RUSSIAN PRESENCE AT THE AFM AMERICAN FILM MARKET The anniversary 40th edition of the American Film Market (AFM) is taking place in Los Angeles (USA) from November 6 to November 13, 2019. Every year over 7.000 industry professionals from more than 80 countries gather in Santa Monica to attend the market and its side programs. AFM is one of the most important film events of the world and the biggest market of North America. International producers, buyers, distributors, legal advisors, and investors participate in conferences, panels, special sessions and presentations.For the 9th time this year Roskino supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation partners with the AFM market.On November 10 Roskino jointly with the Producers Guild of America and the Producers Without Borders association is hosting a panel on Producing in Russia: Navigating International Co-Productions from IP to Delivery. The participants are going to discuss international cooperation in film and TV along with key issues and perspectives of co-productions. What kind of content has the best chance to travel across borders to attract global audiences? Which challenges and restrictions should international producers anticipate while planning to film in Russia? What are the incentives Russia is going to offer to international producers filming in the country? What is the best way to attract large scale productions? These and other hot issues that are becoming ever more relevant for the global film and TV industry as the Russian market expands will be brought to the table at the conference moderated by Roskino CEO and TV1 presenter Katya Mtistouridze and Kayvan Mashayekh, founder of the Producers Without Borders association and Co-Chairman of the International committee of the Producers Guild of America.Katya Mtsitouridze, ROSKINO CEO:‘The new incentives for international producers prepared by the Ministry of Culture are reframing Russia as an interesting destination for film and TV content as well as streaming platform series. The new system has to be in line with the global standards to become fully operational. The panel will allow us to discuss all the advantages and pitfalls of the Russian version of rebates, or the system of partial refund of the budget spent in production on the Russian territory. The issue is subject to a lively debate.’The list of panelists includes Steven Beer, entertainment attorney and managing partner at Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo, Steven Adams, producer, president at Alta Entertainment, and Alexander Rodnyansky, producer, co-owner of Non-Stop Productions and founder of AR Content.Roskino – Russian Cinema Worldwide Umbrella StandThe Roskino – Russian Cinema Worldwide at the 40th edition of AFM brings together 17 Russian film companies. The booth at the Loews Santa Monica hotel presents the updated version of DOORS international travelling film market featuring over 40 Russian projects of 20182019. The list of participants traditionally includes All Media Company, Planeta Inform Group,Mirsand Ltd. owned by Timur Bekmambetov, Mosfilm Studios, and other major national producers and distributors.All Media Company is selling Timofey Zhalnin’s thriller Coupled that follows a young couple lost in the vast Siberian forest and The Frenchman, a period drama by Andrey Smirnov, homage to one of the first Soviet dissidents Alexander Ginzburg. The catalogue also features The Hero, a secret service thriller directed by Karen Oganesyan, starring Alexander Petrov, Vladimir Mashkov, and Svetlana Khodchenkova.Zhanna Shakhshaeva, All Media Head of international Department:‘All Media Company is a regular at the Roskino AFM stand, and 2019 is no exception. Our line-up includes several new titles such as Coupled, the new award-winning thriller by Timofey Zhalnin, as well as The Frenchman by Andrey Smirnov and The Hero, a recent national and international action thriller directed by Karen Oganesyan. At the market we hope to finalize the agreements for several remaining territories.’The Santa Monica slate of Planeta Inform Group features Coma by Nikita Argunov, Robo by Sarik Andreasyan, The Lenin Factor by Vladimir Khotinenko, and the recent Kalashnikov biopic by Konstantin Buslov.Anastasia Bankovskaya, Planeta Inform International Sales Director:‘This year’s edition of AFM is marked by market premieres of Coma directed by Nikita Argunov and Robo, a family adventure thriller by Sarik Andreasyan. Both titles have generated quite a buzz among global buyers and we hope to cover the key territories.Other highlights are two period dramas slated for national release this fall, namely The Lenin Factor by Vladimir Khotinenko and the recent Mikhail Kalashnikov biopic by Konstantin Buslov.At the moment we are following up on negotiations started in Toronto with Middle East, the UK, Italy, Spain, China, Korea, Japan, and the US’.Mirsand Ltd distributors is selling Fau by Dmitry Kiselev, a new Timur Bekmambetov project currently in production. The plot is based on a true story of a valiant Soviet pilot of WWII who managed to escape Nazi captivity hi-jacking an enemy plane and bringing along a top secret German weapon. Hitler had no chance of winning the war without it.Valeria Dobrolyubova, Mirsand Ltd. Head of Sales:‘We are proud to present Fau, a new project by The Spacewalker producer Timur Bekmambetov directed by Dmitry Kiselev. The creative duo undertakes another study of the nature of true, unrelenting heroism. We are sure that international buyers are going to do the story full justice.’More info:ROSKINO Press RelationsNatalia Adamova+7 926 222 68 email@example.com
