1993. Beginning of Perestroika. russian province. Lera,19, is a student of theatre school where she study to be a theatre director. After bad Shekspire play rehearsal with her boyfriend Gena, 20, and big fight with him, Lera meets her room mate Anya, 18.
she is on the way to the audition for work in karaoke club in Japan. Fearing for friend that it could be a prostitution and trying to protect her, Lera goes to the audition with Anya. To Lera's surprise, Japanese promoter chooses her to go to Tokyo for six month and he explains, that the job in karaoke bar is to sing and talk... and it pays good. Lera believes him and goes to Tokyo, despite the fact that her family and boyfriend dont want her to go. On the plane, she meets another 2 girls. When they arrive to Tokyo, they start to work in the karaoke club in down town. 5 years past… Lera again and again keeps coming back to Japan. She is not able to forget her romance with one of her customers Nori.
Photo by Irina Burova
"Selyanov's CTB was a leading light on the indie scene in the '90s, with hits such as Alexei Balabanov's "Brother" films, and it is still a force to be reckoned with. This year's (2004) slate includes Vera Svechina's "Last Train From Roppongi" the story of a Russian geisha, co-produced with Japan's Uplink Co."
"I loved the simplicity of the film by Mikio Naruse "When a woman ascends the stairs", and the focus on the everyday business side of life of a hostess, worrying about money, clients coming and going. It wasn't glamourous at all, but dealing with it like a job. Which really made me think of your book. I felt like having read it made me understand this better, and I was amazed how similar the situations seemed so many decades apart. Hope you get going on your film soon."
Born JUNE 5 1973 in Obninsk, Kaluga region, Russia. Blood type O-. From 7 years old for 8 years studied violin and ball room dancing, acted in Peoples drama theater. In 1990 became a student of Moscow State University of Culture in a "director and producer of cultural programs" department. In 1993, with 20 dollars in her pocket... as a result of changes in Russia, had an opportunity to go to Japan to work in a "hostess club". In 1994 Graduated MGIK and in 1996, with money made in Japan, went to get second degree in film making in Academy of Art University in San Francisco. During studies, moved between San Francisco, Tokyo and Moscow, continuing working in karaoke clubs and collecting material for future book and film. In film school made a few short films, participated in student film festivals and worked on independent features. In 1999, after graduating Academy of Art and meeting producer and Director of Telluride Film Festival Tom Luddy, became a special correspondent for Russian news paper "Novy Vzglyad" in Cannes. Same year Vera started to work in a privet club in Tokyo, owned by a Geisha.