Bill Gosden from the NZ International Film Festival reviews Russian Snark for the catalogue

Stephen Sinclair’s directorial debut was inspired by the true story of a Russian couple who floated to New Zealand in a converted lifeboat. Screenwriter Stephen Sinclair turns writer/director with this bittersweet comedy about two refugee artists from Russia getting to grips with life in the South Pacific. The unworldly Misha and his vivacious wife Nadia leave their homeland in search of peace of mind and aesthetic freedom, landing like hopeful aliens in contemporary Auckland. Misha heads to the beach and immerses himself in experimental filmmaking, framing luminous B&W images of naked bodies on rocky foreshores. Nadia adjusts to her shiny new environment more pragmatically, but life as Mishas muse, model and breadwinner takes its toll. Stephen Papps (speaking Russian!) charms and vexes as the soulful man-child, while Elena Stejko brings a glowing blonde vitality to her every scene. Stephanie Tauevihi provides a sweet taste of Kiwi, as the unhappily separated PI neighbour who reaches out to Misha at his most forlorn, and brings him gently back to earth.