Actress Rebecca Sigl Light, star of Notes from the New World, prepares for an upcoming scene

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Notes from Vitaly

Welcome back!

When I started my career in oceanography, I did not expect that I would one day be writing to you about Hollywood films that I had written and directed. But here I am! My journey has taken me from studying the depths of the oceans to examining the depths of the human soul, and I am so happy that I now have the opportunity to share my work with you: an audience that loves fine literature and great independent film making as much as I do.

In this issue of VM Productions News we are excited to tell you about our recent awards at the LA Neo Noir Film Festival. We will also give you an update from writer Mark Salcido, who has become involved with the search for our missing screenwriter, Robert Hurley. We invite you to read some of our featured blogs from the past few weeks, and get involved in our filmmaking process.

Please enjoy this edition of VM Productions News. I am thrilled to share it with you.

Vitaly Sumin
CEO, Writer, Director and Producer
VM Productions

Festival news


LA Neo Noir Film Festival

VMP Films is pleased to announce that two films from our Dostoyevsky-LA Project, Shades of Day and Notes from the New World, have been awarded, respectively, the Gold and Bronze awards by the Los Angeles Neo Noir Novel, Film & Script Festival ( Both films will have their US Premieres later this year in New York and Los Angeles.

The awards were publicized onscreen at the L.A. Neo Noir Nooner in a short film honoring all winners, and was promoted in the L.A. Neo Noir Novel, Film, and Script Festival program and video. The film was also included in the live world streaming of the L.A. Neo Noir Festival Radio Show that was live-streamed from Hollywood on May 21. The entire event is available for download on the LANNEFF website,


Listen to the Interview

Robert Hurley update


Please click below to go to our YouTube page to see the “behind the scenes” look into the investigation of Robert Hurley’s disappearance documented in our pre-production video journal updated each week.

It is our hope that these clips will, in some way, help in locating Robert. If you have any information please e-mail us.

View videos

Learn more

Writer Salcido Joins the Hunt for Missing Screenwriter

Mark Salcido, a writer for VM Productions, has been investigating the disappearance of Robert Hurley, the screenwriter of Notes from the New World (based on F.M. Dostoevsky’s “Notes from the Underground”), who vanished shortly after filing police reports indicating harassment. It turns out that the story Robert was writing for the screen is eerily similar to his own story... and now he's missing.

Mark was actually brought on to help promote VM Productions and our films, but his first assignment introduced him to the mystery of Robert Hurley. As he has worked with the various people on set who knew Robert, Mark has become more and more involved in the mystery, and he is determined to find out exactly what happened.

To learn more, read Mark's blog post about how he got involved, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter, where he is documenting his findings in the hopes that he can get to the bottom of the mystery.

Meet the behind the scenes teams

We love our stars, but filmmaking is definitely a team effort! We want you to meet the people behind the scenes who bring the magic to the screen! Read below to learn more about our Production Crew and Post-Production Teams.

Production crew

Our production crew works behind the scenes to make sure that the actors you see on the screen are well prepared to bring you a great story. They make us all look good, and we couldn't make our films without them.

Meet the crew

Post-production team

Our talented post-production team works day and night to bring our stories to life. Their job is to take the film we record, refine it and make it into a finished product, and deliver it to you: our appreciative audience!

Meet the team

Interview in progress:
for members only!


We recently interviewed our leading lady, Rebecca Sigl-Light about her experience on the set of Notes from the New World. As a special treat for our newsletter subscribers, we'd like to invite you to see this exciting interview in progress before we clean up the technical errors and release it to the public.

Here's how to see the video:

Click on the picture above!

Featured blogs

By Ford Harris

Hello, my name is Ford Harris and I am originally from Oklahoma City. My interest in film started in middle-school when I asked my best friend if he had a video camera. It seemed like a random thought at first, ...

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by Ford Harris

The Idiot (1868), by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, is a Russian classic. The protagonist, Prince Myshkin, is the Light Onto Dark of the story – the white knight and model by which everyone should follow. He is often regarded...

Read more

by Mia Kelly

Hello again dear readers and welcome back to the Dostoyevsky-BTS website! And as always I issue a sincere and warm welcome to those who visit for the first time. Previously I discussed the extraordinary impact Russian literature, and particularly...

Read more

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Bob (Jerry Prager), owner of the studio and Lolita (Rachel Garlington), his new protégée

Misha (Mafia Boss, played by Maxim Pollack) has a chat with a visibly concerned Irina (Rebecca Sigl Light) and Steven (Nathanael Theisen).

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