Panfilov’s 28 Men (Russian: 28 панфиловцев, translit. 28 panfilovtsev) is a 2016 WWII film based on a legend about a group of soldiers – Panfilov’s Twenty-Eight Guardsmen – heroically halting and destroying German tanks headed for Moscow. It is set in the Eastern Front of World War II and covers the 8th Guards Rifle Division operations during the 1941 Battle of Moscow. On DVD, it is also known as Battle for Moscow or Thunder of War in North American distribution
The film is directed by Kim Druzhinin and Andrey Shalopa, produced by Panfilov’s Twenty Eight and Gaijin Entertainment. Initially the film used crowdfunding; later, it was financially supported by Russian and Kazakhstan governments and Gaijin Entertainment game development company. The premiere took place in Volokolamsk in 16 November 2016 and in Russia in 24 November 2016.
The plot was written by Andrey Shalopa in 2009, and the production team took their teaser trailer of the film to Boomstarter crowdfunding platform, seeking co-financiers. “It will be a film about Soviet heroes. We will describe the battle near Dubosekovo, which went down in history as the deed of Panfilov’s 28 men”. The crowdfunding campaign was successful, and the film raised 3 million rubles out of planned 300 thousands. By the time of the premiere the film raised 34,746 million rubles.
In May 2014 Gaijin Entertainment, Russian game development company known for its game War Thunder joined the funding. In December 2014 the film won a grant of 30 million rubles from Russian Ministry of Culture, and later the Ministry of Culture and Sport of Kazakhstan added another $287 thousand.
Collecting money, producing and renting the film accompanied a vigorous discussion of its historical authenticity in the blogosphere and the media. The picture was positively received, having collected in the CIS 384 million rubles and becoming the best film of the year according to the results of the VTsIOM poll.