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2002, Future. The world after the catastrophe caused by global warming plunged into darkness and chaos. Half-submerged chunks of land divided by endless storms. On one of the islands of the Archipelago X-01 there was a double murder. The victims are a man and a woman, presumably a married couple. Special Branch Detective Phoenix Blake and his team of clairvoyants go to the scene of the crime in search of the perpetrator and his motive, and they get in touch with otherworldly forces.



"The Crime Scene" is a short film made in the style of neo-noir, surrealism and science fiction, within the universe of “Dark TImes” created by artists and directors Maksim Didenko and Igor Tsvetkov. The story of “Crime Scene” is based on a simple detective story, which, with the artistic techniques of surrealism, is transformed into a study primarily of the relationship between the social and the personal. Are personal experiences and tragic experiences of people the cause of political or environmental change? Or vice versa: Do political and environmental changes affect how we perceive the world and how we feel? The time and place of the film, a global environmental catastrophe, serves as a constant reminder of the cost of wrong decisions.

A black-and-white film, almost all of which takes place in one room, and in which several characters interact against the background of a continuous storm trying to solve the crime, in unconventional ways, coming into contact with otherworldly forces.

“RAPTURE” 2023, Directed by Maksim Didenko and Igor Tsvetkov




The “Dark Times” universe was created by Maxim Didenko and Igor Tsvetkov in 2021-22. And it was first presented to the public in 2023 at the exhibition “Rapture” at the “Kuhling Gallery” in Berlin.   The universe of the “Dark Times” is a combination of a post-apocalyptic world and a parallel reality. 

It is a fictional post-apocalyptic world that appeared after a flood caused by the global climate crisis. At the same time, it is a parallel reality created from objects and signs of certain stereotypes of the past. Initially conceived as a multidisciplinary universe in terms of artistic implementation (animation, drawing, art objects, performances, etc.), gradually shifted the focus of interest to cinema as the main medium of artists and as the most expressive way of presenting the images and meanings of the "Universe" to the audience. 

The world after sinking as a result of global warming is divided into small archipelagos of islands scattered around the planet, an endless storm is raging in the world's oceans, making communication difficult not only between the archipelagos but also between the nearest islands. Due to the loss of connection between traditional communities, states and multinational companies are disrupted. National armies are scattered among the archipelagos and have become independent armed associations, sometimes turning into bandit formations, sometimes remaining some semblance of army formations, trying to maintain the army hierarchy structure. There are alien forces operating on Earth, kidnapping people, mostly soldiers, turning them into some kind of mutant zombies. Who are rumored to be not only dangerous, but also a valuable resource, a source of energy for the survivors.




Phoenix Blake. A stout man of 55 years of age. Charming, intelligent, with impeccable taste in clothes, literature, music and art, like all residents of the town combines his social activities (detective) with his main profession of a biology teacher. He smells of expensive perfume, knows a lot about wine and has a pleasant voice and literate speech. People are drawn to him and feel most comfortable around him. In the past, Phoenix Blake had a love affair with one of the victims, and they have children together: twins left on another island.

Chip Looper, poet and deserter. A soldier who escaped from a neighboring military base. Possesses autism spectrum disorder and psychic abilities. Sensitive and gentle mind in conjunction with the inability to express his thoughts, generates a specific way of thinking and expression. Speaks in minimalist poetry. Musician playing saxophone in a local band. Thanks to his psychic gift, he is very much in demand in the village, dresses in expensive suits and has no need for anything. Despite his innocuousness, he has little understanding of the difference between good and evil. He has difficulty interacting with the world around him.

Criminal Photographer
Christiane. A serious woman of 60, with a short haircut and firm facial features, little spoken, with rigid straightforward manners. She hears an inner voice guiding her during her photography, telling her the artistic and technical characteristics during her photographs.


Victim #1
Isabella. A beautiful middle-aged woman, one of the victims of the crime, talking to Chip Looper. A woman who had an affair last year and shared children with the detective. Came to the island by flooded roads during the beginning of the flood to see the detective, could not go back and stayed in town and tied her fate to Carl the drummer in the local band and the hunter of infected soldiers.

