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Russian Sci-Fi Short Film Is '2001' Meets 'District 9'

Russian filmmaker Maxim Zhestkov channels both Pixar and Kubrick in a beautifully-rendered CGI short.

It might be short, but Sputnik, an atmospheric CGI film from up-and-coming Russian filmmaker Maxim Zhestkov, packs a punch. Working with a team of artists from the US and all over Europe, he puts together a dialogue-less piece that takes place on an alien planet, but channels the simple, powerful storytelling of filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick, Pixar's Andrew Stanton, and Ridley Scott. 

The vivid landscapes, realistic movement, and slow-burning story arc make Sputnik a pleasure to watch, leaving the viewer with more questions than answers. "I only wish this was about four hours longer," writes one commenter. Nearly every frame could be hung on the wall of a particularly zealous sci-fi enthusiast.

The 30-year-old filmmaker says the film is, "about the evolution of an extraterrestrial mind, and its journey to the light," but its similarity to the obelisk narrative in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey reflects how relatable its ideas are to the human condition. Watch the full short film below, then start wishing Zhestkov would start working on a feature.

See more of Maxim Zhestkov's work on his website.

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