. Polsky also serves as Executive Producer of the National Geographic series “Genius” about the life and work of Albert Einstein.

“This curious period of the dazzling semi-world in professional sports is extremely entertaining and as enthralling as a Hollywood thriller – a combination that has excited us about this production right from the start. The film uses its theme as a prism of social, economic and political upheavals the aftershocks of which we still feel today in the tensions between East and West,” comments Thore Vollert, Director of Marketing & Acquisitions at SHE.

Eric Friedler, Director of Documentary Film & Special Projects at NDR, adds “We are very excited to premiere this extraordinary production at the Toronto Film Festival. The film opens a hitherto unknown chapter in contemporary history and combines excellent entertainment with historical depth of focus at a high cinematic level. “Red Penguins” once again is proof that life writes the most incredible stories.”

Studio Hamburg GmbH
Angela Kaiser
T: +49 (0)40 6688-2206