Victim #2
Carl. A tall man with remnants of his former beauty and charm. A balding head and a shabby but still well-fitting brown suit. He was the town's former ladies' man, the irreplaceable drummer of the local band. As a result of the economic collapse, he is forced to hunt for infected soldiers in the suburban woods in search of income. Isabella's Husband.

Pirozhok (Pie)
One of the infected soldiers from the military base. Chip Looper's alter ego.

Security Guard (Electrician)
A silent man standing in the doorway in a police uniform.






Most of the action of the film takes place in one location, a large room, with an Eastern European interior.

Each of the characters in the film occupies a specific territory in this room. Each time we approach a certain character, we get into his "world", described not only by the appearance of the hero, but also by the set design of his surroundings. Various pictures, lamps, statuettes and everyday objects, will create the original world of each of the heroes.

Again, the logic of the location design and set design are based on the principles of noir and surrealism, otherworldly logic and the logic of dreams.

In addition, the application plans show the atmosphere of the city on an island surrounded by the raging sea, under the endless rain and a grey sky occasionally pierced by rays of sunshine.
Another of the locations is the forest around the town, where there is a military base and soldiers infected with an unknown infection reside.
Memories and dreams can bring us back to a happy reality before the ecological disaster.



  1. Chip Looper stands on the fifth floor balcony of the house, there is a storm outside, the sea is stormy, we do not understand whether Chip Looper has tears or raindrops on his face.

  2. Chip Looper sees a police car pulling up to the house and a detective, a photographer and the driver get out.

  3. The police team walks inside the room to the crime scene.

  4. The victims are seated in the center of the room at the dining room table. The woman is shot in the heart, the man in the throat. The woman has something clenched in her fist.

  5. The photographer photographs the crime scene. We hear her inner voice telling her the specifications of the shot. We see the pictures she takes. Gradually from the close-ups of the victims: the closed eyes, the woman's clenched fist, the details of her clothes, the food on the table, to the continuing accompaniment of the crime photographer inner voice, we move on to the rest of the room: The detective smokes and drinks from a flask in his inner pocket. Chip Looper, at a loss, rubs his jacket pockets and can't find his place. The Security Guard stands in the aisle frowning, we see a small red button next to him. In the corner of the room lies a bloody bag and an old hunting double barrel. The detective sits third at the table to the victims.

  6. The detective takes another sip from the small flask, and touching the statue of Crocus on the dining table, tells the story of a parallel Olympic myth: "on the territory of ancient Greece, several established mythologies simultaneously existed, along with the well-known mythology of Olympus, there were other less well-known now. One such mythology is the cult of Crocus, a hero, a demigod. Buried alive by enemies for non-payment of taxes, he not only survived and got out of the coffin, but also built a real paradise underground, where everyone lived a happy and eventful life”. Having finished the story, he asks Chip Looper to begin a clairvoyance session.

  7. Looper falls into a trance and begins to broadcast. His face turns into a Pirozhok face.

  8. We get to the Forest where Carl hunts with a shotgun for the Pirozhok. Eventually the Hunter kills the Pirozhok and we are transported back to a room in the past where the victims are still alive. 

  9. Carl and Isabella are sitting at a set table eating. Suddenly the woman feels something in her mouth.There is very beautiful music. We see a close-up of her lips, she takes a very beautiful diamond ring out of her mouth. Carl proposes to Isabella.

  10. Suddenly, at the most beautiful spot, the Detective stops the Looper. The music cuts off, the Detective lets out smoke from his cigarette. The Detective says: “That's enough! It all makes sense to me”.

