Chilli Pepper Films Portfolio

Mother Russia’s Children (Channel 4 documentary)

This Royal Television Society award-winning film takes you back 30 years and views the implosion of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) through the eyes of the children of St Petersburg. With society collapsing around them, these children, some as young as 7 years old, decided that life would be better if they lived in the freezing basements of blocks of flats or on railway station benches, rather than be beaten and abused by their drunken parents.

Rings of Change

A young boy finds a magic golden ring which leads the viewer on a voyage of the streets of Moscow during the unstable and turbulent year of 1993.

Rare footage reveals glaring images of a society going through rigorous changes that are combined with hints of optimism, twinned with horrific poverty and desire for some to return to old ways. 

The Yelstin administration had been in power for two years and oppostion to him was growing. It was touch and go whether his presidency would last much beyond the end of that year.  

This surreal film captures the moment through visual imagery shot and edited by the Chillipepper team with original music and poetry.   

Ghosts in the Cherry Orchard

Filmed in the mid 1990s in the beautiful surroundings of this 18th century city and the foothills of the Northern Caucuses, this footage includes the colourful spectical of  Russian annual May celebrations and conversations with local people combined with remarkable cultural experiences.

The fall of the Soviet Union in August 1991 not only signified the end of the Cold War but also gave rise and opportunity for 2nd and 3rd generation Russians born in the west to visit Russia. Emigre Russians could visit in relative safety to redefine and reconsult with their heritage. Ghosts In The Cherry Orchard is a documentary that does just that with Vladimir Miller-Kurakin, who, for the first time in his life, visits his spiritual homeland and ancestral city of Krasnodar and Adygea, Adygea being one of Russia’s ethnic republics, primarily representing the indigenous Adyghe people.

Many unpredictable scenarios take place and his interaction with local people, Cossacks, historians and museum officials lead him to discover untold truths that merge into unexpected discoveries both heartwarming, amusing and untimately surprising. 

Mikhail Lattry – An Artist In The Shadows

Mikhail Lattry was an important member of the Russian emigre art milieu in Paris. He was the grandson of Russia’s most famous marine artist, Ivan Aivazovsky.

In 1906 Lattry moved to Boran-Eli estate near Feodosia in the Crimea, which he inherited from his grandfather. Here he entertained his friends, who were to become known as members of the ‘Silver Age’ of Russian art.

During the Bolshevik revolution he escaped to Greece in 1920, eventually reaching Paris in 1924. After working and producing dinner sets, vases and lacqured screens, he eventually established himself through his design work and painting as an invaluable member of the Art Deco movement.

Filmed on location in Paris, Crimea and London, this documentary follows his life story with exhibitions and interviews with art historians, art critics, contemporary artist and family members. Insights of his adventures as an inspirer and creative genius reveal much about the existence of  artists living in that period of time and how they influenced the next generation of artists and designers.

Mystery, Magic & Moonshine

An exploration of the unique visionary work of Sean Jefferson. Conducted by the artist himself, with a number of associates, in this film Jefferson reveals the roots of his practice.

In trying to make sense of a rich stream of imagery, which he found he could tap into at will, Jefferson examines some of his many literary influences, such as Eliphas Levi, and Francis Barrett, whose seminal 1801 book The Magus, was, in all probability, a major influence on William Blake and his circle. He recounts his youthful experience of spiritualism and the influence of the moonshine-like Absinthe, which helped power the imaginations of the Fin-de-siecle Decadent and Symbolist Artists.

Stories Set in Stone

Bernard McGuigan is a sculptor who defies easy definition in terms of sources of influence and inspiration.

His affinity with the giants of 20th century European primitivism, Modigliani, Gill and Moore, amongst others, is evident, but his work is indebted equally to the traditions of the more distant past. The spare clarity of Archaic Greek Korai & Kouroi informs his earlier figurative work, together with an expressive linearity reminiscent of Romanesque historiated capitals and portals carved by the likes of Gisleburtus and the Cabestany master.

His figurative work nods compositionally at the works of the Renaissance sculptor, Tullio Lombardo, while other figurative forms evoke exotic models, like the monumental Moai of Easter Island.