RUSSIAN FILMS AT THE 63rd BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL The 63rd BFI London Film Festival (BFI LFF), one of the top global film events, finished on October 13. This year’s programme took place from 2 to 13 October.ROSKINO endorsed by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation supported the Russian presence in London for the 8th time during this edition.The line-up showcased 229 feature titles by acknowledged and aspiring filmmakers from all over the world, films that were set to entertain and inspire as well as tackle the urgent issues of our time. This year’s BFI LFF edition included 28 world premieres, 12 international premieres, and 28 European premieres with over 60% of films across all sections from a female director or co-director.The winner of the Best Film award in the main competition was Monos by Alejandro Landes from Brazil. The jury was headed by director Wash Westmoreland whose latest film Earthquake Bird was also screened in this year’s event.The Sutherland award of the first feature competition went to Atlantics, a drama by the actress, director and writer Mati Diop created in French-Senegalese-Belgian co-production.This section’s jury was led by Austrian director Jessica Hausner whose Little Joe was also playing at LFF.To complement the screenings, the programme featured a selection of industry events including discussions, panels, public talks, and workshops.For the 8th time this year ROSKINO partnered with LFF to promote Russian films and advise the festival programmers on the recent developments of the Russian film scene.The Russian contribution to this edition’s line-up provided four remarkable entries. Beanpole by Kantemir Balagov, an Alexander Rodnyansky and Sergey Melkumov production, enjoyed a great success in London. Previously the drama had received the Un Certain Regard Best Director Award and the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Film in Cannes. The title had also featured in the prestigious Contemporary World Cinema section at TIFF. It is scheduled for a North American release and selected as the Russian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the Academy Awards.Alexander Rodnyansky, Beanpole producer:‘The UK premiere of Beanpole took place at Curzon Soho, one of the oldest theatres of London. It was fully packed by a wonderful public that made possible a beautiful Q&A session. The British press of the film was amazing, including a highly positive review by the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw, one of the most influential critics of the world, who gave our film the rarest maximum grade of five stars. All of this generated a lot of buzz in the run-up to the UK theatrical release that launched right after the LFF. Beanpole had been acquired by MUBI, one of the top independent film distributors. As always, we are grateful to Roskino for the worldwide support of Russian films at top global events.'The LFF shorts section included Good Heart, an animation by Evgenia Zhirkova, and Cunningham, a documentary 3D biopic by Alla Kovgan celebrating the legendary American dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham.The brilliant US-based Russian director Kirill Mikhanovsky showcased Give Me Liberty, a poetic and dramatic look on the three generations of an emigrant Russian family and their daily struggles in Milwaukee, a story full of genuine empathy and emotion. The world premiere had taken place at Sundance, during the most important independent film event of the world. In May, 2019 the title had also featured in the Directors’ Fortnight line-up in Cannes where the press conference set in the Russian Pavilion by ROSKINO attracted over 200 global media professionals and led to great reviews. The London festival continued along the same lines. The story of freedom and love against all odds was an instant success both with the professionals and the general public.Kirill Mikhanovsky, Give Me Liberty director‘I was very happy to learn that my film would be presented in London with the support of ROSKINO. I am really impressed by the work of Katya Mtsitouridze’s Roskino team which is doing a great job of promoting Russian film trends worldwide, especially when it takes going beyond the national frontiers and dealing with films such as Give