RUSSIA ON THE AMERICAN FILM MARKET (AFM)
The 39th American Film Market, one of the major film industry events of the year, is taking place in Los Angeles, CA, from October 31 to November 7. With the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, ROSKINO stands as an official partner of the film market for the 8th consecutive year.
This year, over 400 distribution, production and sales companies have opened their booths at the film market in Santa Monica, seeking to meet buyers from over 80 countries. As a part of the AFM, Location EXPO will see around 100 film commissions and state agencies from all over the world to present their products and services to foreign production companies. The Moscow Film Commission, for the second time in two years, participates in the biggest film market in North America, occupying a separate booth – LocationEXPO, 5Е (Loews, Atrium).
The Moscow Film Commission has been officially established at the direction of the Government of Moscow in February of 2018. The Government of Moscow assists in managing administrative arrangements and organising film and TV shoots in the city. During the year, the Moscow Film Commission has been successfully introduced to the attendees of the European Film Market at Berlinale, location show Focus in London, Hong Kong International Film and TV Market, MipTV in Cannes and Marche du Film within the Cannes Film Festival.
The primary goals of the Moscow Film Commission include supporting Russian and international TV and film crews, willing to shoot their projects in Moscow, assisting in organizational and administrative arrangements, consulting on location choice, obtaining shooting permits and access to restricted facilities. In order to promote the city and its diverse filming locations, ROSKINO initiated the production of multimedia project Moscow in Motion that will be presented at this year's AFM. Moscow in Motion includes a photo project with 450 shots of Moscow, taken in four different seasons by the acclaimed photographer Anton Lange, a location guide for producers, the live action short film called Moscow in Motion, and the Film Moscow AR smartphone app.
Katya Mtsitouridze, the CEO of ROSKINO:
Over 7000 industry experts visit Santa Monica every year for a busy week of hard work. The AFM is rightly considered as one of the mandatory events for film industry. It's the second consecutive year that we present the Moscow Film Commission here. And it's the 8th year that we set up a booth, unifying Russian filmmakers. During these years, the sales have rocketed, and we have established Russian national film industry as one of the world's leading and fast-growing ones. There have been a good few changes for the Commission since last year. First, it had been officially established. Second, this has been a busy year for us – the ROSKINO team held over 240 meetings with companies from over 60 countries. It resulted into over 130 requests for cooperation with the Moscow Film Commission – both from independent producers of content and leading players of international entertainment industry. Third, in order to promote the Commission, ROSKINO created the multimedia project Moscow in Motion, which will be presented here, at the AFM, for the first time in North America. The experience of working on the project gave us a good understanding of pros and cons of organising a film shoot in our city. There's still room for improvement. Both photo project Moscow in Motion, created by our very own acclaimed photographer Anton Lange, and the short film Moscow in Motion have been praised by the industry experts. We're hoping that, yet again, this year's Santa Monica event turns productive for us, and attracts a substantial amount of potential partners.
The special even «Production without borders», organised by PR agency Cloud 21 and Kultura PR in partnership with ROSKINO, will take place on November 5 as part of the American Film Market. The following industry experts will participate in the panel discussion: the founder of the International Film Trust Michael Benaroya, the CEO of ROSKINO Katya Mtsitouridze, the founder and CEO of Nantouselta Entertaiment Shari O’Donnell, the founder and head of Metan Global Larry Namer, the head of Double 4 Studios Andrei Zinca. The panel will be moderated by the award-winning British film director Kate Rees Davies. Participants will talk international collaboration in TV and film industry; discuss key issues and future prospects of co-production. The Moscow Film Commission will then be presented at the panel.
Russian film companies are all united at the booth ROSKINO – Russian Cinema Worldwide. The booth, placed in Loews Santa Monica Hotel, showcases the updated catalogue of the International Travelling Film Market DOORS that includes over 40 Russian projects of various genres made in 2016-2018. All Media, Ricky Group, Russian World Vision, Mirsand, Parovoz, RFG Distribution, Film Collection and other production and distribution companies have been showcased in the booth.
All Media is to present the war drama Saving Leningrad by Aleksey Kozlov, based on a true story of a barge wreck on Ladoga Lake during the Siege of Leningrad. They also present the historical action film The Conquest of Siberia by Igor Zaitsev and the comedy Super Family: Better Than Avengers by Dmitry Dyachenko.
