The Saratov Approach

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Saratov Approach
Directed by Garrett Batty
Produced by Garrett Batty
Jake Van Wagoner
Maclain Nelson
Jonathan Turner
Written by Garrett Batty
Starring Corbin Allred
Maclain Nelson
Nikita Bogolyubov
Alex Veadov
Music by Robert Allen Elliott
Cinematography Jeremy Prusso
Edited by Connor O'Malley
Three Coin Productions
Saratov Films
Release date
  • October 9, 2013 (2013-10-09)
Country United States
Language English

The Saratov Approach is a 2013 dramatic thriller film about the 1998 kidnapping of two Mormon missionaries in Russia. It began a limited release on October 9, 2013, solely in Utah. Subsequently, the film was released throughout the Mormon Corridor.[1] On January 10, 2014, the film began an expanded limited release throughout the United States,.[2][3]


The film tells the story of the 1998 kidnapping of two Mormon missionaries, Andrew Lee Propst and Travis Robert Tuttle, in Saratov, Russia.[4] Their kidnappers made the demand of US$300,000 ransom from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in exchange for the safe return of the two missionaries.[5]

For five days, the two missionaries were handcuffed and held captive in a small room. When no ransom was paid, the two men were driven to a field and released.[6][7]



The Salt Lake Tribune praised the film.[8] The film was also praised by Deseret News[9] and Meridian Magazine.[10] The Standard-Examiner called the film "one of the best in the Mormon film genre".[11] In the Bloggernacle, A Motley Vision gave the movie a B+[12] and the Mormon Movie Guy gave the movie an A-; saying: "The Saratov Approach isn't just great Mormon cinema, it's great cinema, period. It skillfully contrasts the darkness of greed and desperation with the ultimate light of compassion and courage. Even though faith in Christ is a key theme, this is a great human story that people will be uplifted by regardless of their beliefs."[13]

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