OUTCOMES OF FILMART 2019 FOR THE RUSSIAN FILMMAKERS (Hong Kong, March 18-21, 2019)
The 23rd edition of the largest film and entertainment marketplace in Asia, FILMART, or Hong Kong International Film & TV market, took place on March 18-21, 2019. According to the estimates of the organizers, in 4 days it was attended by over 9000 international buyers.
The program of 60 events aimed at industry professionals included panel discussions, premiere screenings, and 14 thematic seminars attended by over 3.000 participants. The list of keynote speakers featured 60 leading experts in film, TV, animation, and other industry sectors. The line-up of 300 screenings included over 100 world premieres.
The 17th edition of the Hong Kong Asia FIlm Financing Forum (HAF) was also a success. The Forum, one of the key funding platforms of Asia, is considered the central event of the market. This year’s line-up featured 42 projects, including the 19 projects of the Work-in-Progress (WIP) lab. The initiative offers an excellent opportunity to match filmmakers with post-production funds, sales agents and film festival supports. The 2019 edition introduced a special section for documentary projects.
This year’s 10 feature submissions at WIP included a Russian title, The Shooter by Petr Levchenko produced by Katia Filippova of Atlantic Film, the person behind the award- winning The Man Who Surprised Everyone by Natalya Merkulova and Alexey Chupov.
Katia Filippova, The Shooter producer:
‘Our new project, The Shooter, is a compelling social drama. The true story of the man who shot 4 people in the town of Krasnogorsk is just the ground of the narrative framework, a chance to raise issues that are relevant for any society – family ties and betrayal, power and money, moral principles. All of them are examined in the light of real- life events. The film stars Yuri Tsurilo and Mikhail Gomiashvili. The directorial debut of Petr Levchenko has been lensed by Yevgeni Rodin known for his work in The Calendar by Igor Poplaukhin, winner of the Cannes Cinéfondation award of 2018’.
RUSSIAN COMPANIES AT THE UMBRELLA STAND ROSKINO – Russian Cinema Worldwide
ROSKINO supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation has traditionally set up the umbrella ROSKINO – Russian Cinema Worldwide stand showcasing the latest film and animation projects as well as updated information on the state of the Russian film industry. The list of 25 participants included All Media Company, Wizart Animation, Art Pictures Studio, Planeta Inform Group, Riki Group, and a number of others.
Katya Mtsitouridze, ROSKINO CEO:
‘This year’s edition of FILMART has been a great success for the Russian companies that showcased their new projects to the buyers of Asian and other regions. There are plenty of nice deals. The two animation studios, Riki Group and Wizart, were leading the market. Their top-quality products, from the iconic Kikoriki and The Snow Queen to the latest inventions, have been sold to dozens of territories around the world. Planet Inform’s horror range was also much in demand, which means that the trend for Russian horrors registered at the AFM in the fall is still relevant. Negotiations that began in Hong Kong will hopefully ripen into deals to be finalized at the upcoming Marché du Film in Cannes.’
All Media Company has productively showcased the war thriller Saving Leningrad by Alexey Kozlov along with The Conquest of Siberia, Igor Zaytsev’s epic tale of the times of Peter the Great, and The Superfamily 2, a family comedy by Dmitry Dyachenko.
Zhanna Shakhshaeva, All Media Head of international Department:
‘Filmart 2019 was intensive and productive for our company. Asian buyers paid a lot of attention to the war thriller Saving Leningrad as well as The Conquest of Siberia eastern and The Superfamily 2 comedy. Negotiations are open to sell the rights for China, Taiwan, India, and a number of other Asian territories. Saving Leningrad has already been acquired by distributors from Germany, Korea, the US, Canada, the UK, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the UAE. The Conquest of Siberia will be released in Korea, the former Yugoslavian countries, the UAE, Cyprus, North America, and the UK. The Superfamily 2 has been sold to Germany, the UAE, and Cyprus. On top of that, the format has been sold to China.’
