Russian Five film kicks off Freep Film Festival, will air at DIA on Friday

According to the Free Press’s Bill Laitner, all went well at the premiere of The Russian Five film at the Filmore Detroit on Wednesday night…

A sellout crowd in downtown Detroit was set to cheer and applaud Red Wings hockey Wednesday night — on the silver screen.

Sports buffs as well as mavens of documentary films lined up at The Fillmore Detroit — a short walk from the Wings’ new home at Little Caesars Arena — to view the world premiere of “The Russian Five,” a feature-length film about a quintet of Soviet emigres who, from 1990 to 2003, dotted the Red Wings’ roster to blend speed, finesse, muscle and uncanny synchrony like hockey fans had never seen.

By 1995, coaches had all five often playing at once, and it was their athletic chemistry that largely brought Detroit its first Stanley Cup in 1997 in more than half a century.

At this kickoff of the fifth annual Freep Film Festival, appreciative Red Wings fans said they were there to remember.

“We just love the Russian Five,” said Teresa Orr, 61, of Southgate, attired along with her husband, Ian Orr, 63, in bright Red Wings jerseys.

Ian Orr held a copy of the just-published book with the same title as the film, autographed moments earlier by former Free Press sports writer Keith Gave, who was writer-producer for the film while also writing the book.

Laitner continues; the Free Press posted a 63-image gallery from the premiere, and the Free Press’s Brian McCollum revealed that the Wayne Kramer-scored film will air at the Detroit Institute of Arts on Friday:

8:30 p.m. Thu., Emagine Royal Oak. Sold out.

4 p.m. Fri., Detroit Film Theatre at Detroit Institute of Arts (followed by a concert featuring Wayne Kramer & the Kollaborators). $12, $10 advance

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.