Me Liberty which was produced in the USA. On the other hand, it is no wonder since Katya was among the first ones to see our no budget film and fall in love with it. She appreciated the story long before it was applauded in Cannes and was instrumental in bringing the whole cast and crew to the festival. I am forever grateful to Roskino for taking part in the festival and theatrical success of our film.’Katya Mtsitouridze, ROSKINO CEO‘This year’s LFF edition was fantastic, best films were brought here from festivals around the world, and the selection was amazing. Our entries profiled very well, they blended perfectly into the global context of films tackling the most urgent issues of our society. The humanistic focus of these excellent titles contributed to their success in London. ROSKINO has been supporting the Russian presence at LFF for eight years and this season has been one of the best. We are in a perfect position to go on showcasing the latest and brightest Russian projects at the AFM in LA.’More info:ROSKINO Press RelationsNatalia Adamova+7 926 222 68 firstname.lastname@example.org
OUTCOMES OF THE 76TH EDITION OF THE VENICE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AND THE 44TH TIFF FOR THE RUSSIAN FILMMAKERS The first half of September is the season of two high-profile film industry events, namely the international festivals in Venice and Toronto.The 76th Venice International Film Festival, or Mostra del Cinema, took place on the Lido from August 28 to September 7, 2019, boosted by the Venice Production Bridge meeting point. The 11-day lineup comprised 65 recent feature films, 18 shorts, and 2 TV pilots. The main competition included 21 titles.The Golden Lion went to Joker by Todd Phillips. The Grand Jury Prize was awarded to Roman Polanski for An Officer and a Spy. Roy Andersson took the Best Director prize for About Endlessness. The Best Actress honors went to Ariane Ascaride for Robert Guediguian’s Gloria Mundi while Luca Marinelli starring in Pietro Marcello’s adaptation of Martin Eden was declared Best Actor.Russia played a role in the second most important Orizzonti section. Dmitry Mamuliya’s The Criminal Man, a Russian-Georgian co-production, received a high critical acclaim and was much appreciated by the professional community. The Red Snowball Tree by Vasiliy Shukshin restored by Mosfilm studios was one of the highlights of the Venice Classics section. The restoration launched to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the extraordinary director, actor and writer Vasiliy Shukshin took 90 days of work. The result was presented by Mosfilm Studios CEO, the director Karen Shakhnazarov.Karen Shakhnazarov, Mosfilm CEO‘The Classics program attracts as much attention as the main competition of the Mostra and the screenings always get a full house. It is a great honour for us to be a part of this section where iconic films compete for best restoration. We are most happy to see our efforts crowned by international festival awards. By a lucky coincidence The Red Snowball Tree was selected on the year of Shukshin’s 90th anniversary. Outside Russia Tarkovsky is definitely much more famous than Shukshin, and yet there was a full house, all tickets sold out, and a huge line outside. It felt really good, and one of the explanations is that Shukshin told true stories about the life of the common people.’Venice Classics is the section that offers world premieres of the world’s best films restored since 2012.The Italian National Association of Film, Audiovisual, and Multimedia Industries (ANICA) curated the business program and the co-production market. It hosted a special event that framed Italy as Europe’s audiovisual bridge between USA, China, and Japan. The industrial part of the festival included panels, breakfasts, lunches, showcases, and public debates with the participation of Roskino CEO Katya Mtsitouridze. During the last day of the market ANICA’s Head of International Relations Roberto Stabile confirmed the endorsement of the Roskino initiative to make Russia one of the focus countries of the market in September 2020 along with Italy and China. The news was received with great applause.Alberto Barbera, Venice Film Festival director‘The digital evolution and online platforms are bringing about the deepest transformation in cinema history. But cinema is an art form that is capable of adapting very fast. And new technologies mean that nowadays it is much easier to make a film. I am an optimist when it comes to the future of cinema and film festivals alike. They offer a unique possibility to meet each other, generate new ideas and content. I am happy to have been able to discover a new name for this edition. Dmitry Mamuliya’s The Criminal Man, a Russian-Georgian co-production, made a very strong impression, and I hope Venice will make the distinctive voice of this director as strong as he deserves.I cannot imagine the global film landscape without Russia. Your traditions in this