The Hong Kong slate of Wizart, one of the leading Russian animation companies, was headlined by The Snow Queen: Mirrorlands by Robert Lence and Alexey Tsitsilin, the fourth instalment of the topmost international box office hit in the records of Russian independent animation. Sheep and Wolves: Pig Deal by Mikhail Babenko was also a success. International sales proceeded for Fantastic Return to Oz, the newest chapter of the Oz saga.
Yuri Moskvin, Wizart Managing Producer:
‘Asia is a key region, one of the best markets for Russian animation at the moment. Wizart projects have already shown great results in China and Korea, and our next Japanese release is coming soon. At Filmart, we focused on the new instalments of two franchises, The Snow Queen and Sheep and Wolves. We have discussed them with existing and potential partners from Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Korea. We have also shown the newest footage of Fantastic Return to Oz, a title that had entered the market in Berlin earlier this year. The buyers were intrigued by our Snow Queen: Gerda and the Keepers of Wonders recent series. The Hong Kong negotiations will be carried on at the ROSKINO stand at MIPTV next month.’
Art Pictures Studio presented two recent Vodorod Pictures co-productions: Fedor Konyukhov, a biopic of the famous Russian explorer focusing on his solo air balloon voyage around the world in 2016, and Attraction 2, the second part of the sci fi thriller by Fedor Bondarchuk. In addition, the Filmart line-up featured Sputnik by Egor Abramenko, a co-production with Vodorod Pictures and Hype Film. Some interesting offers have already been made, and the studio hopes to close several deals at the Marché du Film in May, 2019.
Planeta Inform has unveiled Queen of Spades: The Looking Glass, the new thriller produced by Konstantin Buslov with Dmitry Litvinov and Vladislav Severtsev. The buyers were very enthusiastic about the project as well as the key art and promo materials. The market allowed to open negotiations with distributors from Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, India, and several countries of Southeast Asia, including Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Indonesia.
The Dawn by Pavel Sidorov produced by Dmitry Litvinov and Vladislav Severtsev has also enjoyed its share of attention. Rights have been sold to three key territories, namely China, the Philippines, and Indonesia. In addition to the horrors, the line-up included new episodes of two already acknowledged projects, Coma and Robo, slated for national release in the end of 2019.
Riki Group focused on two feature titles by Denis Chernov, My Toy Panda and Our Friend Finnick. The first of the 3D family animations is currently in production and the second one in development. The TV catalogue featured several animated series: BabyRiki, Kikoriki, PINCODE, Tina & Tony by Elena Chernova and Andrey Bakhurin, and Tommy the Little Dragon by Marina Moshkova. The studio also unveiled several animated series still in development: Liry & Taya by Elena Chernova, The Kameleons, Sky Workshop, Fanny & Plume, Beardy Bodo by Vladimir Sakhnovsky, The Snow Academy by Denis Chernov and Tatyana Belova, and Amazing Spoils directed by Leonid Shmelkov and Alexandra McGuinness.
Diana Yurinova, Riki Group VP for International Development:
‘We see Filmart as one of the key markets since our brands have a strong background in Asia. Kikoriki is being broadcast in Hong Kong and mainland China since 2011, BabyRiki and Pincode have landed here in 2017, and Tina & Tony has been viewed over 1 billion times at the YouKu streaming platform.
What makes Filmart so special is that the market is attended both by feature film distributors, TV executives, and VOD platform representatives. Therefore, we are able to showcase our whole range, from feature animations such as My Toy Panda and Our Friend Finnick, to animated series including Tina & Tony, Tommy the Little Dragon, Sky Workshop, Question Club, The Kameleons, Liry & Taya, Fanny & Plume, The Snow Academy. At the previous edition of the market we have closed the deal on our Kikoriki feature franchise with a Chinese theatrical distributor and signed a partnership agreement with Alibaba Culture Communication. In June, 2019 we are launching Panda and Krash, a co-production with CCTV Kids. So, this year our time at the Roskino – Russian Cinema Worldwide umbrella stand in Hong Kong was fruitful as well.’
Roskino Press Relations
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