Category A02. Fiction & Non-Fiction Films: 5-30 minutes
Idea Creation ZEBRA HERO Moscow, RUSSIA
Media Placement MTS Moscow, RUSSIA
Production ZEBRA HERO Moscow, RUSSIA
Production 2 TAKE-SHOT Moscow, RUSSIA
Post Production ZEBRA HERO Moscow, RUSSIA
Name Company Position
Husky Husky Zebra Hero Deaf guy
Anton Adasinskiy Zebra Hero Organ grinder
Philip Yuriev Zebra Hero Director
Mikhail Khasaya Zebra Hero Director of photography
Denis Kolesov Zebra Hero Creative producer
Andrey Paukov Zebra Hero Executive producers
Elena Samoilova Zebra Hero Executive producers
Artem Tsaregorodtsev Zebra Hero Executive producers
Maria Yakovleva MTS KION Executive producers
Valery Kopytin MTS KION Executive producers
Nikolay Verstin MTS KION Executive producers
Arina Yezhova MTS KION Executive producers
Ravil Salikhov Take shot Executive producers
Elena Panfilova Take shot Line producers
Yulia Volova Take shot Line producers
Daria Kostyuchenko Take shot 1st AD

Why is this work relevant for Entertainment?

It is a short horror film that brings up the topic of creative crisis, and poses a question to the viewer: where is the limit that cannot be transcended in the name of art?


MTS is the largest mobile operator in Russia. In 2021, the company introduced a new service: the KION online cinema. The service is using a subscription model; however, 40 % of young Russians prefer not to pay for the content. The goal was to tell the company’s target audience that KION would offer the content worth paying for.

Describe the creative idea

The Tale of the Deaf is a horror film about the life of a deaf-mute shadow play actor trying to capture the attention of paupers in a shabby pub. Suddenly, a mysterious stranger enters the establishment, carrying a hypnotizing barrel organ. His musical act drives all the guests insane, sucking their souls out. The organ grinder however never expected one of the paupers to simply not hear his diabolical melody.

Describe the strategy

In order to attract subscriptions and direct the viewers’ attention to its proprietary content, MTS KION decided to shoot fiction films and publish them on a free YouTube channel. The tale of the deaf, a horror fiction, was one of such films, targeting a younger audience. Husky, a popular singer, played the lead. The brand intentionally decided against product integrations into the story with only the brand logo featured as the studio. This helped establish the brand as a high-quality content creator and provider.

Describe the execution

What really makes this movie stand out is that the lead role was played not by a professional actor, but by a popular Russian rapper, Husky. An underground musician who never gives interviews and never participates in any outside projects suddenly appears before the audience as an actor, and the one with a really complex part—the role of a deaf-mute shadow play artist.

Describe the outcome

As a result, in its first month the film received 3,000,000 organic views and over 1,100 comments on YouTube. Key media outlets that are relevant among our target audience wrote about the project: Kinopoisk (Russia’s top film-related media),, GQ Russia, Vogue, Glamour Russia, The Flow, etc. According to YouTube analytics, the film’s likability was 96 %, and 83 % of viewers belonged to our target audience (44 % of viewers aged 18 to 24, and 39 % aged 25 to 34).