The Man Who Surprised Everyone


A fearless Siberian forest guard and a family man Egor discovers that he has only a few months to live and takes a desperate attempt to trick death by adopting the identity of a woman.


Egor is a fearless state forest guard in the Siberian Taiga. He is a good family man, respected by his fellow villagers and together with his wife Natalia they are expecting a second child.  But one day Egor finds out that he has cancer and only two months left to live.  No traditional medicine or shamanic magic can save him.  Finally, left with no other options, he takes a desperate attempt to trick death. As disguise Egor chooses to take the identity of a woman.

'While Kudryashova brings a wide range of emotions to flesh out the character of the wife, Tsyganov is quietly magnificent in the main role.'

 'Entertaining and provocative,' 'The Man Who Surprised Everyone feels like a punch in the stomach and a slap on the face, both at the same time.'

'By taking this unusual route in order to talk about contemporary issues in their country, the filmmakers find an especially effective way of dealing with the topic.'

'Delightful, horrifying and thought-provoking.'

'A surprising and bold film that approaches an important issue in a unique way.'

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Director: Natasha Merkulova & Aleksey Chupov
Genre: Drama
Original title: Tchelovek kotorij udivil vseh
English title: The Man Who Surprised Everyone
Country of production: Russia, Estonia, France
Year of production: 2018
Length: 105 minutes
Color: color
Shooting format: 2k
Screening format: DCP
Original language: Russian
Subtitles: English

Cast: Evgeniy Tsyganov, Natalya Kudryashova
Scriptwriter: Natasha Merkulova & Aleksey Chupov
Director of photography: Mart Taniel
Editor: Vadim Krasnitsky
Sound design: Stas Kreckov
Sound: Vladimir Pryamov, Aleksandr Fedenyov
Music: Andrey Kurchenko
Producers: Katia Filippova
Co-producers: Katrin Kissa, Alexander Rodnyansky, Guillaume De Seille
Production company: Pan Atlantic Studio
Co-production company: Homeless Bob Production, Non-Stop Production, Arizona Productions

Film poster

Festivals / Awards

Venice International Film Festival, Italy – Orizzonti Award for Best Actress
Busan IFF, South Korea
El Gouna IFF, Egypt – Special Jury Prize
Pingyao IFF, China – Crouching Tiger Audience Award
Bordeaux Independent IFF, France – Prix Erasmus+, Grand Jury' Special Mention
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Estonia
Honfleur Russian Film Festival – Grand Prix de la Ville de Honfleur Meilleur Film, Best Actor, Best actress 
Russian Film Weeks Paris, France
Cineuropa, Spain
Janela IFF, Brasil
Tromso FF, Norway
Rotterdam IFF, Netherlands
Göteborg IFF, Sweden
Zinegoak  IFF, Spain - Best Feature Film, Best Secondary Performance
Glasgow IFF, UK
A l’Est, du Nouveau, France
Luxembourg City Film Festival, Luxembourg - Grand Prix Special Mention
Sofia IFF, Bulgaria
Guadalajara IFF, Mexico
Costa Rica IFF, Costa Rica 
Istanbul FF, Turkey
Russian FF, South Korea
IFF Uruguay Cinemateca Uruguaya, Uruguay - Best Director Award ex-aequo
OUTShine, USA - Honorable Mention Best Narrative Feature
Crossing Europe Filmfestival Linz, Austria - Best Fiction Award
Vilnius IFF, Lithuania
Tromso IFF, Norway
Seattle IFF, USA
Al Este Lima, Peru - Jury Award for Best Fiction Film
Transilvania IFF, Romania
Münich FF, Germany
Muestra Internacional de Cine Queer de la Cineteca Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Durban IFF, South Africa
New Horizons IFF, Poland
Taiwan International Queer FF, Taiwan
Fünf Seen Festival, Germany - The Perspective Young Cinema Award
Oostende IFF, Belgium
Raindance IFF, UK - Best Performance Award
Kinenova IFF Art Cinema Skopje, North Macedonia - BEST Screenplay Award
Queer Porto, Portugal
Denver IFF, USA
Kinenova IFF Art Cinema Skopje, North Macedonia - Best Screenplay
Bozar FF, Belgium
Heimspiel, Germany
Braunschweig International Film Festival "Queer Film Award", Germany
Sputnik, Poland
Al Este Lima, Argentina - Jury's prize
Cinergia FF, Poland
Russian Film Weeks in Berlin, Germany
Das Kino, Austria
Russian Film Academy Awards, Russia - Best Male Role, Best Supporting Male Role
"The White Elephant" Award by the Guilt of Film Experts and Critics, Russia - Best Male Role
"Golden Arch. East-West" International Film Award, Russia - Best Male Role, Best Female Role, Best Script
"Kinonews-2019" Award, Russia -Best Male Role
"Male Role" Film Fetival n.a. Ivan Mozjukhin, Russia - Grand Prix (Evgeny Tsyganov)
Cultural Endowment of Estonia - Best Cinematography (Mart Taniel)
Russian Film Clubs Association Award - Best Fiction Film 2018
Solidarity Tel Aviv Human Rights FF, Israel
Chennai IFF, India
Filminitiative Würzburg e.V., Germany
ZOOM Zblizenia, Poland
CiniHomo International LGBT FF, Spain







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