Private Project


ARXIV / Archive is an immersive sci-fi drama set in an alternate apocalyptic future, and the near future that brings about the world’s collapse. A traveler traverses through a desolate wasteland on a quest for the ARXIV's cure. The story touches on aspects of technological totality, reality, human desire and the dynamic between historical traces produced by humanity, and speculative futures that emerge out of them. ARXIV/ Archive serves as a thought-provoking commentary on each individual’s role in our collective future.

  • Ilya Abulkhanov
  • Ilya Abulkhanov
  • R. John Lewis
    Screenplay by
  • Michael Curylo
    Key Cast
  • Britt Harris
    Key Cast
  • Gregory Niebel
    Key Cast
    "Doctor K"
  • Vienna Weaver
    Key Cast
  • Sean Bagley
    Director of Photography
  • Miles Johnstone
    First Assistant Director
  • Sidney Tan
    Art Director
  • Justin Sucara
    Technical Director
  • Lee Nelson
    VFX Supervisor/Project Lead
  • Woosung Kang
    Lead Motion Design
  • Zu Al-Kadiri
    Executive Producer
  • Elizabeth Newman
  • Gabriel Blanco
  • James Morse
    Associate Producer
  • Moira Mahoney
    Post Producer
  • Jesse Solomon Clark
    Original Music
  • Andy McGraw
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Sci-Fi, Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 24 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 19, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, Korean
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital & 35mm
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • OFFF Barcelona 2019
    April 25, 2019
Director Biography - Ilya Abulkhanov

Ilya V. Abulkhanov is a Russian director, designer born in USSR, based in Los Angeles. While pursuing an auto-didactic approach in the attempt to consume / produce the world differently, he makes (dis)organized notes, (re)arranges desires and (dis)orientates expectations.

Most recently his work for Mill+ includes the music video, Rihanna 'Sledgehammer', the creative direction of the opening film title sequences for 'X-MEN: Apocalypse', 'X-Men: Days of Future Past', as well as the 'Zoolander 2 Trailer' and the opening film for the video game 'Destiny'. Some of his earlier work includes the 2009 OFFF Opening Film, creative direction of Display Graphics and Holographic Interfaces for 'Iron Man II', the opening title sequence for the film 'Married Life', as well directed live action broadcast packages for the MTV Video Music Awards, MTV-Movie-Awards-2009, the Movie Awards, and MTV Network Rebrand. He also collaborated on the design and animation of the opening credits for 'RocknRolla', 'Iron Man I' and 'The Incredible Hulk'.

Ilya also draws science-fictional characters and takes pictures. Aside from contributing to the culture industry outsourced by Hollywood he applies a trio of cynical, hypocritical and ironic strategy to survive.

Prior to living in Los Angeles, Ilya studied media-theory & film and worked as an editor in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 1999-2005.

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Director Statement

Something is missing. Yet, I would briefly describe the film as a certain kind of delay; a delay of narrative, a postponed continuity. I was interested in making a film that is both orienting and disorienting, frustrating and welcoming at the same time. This, in turn, I suspect, would allow the audience to enjoy making sense of things, because far along down the line, I think, we find enjoyment in producing meaning. In this sense, the film is playing with desires.
Having said that, one would say that any meaning itself is directly connected with the imaginary as well as its capacity to relate and shape a meaningful reality. Ultimately, what we dream of and desire is a byproduct of the conditional surroundings we find ourselves in. Which perpetuate and manifest the various ways we imagine these dreams; whether or not they are dreams of exodus, utopian accomplishments or the defeatist aspect of the seemingly nightmarish banality of the everyday.
If we change our surroundings, perhaps our dreams would change as well. If we change what we dream for, perhaps our surroundings would change as a byproduct of our insistence on this imaginary environment.

I thought it would be nice to make a film in which a protagonist from a future, whoever it might be- would be forced to dream a little. What if, the brain would produce a dream, what if one neuron combines with another and produces a protein surplus that could be the beginning of something new. The real meaning of that surplus could hang in the unconscious, as the assembly of processes recorded in one form or another and stored in some kind of an ARXIV/ Archive. Regardless of the usefulness of the archive, there would also be a possibility to dream for another world.