  11. But Looper goes into a trance and doesn't stop, the music starts up again. The security guard presses the red button next to him and a microphone goes down to the woman's face. The detective yells several times to Looper, "Stop! Stop! Stop!"  But the microphone keeps coming down, Chip Looper doesn't stop, the music keeps playing, and Isabella starts singing a song, a declaration of love, "I love you, I can't live without you, I'm going to die" We see something clutched in her hand. The detective smokes nervously,  

  12. Isabella suddenly stands up, and without stopping her song sits on the detective's lap, they make love, with the detective falling into some mystical trance, not understanding what is happening, falling under the influence of a hypnotic situation. He essentially has sex with a ghost.

  13. In a moment of orgasm between Isabella and the Detective, a double-barreled shotgun shot in the dark. Slow Motion. The smoke clears. Silence ensues.

  14. We go back in time when all is well, all young and happy, the drummer (Carl) performing with Chip Looper at the bar. The Detective and Isabella are outside and they are scolding. Isabella goes into the bar angry. The detective stays outside. She sits down at the bar and orders herself a drink. Behind the bar, a drummer drinks whiskey. On stage, Chip Looper starts playing the saxophone. Carl (the drummer) looks at an upset Isabella, she looks at him. He rolls a tube out of a napkin and pretends to play the saxophone, she laughs. He laughs back, finishes his whiskey and leaves for the stage. Sits down at the drums and starts playing. Chip Looper sings a song: "I love you, I can't live without you, I'm about to die." Isabella looks at the drummer and he looks at her.

  15. Outside, the storm intensifies. End




The film's cinematic language, part of the “Dark Times” Universe by Maksim Didenko and Igor Tsvetkov, is a continuation and evolution of the filmmakers' previous work, “Rapture” (2023), shot in the small town of Palingen in northern Germany. The main elements of film language are taken from the genres of American Noir and Surrealism.

In the mixing of these two approaches we get a black and white image. Accented with spotlights video portraits, will rhyme with noir and its pronounced drama. Minimal exclusively artistic set design, in the spirit of the films of Jan Schwenkmeyer and Guy Maddin, will create a magical atmosphere of surrealism.

The montage of the film's narrative language, again on the mixture of these two elements (noir and surrealism) will be non-linear, incoherent in terms of traditional logic, but in the course of the "logic of the dream". Simply put, the film's editing will be focused primarily on creating an emotional picture of what is happening, on creating a dramatization of the emotional experiences of the characters, rather than telling a coherent (detective) story.

The sound design of the film will be a kind of game of "old movies" but using modern methods of processing, recording, creating and understanding film sound. Originally written music on modern sound synthesizers, will be stylized under the old sound of gramophone records. The atmosphere of a seaside small town in Europe, early 20th century, will be refracted by the sounds of modern life seeping into the reality of the characters.

In general, the film's artistic choices can be described as neo-noir and surrealism, framed by old-school futurism and science fiction, broken up by accents of modern life.



As the directors of "Crime Scene," our goal is to use the medium of film to explore complex themes and ideas that are important to us. Through this project, we wanted to create a story that not only entertains audiences but also challenges their perceptions and stimulates their imagination.

Our choice of the surrealism genre was deliberate, as it allowed us to blur the lines between reality and fantasy, creating a world that is both familiar and strange. We wanted to push the boundaries of conventional storytelling and explore new ways of visual expression, using artistic techniques and innovative cinematography to create a unique and immersive experience for viewers.

At the heart of our story is the exploration of human relationships and emotions, and how they are shaped by society and politics. Through the character of Chip Looper, we delve into the mysteries of the human mind and consciousness, asking questions about the nature of reality and the role of the individual in shaping their world.

Ultimately, our hope is that "Crime Scene" will inspire audiences to think critically about the world around them and consider new possibilities for the future. By using film as a tool for exploration and discovery, we believe that we can challenge our perceptions and broaden our horizons, opening up new pathways for creativity and innovation.

In the backdrop of our film, the sinking world is a metaphor for the impending ecological catastrophe that looms over our planet. Climate change and its consequences are crucial issues that require urgent attention, and we hope to bring this topic to the forefront through our work.

As we showcase the beauty of the seaside location in our film, we hope to remind our viewers of the importance of preserving our natural environment and protecting it from further damage. 