art form are very deeply rooted. Unfortunately at the moment there are not so many filmmakers that are up to the challenges of international film festivals but I would still like to mention Alexander Sokurov, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Kirill Serebrennikov, and a number of others. Roskino is leading the formidable effort of the international promotion of Russian films. Consistency is paramount in this respect, as you are proving year by year by moving in every possible direction, showcasing films at festivals and markets, networking, informing, and advising. A well-devised marketing strategy contributes to bringing a country to the global forefront provided that it offers quality content. I believe Russian cinema has a very bright future.’Katya Mtsitouridze, Roskino CEO‘For the past 5 years Roskino has been a partner of the market and festival in Venice. The co-production platform is an excellent platform for our producers to meet new people and look for funding. For instance, Venice was the launching pad for The Man Who Surprised Everyone by Natasha Merkulova and Alexey Chupov, one of the most acclaimed projects of recent years. This time the producer Katia Filippova used the opportunity to start getting international partners on board for a new project, The Way of Love, the first feature by Tamara Dondurey. Air, the new project by Alexey German Jr., was also unveiled at the Venice market. Unlike Toronto, Venice has an exciting focus on new names and new talents. Toronto is first and foremost a major market attracting projects from all over the world. This year’s TIFF lineup included Beanpole by Kantemir Balagov. The five screenings were all full and the Q&A sessions proved that the international audience was deeply touched by the film. Rights have already been sold to dozens of territories. Other Russian projects also created some buzz, and a number of important deals were made by our participants.’Alexander Rodnyansky, Beanpole producer‘Toronto is a key market and a great Academy Award launchpad. The Oscar race favours films that are already in the spotlight, with Cannes, Venice, or Berlin awards to prove their worth. It takes three things to join the race. First of all, you have to want to participate. Better still if you have a major festival award. The second factor is the international industry press such as Variety or Screen Daily: this is where the Academy members look for updates on the recent projects. And finally, the essential thing is to get an American distributor. There is no point in participating if you don’t have one. Beanpole has already collected two Cannes awards in Un certain regard section. On top of that, there have been other trophies in Sakhalin and at Zerkalo Tarkovsky fest. The film has toured the major American film events in Telluride and Toronto, it has been to San Sebastian and London, and this is just the tip of the iceberg, Balagov has much more in store. Just a couple of days ago Kino Lorber, one of the best and oldest independent distributors of the US, has taken the film on board by acquiring the rights for North America. This is a most important development in the run-up to the Oscar and Golden Globe campaign.’The 44th Toronto International Film Festival unfolded from September 5 to September 15, 2019. The lineup of the high-profile global event included screenings, panels, presentations and other activities. The schedule consisted of 333 features from 80 countries, of which 133 screenings were world premieres, and 71 North American premieres. The main competition featured 37 titles. The screenings attracted over 400 000 attendees.Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit won the main People’s Choice Award. The trophy consists of a Grolsch special prize and $15 000 in cash. The runners up were Noah Baumbach’s divorce drama Marriage Story and Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite.Pietro Marcello’s adaptation of Martin Eden won the Platform section award that implies $20 000 in cash. The FIPRESCI jury awarded its Discovery programme prize to Heather Young for Murmur.Kantemir Balagov’s Beanpole produced by Alexander Rodnyansky and Sergey Melkumov enjoyed a great TIFF success. The Russian title was one of the highlights of the prestigious Contemporary World Cinema section featuring high-profile movies that tell strong, appealing stories and touch upon the most relevant cultural and social problems. Previously Beanpole won the Best Director prize and the FIPRESCI award in the Un certain regard section of the 72nd Cannes festival. The rights for the Russian drama were acquired by Kino Lorber, one of the top US independent distributors. The festival slate included two more titles that had to do with Russia: the Citizen K documentary by Alex Gibney profiled Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Red Penguins by Gabe Polsky looked back at a hockey team that had tried to unite Russia and the US in the 1990’s.As