Gorky Film Studios (USSR - 1974)

In the mid-Seventies, when speedway was enjoying a golden age in Britain, the sport reached a peak of popularity in the USSR and it was unsurprising that one of Moscow’s biggest movie studios should employ acclaimed writer Andrei Bitov to produce the screenplay for a film set in the world of Russian speedway.

Закрытие Cезона (Closure of the Season) tells the tale of three former schoolmates who have fallen in love with the same girl and who meet each other at the local speedway stadium. The film relates their different stories.

Andrei Bitov






Gorky Film Studios


In 2015, Gorky Film Studios will celebrate its centenary. They plan a year of exciting celebrations and activities including the creation of a museum of the studio, exhibitions for schools, master-classes for students of acting and events for all those interested in the subject of Russian cinema.

Since its foundation, the Rus' Film Production Unit has undergone a number of name changes. In 1936 it became known as Soyuzdetfilm and between 1963 and 2004 its full name was the Maxim Gorky Central Film Studio for Children and Youth. By the end of the Soviet era, it had produced more than 1000 films.

Genka (Vladimir Puchkov) steals a car to impress the girl but, as a result, ends up in the police station. His girlfriend finds the owner who turns out to be the famous speedway rider Belomorov (Oleg Balakin). She explains Genka’s passion for cars and motorcycles to Belomorov who gets Genka out of prison and introduces him to the world of speedway racing ...


Tamara Trac           Svetka

Vladimir Puchkov   Genka

Yuri Druzhinin         Archimedes  

Yuri Grigoryev         Tolyk  

Oleg Balakin           Belomorov

Svetlana Svetlichnaya   

Ivan Lapikov

Sergei Kononykhin

Vladimir Kurashkin  

Yuri Chernov

Vladimir Seleznev


Igor Shatrov


Andrei Bitov, Igor Shatrov


Aleksandra Pakhmutova


Sergei Filippov


Andrei Bitov

Born in Leningrad in 1937, he was evacuated to Uzbekistan during the German siege of the city, but returned in 1944. He studied geology and participated in research expeditions in the early 60s. He was first published in 1959, decided to devote himself to writing and in 1965 became a member of the Writers' Union. In 1967, his trip to Armenia led to a fascination with the history and culture of its people. His ‘Lessons of Armenia’, published in 1969, were destroyed by the authorities. He then wrote another great travelogue, this time about Georgia.

Meanwhile, Bitov worked as a writer on many Russian film productions. ‘The Pushkin House’ which earned him both an international reputation and the harassment of the regime was often regarded as postmodern. It describes the story of a family living under Stalin’s rule. Censored in Russia, it was published in Russian in the United States. In 1979 he co-founded the magazine ‘Metropol’ , leading to more serious conflict with the regime. With perestroika, his work was finally distributed freely. He became the president of the Russian Pen Club in 1991 and his work has been translated into many languages.


Malenkiy Beglets, (Eduard Bocharov and Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1966)

Zakrytie Sezona  (Igor Shatrov, 1974)

Chetverg V i Bolshe Nikogda, (Anatoly Efros, 1977)

Dni Cheloveka, (Yevgeni Pashkevic, 1989)

Other films directed by Igor Shatrov:

1987 Poshchyochina, kotoroy ne bylo

1983 Vzyatka. (Bribe) (TV Movie)

1977 I eto vsyo o nyom (And this is all about it)

1974 Zakrytie sezona (Closure of the Season)

1968 Muzhskoy razgovor (Muzhskoy Conversation)

1967 Vsadnik nad gorodom (the Horseman above the City)

A version of Закрытие сезона is currently online via YouTube but a better recording is likely to be made available in due course by Rossiysky Vision.

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