Director – Maksim Didenko
Graduated from the Omsk State University. In 2005, he graduated from the St. Petersburg Theatre Academy, course by Grigory Kozlov. In his profession, he followed in the footsteps of his grandmother, a well-known theater director in Omsk. Regularly produces his own productions in various theaters around the world, including Opera “Wozzeck”, (Karlsruhe, Germany, 2023), “Last Word” (Gorki Theater, Berlin, Germany, 2023), theater performance based on the last words of a Russian women political prisoners in a court. In July 2020, he made his debut in the series genre. Didenko's first project was the web series "amroN." It was filmed based on Vladimir Sorokin's novel "Norma." Together with Igor Tsvetkov is the creator of the Universe of "Rapture" presented in 2023 in Berlin at “Galerie Kuchling”, and the director of the film of the same name, filmed in Palingen, in northern Germany, in 2022. Right now based in Germany

Director, Editor – Igor Tsvetkov
Igor Tsvetkov is an accomplished filmmaker, artist, and curator known for his surreal and experimental style of cinema and art. His work includes documentaries, fashion videos, and exhibitions. His ultra-short animation works have been showcased in solo and group exhibitions, including his latest exhibition "Rapture" in Berlin. Igor's artworks have gained recognition from notable collectors like Quentin Dupieux, the famous French filmmaker and musician, who named him among his favorite artists. Together with Maksim Didenko is the creator of the universe "Rapture" presented in 2023 in Berlin at “Galerie Kuchling”, and the director of the film of the same name, filmed in Palingen, in northern Germany, in 2022. 

Music Composer – Louis Lebee 

Producer – Nils Dümcke, Miléna Todic, Igor Tsvetkov, Maksim Didenko

DOP – Oleg Mikhailov, Orkan Bayram



Chip Looper – Niklas Wetzel 

BorBurgstädt, Niklas Wetzel grew up in the Wetzel mill in Niederfrohna. From 2010 to 2016 he was a member of the youth theater club "KarateMilchTiger" at the Chemnitz Theater. There he played the leading role in Simon Stephens Heron (Herons) (director: Yves Hinrichs) in 2013. This production was awarded the Brothers Grimm Prize of the State of Berlin. Wetzel studied acting at the Otto Falckenberg School in Munich until 2019. Wetzel's first permanent engagement was at the Deutsches Theater Berlin from the 2019/20 season. In addition to his work on stage, Wetzel is also in front of the camera. He played supporting roles in the television series SOKO Leipzig and Herr und Frau Bulle.

Isabella – Stephanie Elizaveta Burmakova  

Born on August 7, 1998, in Moscow, Elizaveta attended the Russian Institute of Theatre Arts (GITIS). After graduating from the institute, she started working in the Pyotr Fomenko Workshop Theatre in Moscow. Theaters in Moscow always offered her “specific” roles because of her skin color, which did not allow Elizaveta to unlock her full potential as an actress. She also acted in movies and tv-series (“Tenderness” (dir. Anna Melikyan), Caramora (dir. Danila Kozlovsky etc.) and music videos (Musia Totibadze, Artem Valter etc)


Carl – Nils Dümcke

Born on September 9, in 1964 in Lübeck, Nils Dümcke is a co-founder of the Kunsthaus Kule in Berlin Mitte 1990 and a founder of the theatre company Grotest Maru 1996 for site-specific productions. Member of the Dance Theatre-Derevo/Rus ensemble (1997-1999), mime and dancer with many festival awards. Since 2007 Nils is a project engineer for renewable energies and in 2022 he founded and curated the art festival "Kunsthalle Palingen”. As an actor and dancer, he worked for a long time with Anton Adasinsky (Founder of the "Derevo" Theater and performer of the Devil in Sokurov's film "Faust"). One of his most famous film works is the role of the General in A. Adasinsky's film "Süd. Grenze".


Security Guard – Pavel Semchenko.


