|Directed by||Timur Bekmambetov|
|Produced by||Timur Bekmambetov|
|Written by||Dmitriy Aleynikov|
|Starring||Alina Bulynko |
|Narrated by||Konstantin Khabensky|
|Music by||Pavel Yesenin|
|Edited by||Andrey Mesnyankin|
|13 December 2010 (Kazakhstan)|
16 December 2010 (Russia)
|Box office||$22 794 861|
Yolki (Russian: Ёлки, meaning New Year Trees), also known as Six Degrees of Celebration, is a 2010 Russian comedy film directed by Timur Bekmambetov. As of 2017, six films have been made in the series. It is the most successful non-animated film franchise in Russia.
The films in the series represent a Russian tradition of the New Year's Movie where films that take place during the holiday season tap into the vein of hope, optimism, and possibility associated with New Year's in the Russian culture. Other examples include The Irony of Fate and The Irony of Fate 2 (also directed by Bekmambetov). Typically such films are released in December, just before the start of the holidays in Russia.
The film takes place in 11 different cities in Russia and tells the story of a series of different characters whose acquaintance is purely coincidental. The characters find themselves on New Year's Eve in difficult situations which they can only escape if they find help, by miracle or through six degrees of separation. According to this theory all the people on Earth are connected through six handshakes.
The film begins in Kaliningrad, the last city in Russia to celebrate the New Year. The story revolves around a local orphanage during the holiday. One orphan girl Varya, makes other children believe that her father is the Russian president. They promise to stop harassing her if her father blesses her with an encrypted message during the traditional televised New Year's Address. She does not know what to do, and her friend Vova tries to help and tells her about the Six Degrees of Separation theory. The characters in the film are a student, a thief and his connections with the policeman who caught him, a taxi driver in love with a famous pop singer, a businessman rushing to his beloved, two snowboarders. And so with the Caucasian snow cleaner at the Red Square, Varia's request is passed on to the Russian president who notices the encrypted message written on the snow in the Kremlin courtyard. On the New Year's Eve, the phrase "Santa Claus helps the one who helps himself" appears in the president's speech (Dmitri Medvedev makes a cameo appearance), thus verifying the theory of six degrees of separation.
- Alina Bulynko as Varvara
- Sergey Pokhodaev as Vova
- Ivan Urgant as Boris Vorobyov
- Sergey Svetlakov as Evgeniy Pavlovich
- Elena Plaksina as Olya
- Vera Brezhneva as herself
- Nikita Presnyakov as Pasha Bondarev, cab driver
- Boris Khvoshnyansky as Fyodor
- Artur Smolyaninov as Aleksey
- Sergey Garmash as Valery Sinitsyn, police captain
- Ekaterina Vilkova as Alina
- Baimurat Allaberiyev as Yusuf
- Yolki is one of the only movies in recent memory to cast a state executive (Dmitry Medvedev).
A spin-off was released in 2015, titled Paws, Bones & Rock'n'roll. It was centered around the dogs which appeared in Yolki 3.
As of 2018, Yolki 3 is the most profitable film of the series.
- "ЕЛКИ". Kinobusiness.
- Vladimir Kozlov. "Russian New Year's Themed Comedy Tops Holiday Box Office". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Вышел трейлер новых "Елок"". Lenta.ru.