The Russian Woodpecker: A Chernobyl Conspiracy

A Ukrainian victim of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster discovers a dark secret and must decide whether to risk his life by revealing it, amid growing clouds of revolution and war. 2015 Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winner – World Documentary.

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With new radioactive catastrophes in Russia and renewed interest in the Chernobyl disaster after HBO’s remarkable miniseries, now is the perfect time to re-introduce your audiences to the Grand Prize Sundance Winner, The Russian Woodpecker. Not only does this fascinating documentary provide interviews with many of the key individuals involved in the Chernobyl investigation, but it also provides a psychological portrait of a country at war, torn between hopes for a European future and the ghosts of the Soviet Union and rife with conspiracy theories nourished by government lies.

The Russian Woodpecker is represented by Gunpowder & Sky, sales requests can be sent here.


A complex documentary about Chernobyl that is surprisingly, richly enjoyable.

Rightly singled out by many as one of the more arresting and formally inventive documentaries at Sundance this year...

It’s a rollicking ride of masterly narrative construction unlike any other documentary in Sundance.

The Russian Woodpecker 
is very much like Fedor himself — eccentric as hell, smart as a whip, and, at the end of the day, a heartbreaker.

An endlessly fascinating and sharply bizarre documentary ... mysterious, intense and altogether prophetic...

The Russian Woodpecker often plays like a Kubrick take on some awful situation -- like Clockwork Orange or Dr. Strangelove. The assemblage of real time search and archival footage is a wonder to behold.

Vibrating with a reckless creative urgency, The Russian Woodpecker is a call for political integrity lost long ago.

This is one wild magic carpet ride of a film.... – JAMES MCNALLY

A must-see...Alexandrovich and Ryzhykov... make an intriguing Holmes and Watson in this beautifully photographed and inventive documentary. – SALT LAKE MAGAZINE 

This is such a curious and amazing film... I have no idea now if this is a documentary or a bizarrely truth conceived but fantastical narrative film. – IndieWire

Fedor Alexandrovich has the hypnotic power to become a generation’s counter- culture icon ... should leave most audiences completely stunned. Passionate, audacious and revolutionary... Watch at all costs. – FICKS’ PICKS

An unveiling of the past with intrigue worthy of All the President's Men and a warning cry for the future of an unstable region at the mercy of a tyrant, The Russian Woodpecker is an arresting, thought-provoking and seismically important creation." - CINE-VUE

What humanizes the topic considerably is Fedor himself, the charismatic protagonist of the film, whose childlike excitement to uncover the truth and his strong willed determination in the face of injustice is as inspiring as it is endearing. - Cinecola


CHAD GRACIA (Director & Producer & Editor) is a new documentary filmmaker who was formerly involved in theater and finance.

FEDOR ALEXANDROVICH (Protagonist and Production Designer) is a painter, professor and theater professional in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Oscar-Nominated MIKE LERNER (Producer) has been making films since 1988 including AFGHAN STAR, HELL AND BACK AGAIN, PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER, SMASH & GRAB – THE STORY OF THE PINK PANTHERS, THE SQUARE, THE DO GOODERS, A WHOLE LOTT MORE. He has won a number of industry awards including; Academy Award Nomination for Best Documentary Feature 2012, six Sundance Awards (Grand Jury, Special Jury, Best Director, Audience, Cinematography), EMMY Nomination for Best Documentary, 2 Grierson Awards for Best Documentary, The Alfred Dupont Award, and others.

RAM DEVINENI (Producer) is a filmmaker, publisher and founder of Rattapallax films, press and magazine based in New York City, Sao Paulo and New Delhi. He produced, edited and directed the feature documentary THE HUMAN TOWER, which was shot in India, Chile, and Spain. Recently, he received the 2014 Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund from Ford Foundation for PRIYA’S SHAKTI — an augmented reality comic book.


Sundance Film Festival 2015
Grand Jury Prize, World Cinema – Documentary  – Won

International Documentary Association - 2015
Best Feature Documentary - Nominated
Best Cinematography - Won

Independent Spirit Awards - 2015
Best Feature Documentary - Nominated

Cinema Eye Honors - 2015
Best Debut Feature - Nominated
Unforgettables - Won

Cork Film Festival 2015
Best Documentary Feature - Won

Greenwich International Film Festival 2015
Grand Jury Prize – Won

Biografilm Festival 2015
Hera Award Best Debut Film – Won
Life Tales Award – Won 

Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival 2015
Special Jury Prize – Documentary Competition – Won 

Montclair Film Festival (MFF) 2015
 Bruce Sinofsky Prize for Documentary Feature – Won

Sheffield International Documentary Festival 2015
Best Documentary Feature – Nominated

Tirana International Film Festival 2016
Media Award – Won

In Light Human Rights Film Festival 2016
Best Documentary – Won

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