always, the film market was an essential part of the 44th TIFF edition. The participation of Russian companies was facilitated by the ROSKINO – RUSSIAN CINEMA WORLDWIDE umbrella stand organized by Roskino with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.The traditional list of TIFF industrial participants included All Media Company, Planeta Inform Group, Wizart Animation, Riki Group, Russian World Vision, and Mosfilm Studios, to a total of 16 top Russian production and distribution players. Roskino unveiled the updated version of the DOORS international touring film market featuring the best Russian titles produced in 2018-2019.From the very start the Russian content attracted buyers from France, the UK, the US, China, Korea, Japan, Germany, and other territories. Most of them had already been acquainted with the featured projects through Roskino newsletters. Dozens of deals of various scopes and formats were made at the market. The companies are still finalizing their calculations to announce the total contract values.All Media showcased the The Hero, an action thriller by Karen Oganesyan, and The Frenchman, a drama by Andrey Smirnov.Jane Shakshaeva, Head of All Media International Department:‘The Hero by Karen Oganesyan and The Frenchman by Andrey Smirnov were the flagship titles of our TIFF lineup. Both offer fine examples of their respective genres: The Hero is a spy thriller with a lot of twists while The Frenchman is a profound drama in line with the greatest traditions of black and white classics.’The Hero was sold to the former Yugoslavia. Negotiations with French, Italian, and Japanese distributors are in progress. The title had been previously acquired by Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Korea, the US, Canada, the UK, and a number of other countries.Wizart Animation succeded in selling their flagship projects to over 60 territories.Yuri Moskvin, Wizart CEO:‘Wizart kicked off the new international market season at TIFF. We have launched several new projects and presented the unseen footage of Hansel and Gretel. On top of our own projects, we showcased Fantastic Return To Oz by Melnitsa Animation.We had a very productive time at the Toronto market this year. Ongoing negotiations with our long-standing partners resulted in finalised contracts. All in all, we have reached out to 60 new territories. Along with the world-famous Snow Queen and Sheep and Wolves we have shown new projects such as the Snow Queen series and a number of features, including Hansel and Gretel and Ruslan & Ludmila Pushkin franchise’.The DVD release of the third Snow Queen instalment will take place in the UK in November, 2019. Later on the UK audiences will be able to enjoy theatrical screenings of The Snow Queen 4: Mirrorlands. The UK rights belong to Altitude Film Entertainment.Sheep and Wolves: Pig Deal is slated for release in Australia and New Zealand in January, 2020. The rights for these territories were acquired in Toronto by the Australian Eagle Entertainment. The Latin American theatrical distribution of Mirrorlands will be supervised by Sun Distribution Group while the Pig Deal went to Snap TV. Africa is already familiar with the Snow Queen franchise. The next discovery in store for the continent is Sheep and Wolves brought to Africa by Gravel Road Distribution Group, the same company that takes care of the Journey to Oz.Sabre Dance by Yusup Razikov showcased by Mars Media has instantly sold to several Asian territories, including Japan, Thailand, and Singapore. Negotiations are in progress for Eastern Europe, France, and Spain.Of the entire Planeta Inform Group slate, Coma by Nikita Argunov, Robo by Sarik Andreasyan, and The Lenin Factor by Vladimir Khotinenko attracted the keenest interest along with two horrors, Quiet Comes the Dawn by Pavel Sidorov and Queen of Spades: Through the Looking Glass by Alexander Domogarov Jr.Anastasia Bankovskaya, Planeta Inform International Sales Director:‘In the follow-up of the Toronto market negotiations are in progress about a whole range of projects to be distributed in the Middle East, the UK, Italy, Spain, China, Korea, Japan, and the US.’RUSSIAN WORLD VISION showcased Barabbas, an unconventional take on the story of the criminal freed instead of Jesus. Sales continue for two projects currently in pre-production: The Forest by Evgeniy Puzirevskiy and The Locked Door by Arseniy Syukhin. The RWV lineup also included Pain Threshold by Andrey Simonov, The Big Deal by Mikhail Raskhodnikov, Follow Your Dream by Antonina Ruzhe, The House Elf fantasy by Evgeniy Bedarev, Break by Tigran Saakyan, All or Nothing, a comedy by Dmitry Suvorov, Temporary Difficulties by Mikhail Raskhodnikov, and Konstantin Maximov’s war drama Insuperable.Riki Group focused on two 3D animation family features by Denis Chernov, My Toy Panda and My Friend Finnick.More info:ROSKINO Press RelationsNatalia Adamova+7 926 222 68 email@example.com
Natalia Meschaninova's interview for 'Variety'