Born on June 15, 1967, Pavel is a performance and visual artist, set designer and theatre director. Pavel studied in Leningrad Intermediate Art School, and attended courses of The Mukhina Leningrad Higher Arts and Crafts College, The Serov Art School and The Russian Academy of Art. A former actor of the «ДАНЕТ» theater, he created a theatre group called “AKHE” in the territory of the first art squat «Pushkinskaya 10». The range of his realizations was wide: installations, sculpture, wall paintings in public institutions, films, performances, exhibitions, illustrations, and even dance. Since 1996 the activity of "AKHE" shifted smoothly to the theater, and they visited almost all major festivals in Russia and Europe, Asia, both Americas and Australia. He played the main role in Maksim and Igor’s film “Rapture”.


Crime Photographer - Natalia Pshenichnikova

Natalia is a composer, musician, and performance artist. In recent years she has made a name for herself as a vocalist in the experimental sphere. She is also the author of various sound numbers, conceptual compositions and music for cinema and theater. Several works have been written for Natalia Pshenichnikova for flute or voice as well as for a combination of flute and voice. She has presented works by Peter Ablinger, Nick Collins, Johannes Fritsch, Anna Ikramova, Gia Kanchelli, Vadim Karasikov, Siegfried Kopf, Bernhard Lang, Klaus Lang, Daniel Matei, Sergei Nyski, Helmut Ehring and others. She has also worked with such diverse musicians as Dietmar Disner, Alexei Lubimov, Elsbeth Moser, David Moss and Vladimir Tarasov, as well as such conductors as Vladimir Jurowski, Peter Rendel, Dennis Russell-Davies, Jürg Wittenbach and many others. Since 1993 she has lived in Berlin.

Detective – Boris Koneczny.


Boris, born in 1961 in Frankfurt am Main, attended the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna, where he received his first engagement at the Burgtheater. From 1986 to 1988 he was at the Freie Volksbühne in Berlin, and from 1990 to 1991 he was a guest at the Berliner Ensemble. After an engagement at the Stadttheater Freiburg with Hans Ammann from 1994 to 1999 he worked freelance in Mannheim and Frankfurt. Most recently he was seen at the Stuttgart Theatre, including in the production »Tartuffe«, which was shown as an »export production« in Mannheim. He has been a member of the ensemble at the Nationaltheater Mannheim since the 2014/15 season.



Festival circuit
We are going to submit the movie to many festivals across Europe, focusing on festivals that showcase experimental and surrealistic movies. Here is the list of festivals we are going to show our movie:

Lubeck Film Festival
Hof International Film Festival
Braunschweig International Film Festival
Filmfest Hamburg
Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur (Switzerland)
Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival (France)
Leuven International Short Film Festival (Belgium)
Tampere Film Festival (Finland)
Go Short - International Short Film Festival Nijmegen (Netherlands)
Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival (UK)

Online distribution
After the festival circuit, we plan to release the movie online through platforms such as Vimeo and YouTube, making it available to a wider audience. We will also explore options for online distribution through streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

Film markets
We will attend film markets such as the Cannes Film Market and the Berlinale Market to promote the movie and find potential distributors for international markets. We will also explore opportunities for distribution through local distribution companies in different countries.

Special screenings
We will organize special screenings of the movie in collaboration with art galleries, museums, and cultural centers to target a more specific audience interested in experimental and surrealistic movies. We will also explore the possibility of collaborating with film clubs and cinema societies to promote the movie in different regions.

Press and publicity
We will work with a public relations agency to promote the movie through press releases, interviews, and social media campaigns. We will also create a press kit with promotional materials such as posters, stills, and behind-the-scenes content to generate buzz for the movie.
Overall, our goal is to create a buzz around the movie and generate interest from distributors and potential audiences, both through traditional channels such as film festivals and markets, as well as through online and special screenings. 



Igor Tsvetkov webpage

Link to the first film project "Rapture" of Maksim Didenko and Igor Tsvetkov

Igor Tsvetkov about the "Rapture" and exhibition in Berlin

About Maksim Didenko

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