Russian Film Industry Scores Big At TIFF Film Market


The largest North American film market TIFF Industry, that took place in a hybrid format: both offline and online in Toronto, has just ended. 27 Russian companies presented their projects at the virtual national stand organized by Roskino with the support of the Ministry of culture of the Russian Federation.

“Despite the unstable situation on the global market, Russian films are now getting acquired not only for the digital platforms, but also for theatrical release abroad. We cannot expect box office to be comparable to the last year, but we witness that the international market is slowly recovering and taking interest in both commercial titles and independent films and animation“, said Roskino CEO Evgenia Markova.

Danila Kozlovsky’s drama “Chernobyl”, presented by Central Partnership, generated a lot of interest from the international buyers during TIFF online. To date the film has found distribution in the USA, Canada, Germany, Spain and a number of territories. Buyers from Asia have shown interest towards the romantic adventure “Silver Skates” by Mikhail Lockshin, with the premiere footage presented at TIFF screening.

“We’ve had a fruitful market and are now finalizing a number of deals for the territories of the U.S., Canada and Latin America, which we will be able to announce soon”, says Katerina Pshenitsyna, International Distribution VP.

The sport drama “Streltsov” will be released theatrically in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Benelux countries on October 4th this year. It will be the first Russian film to be theatrically released in the German-speaking countries since the opening of cinemas after the lockdown.

“Despite the restrictions on the number of viewers allowed, we expect that the film will run for several weeks in a row and everyone interested will be able to appreciate the biopic about the legendary Soviet soccer player”, adds Katerina Pshenitsyna.

Art Pictures Distribution presented the sci-fi horror film “Sputnik” by Egor Abramenko, currently discussing the deal for India and the Middle East (as well as the offer for “Invasion” by Fedor Bondarchuk for these territories). Announcements for “A Dog named Palma” by Alexander Domogarov Jr. (produced by Mars Media and AMEDIA Production) are planned for October, after the trailer premieres, as well as at the American film market in November.

Art Pictures Distribution is now closing a package deal with the major Polish company Polsat.

Yellow, Black and White studio and the streaming service START presented “A Good Man” series, which have been recently short-listed at the Serial Killer International Film festival, and “Gold Diggers”, earlier sold to Amazon and the Walter Presents platform, owned by Channel 4. The companies are now negotiating deals with partners from Canada, France, Germany and other countries.

All Media Company brought to TIFF “The Last Warrior” and “The Last Warrior: Root of Evil” by Dmitry Dyachenko and “The Nose, or Conspiracy of the Mavericks” by Andrey Hrzhanovsky, as well Renata Litvinova’s new film “North Wind”. The distributor is negotiating with companies from Italy, France, Germany, America, UK and Slovakia. Konstantin Khabensky’s “Sobibor”, Alexey Kozlov’s “Saving Leningrad”, Roman Karimov’s “Black Water” and Igor Zaitsev’s “The Conquest of Siberia” were picked up by a distributor covering digital and broadcasting rights in India.

1-2-3 Production presented a line-up of five new projects, including the feature coming-of-age drama “Masha”  by Anastasia Palchikova starring Anna Chipovskaya, which was awarded The Best Debut prize at the biggest national festival Kinotavr. 1-2-3 Production also highlighted “Dead Mountain: The Dyatlov Pass” limited series – the most anticipated premiere of this season with international sales handled by Beta Film, who had partnered up with 1-2-3 Production at a very early production stage. Hot properties “Six Empty Seats” by Petr Todorovsky, “The Big Game” by Karen Oganesyan (co-produced with Amedia Production), and festival hit thriller “Identification” by Vladlena Sandu were also presented as part of the company’s international line-up.

Planeta Inform Group of Companies sold the rights to Konstantin Buslov’s “AK-47” biopic and Sarik Andreasyan’s family film “Robo” to be distributed in the former Yugoslavia countries and Spain. The distributor for ex-Yugoslavia acquired the rights to Nikita Argunov’s sci-fi action movie “Coma”, also sold to an Asian partner for theatrical release in Taiwan. Elena Khazanova’s “One Breath” was picked up for Spain and China. While the company was working at the TIFF online, the company’s original projects were awarded at the international festival of genre cinema 21° Fantastic Costa del Sol, where the actress Oksana Akinshina received the award for the best female role in the horror “Quiet Comes the Dawn” by Pavel Sidorov. “Queen of Spades: Through the Looking Glass” by Alexander Domogarov Jr. has also received a prize for the best special effects.

Russian World Vision has reached agreements to distribute “Atakan. The Bloody Legend” film by Alexander Grishin in Latin America, as well as realized the film rights in Taiwan.

Sarik Andreasyan’s “Goodbye, America!” will be released in the European countries. Fantastic thriller “Fairy” by Anna Melikyan will go to theatres in the Baltics. RWV is currently negotiating with American, European and Asian buyers on the project, as well as discussing offers from European partners for the sports drama “Eleven Silent Men” by Alexey Pimanov.

Sovtelexport, the official distributor of Russia Television and Radio content, is closing deals for “Antarctica: 200 years of peace”, “Who are we?”, “The second birth of the Celestial Empire”, “Russia. Kremlin. Putin”.

Proline Film company is in negotiations over the “Palmyra” by Ivan Bolotnikov, which got an offer from an American Distributor, while the Latin American market has also shown interest in the project.

Short animation films of Soyuzmultfilm studio will go to France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland. The rights to screen the independent short films “Warm Star” by Anna Kuzina, “Snow Bunnies” by Elizaveta and Polina Manokhina, “Night Fairy” by Maria Stepanova and the classic “Mittens” by Roman Kachanov in cinemas and educational institutions were acquired by KMBO SRL. “The Sled” by Olesya Shchukina will be released in limited distribution in Austria. “Two trams” by Svetlana Andrianova and “Vivat, Musketeers” by Anton Dyakov will be screened at the Taiwan International Children’s Film Festival. The non-exclusive TV & VOD rights to the films were also sold for the territory.

Riki Group of companies announced a deal with the canadian company Epic Story Media. ESM has acquired exclusive distribution rights to the “Tina and Tony” project. The English and French versions of the series will be shown this fall in North America.

In total, 27 companies’ projects were presented at the united stand of Roskino.

Mars Media Entertainment presented “The Queen” and the military drama “Unknown battle” by Igor Kopylov. The key projects for Mirsand in Toronto was “V2: Escape from Hell” by Timur Bekmambetov and the yet unreleased in Russia thriller in screen-life format “I want to go to prison” by Anna Zaitseva. Mint Films International presented in Toronto already familiar to the Russian viewers thriller “Winter” by Sergei Chernikov and the drama “The battle” by Anar Abbasov, as well as the new project “47 (Tsoi)” by Alexei Uchitel. Three projects were presented at the film festival by Revolution Film Company: “Mistresses” by Elena Khazanova, “Run” by Andrey Zagidullin and “Girls got game” by Maxim Sveshnikov. Studio Rock presented the winner of the Venetian Critics’ Week the drama “Whaling” by Philip Yuriev and “Sententia” by Dmitry Rudakov. 1-2-3 Production presented Peter Todorovsky’s series “Flight”, the thriller “Identification”, the acute drama “Call Center” and “The big game” (co-produced with AMEDIA Production).

TV companies NTV and Channel 5 debuted at TIFF 2020 with a set of detective TV series. Wednesday, Sputnik Vostok Production and Russkoe Film Company have also presented their TV series. Russian animation on the market was represented by Wizart Animation, Parovoz Animation Studio, RG Bros Studio and PRAD Media Company.


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