Jane Shakhshaeva, head of international department of All Media:
«We're presenting three full-length features at the American Film Market. The Conquest of Siberia could be interesting to the wide audiences in any country, thanks to its fast pace, impressive battle scenes, accurately reconstructed historical setting, and, of course, romantic storyline. War film Saving Leningrad is coming out in 2019. It's a historical actioner that could draw the audiences by the scale of the setting. It's that kind of story that the audience immerses into, and forgets to breathe till the closing credits start rolling. Super Family: Better Than Avengers is a sequel to the popular comedy that gives a new twist to the story of the family with superpowers».
Riki Group has brought in their full-length animated features, such as My Toy Panda by Denis Chernov, My Friend Finnick by Denis Chernov and Super Tina by Andrei Bakhurin.
Diana Yurinova, the International business development and distribution at Riki Group:
This year at the AFM we're presenting three animated features – My Toy Panda, My Friend Finnick and Super Tina. This is a huge new step in the development of our company, as we're presenting original projects, not in any way connected to the Kikoriki franchise. My Toy Panda is an adventure comedy for the family audiences, which is now in production, and will be finished by fall of 2019. At the market, we are planning to find international partners for theatrical distribution throughout the world. My Friend Finnick and Super Tina are currently in development, and we are looking for a co-production deal with an international company. The AFM is a very important market for us, as this is an event normally attended by the key players of the industry and trend-setters in film and animation.
At the AFM, Russian World Vision is making its debut in Santa Monica, presenting following projects to the international buyers: the family fantasy The House Elf by Evgeniy Bedarev, and two horrors in development – The Forest by Evgeniy Puzirevskiy and The Locked Door by Arseniy Syukhin.
Furthermore, the company's new projects include the comedy Seven Dinners by Kirill Pletnyov, the project with the working title The Big Deal by Mikhail Raskhodnikov, the comedy Follow Your Dream by Antonina Ruzhe. There will also be the presentation of Spitak by Aleksandr Kott, a drama about the devastating earthquake in Armenia. On top of that, RWV will continue to put effort into international sales of Tankers by Konstantin Maksimov, Break by Tigran Saakyan, Temporary Difficulties by Mikhail Raskhodnikov, The First by Dmitriy Suvorov, All or Nothing by Dmitriy Suvorov and a number of other projects.
The distribution company Mirsand Ltd will introduce the new film by Tumur Bekmamnetov to international buyers. The thriller Profile won the Panorama Audience Award at this year's Berlinale.
Valeria Dobrolyubova, the head of distribution of Mirsand:
The award-winning film Profile has already been in great demand with our clients. It's based on a true story and shot in the new alternative visual genre Screenlife, which makes the project stand out.
At the AFM 2018, Parovoz Animation Studio is presenting the musical educational 6-minute animated short Boo the Cat and the Good Boy by Roman Vereshchak. The project has become a finalist of the Best Animated Film Competition at the international animation film marker SPP in Korea. The presentation of the family adventure Koshchey. The True Story by Andrei Kolpin is also in the plans. It's planned to be released in 2020.
Film Collection is to present the thriller Pain Threshold by Andrei Simonov. It's a story of four Moscow youngsters – two guys with their girlfriends – that head to the mountainous area of Altai for an adventure holiday, planning on rafting down the river. They're facing personal problems, triggered by the remote wilderness and the fact of them being in the middle of nowhere. They're asking for help from a group of kayakers they've met on their way. Soon it turns out that the new acquaintances are covert criminals, and the protagonists end up as their hostages.
Albert Ryabyshev, producer:
Our film tells the story about people's ability to create situations for themselves where only a miracle can help them. The characters are desperately fighting for their life with the backdrop of the Altai Mountains, but their chances to get rescued are awfully slim.
RFG Distribution is also to present the following projects at the AFM:
Never Say Goodbye by Pavel Drozdov, Witnesses by Konstantin Fam, Escape to Greece by Stas Ivanov, The Last Trial by Alexey Petrukhin, The Lost Reflection by Elena Zhigaeva.
Marina Mnatsakanyan, the Head of Sales Department of RFG Distribution:
«Our company will present a number of new films to international buyers. One of the major goals for us is to produce and promote new, quality Russian projects for the international markets. RFG Distribution is currently one of the most rapidly developing companies at the Russian film production market. We have a solid team, big plans and we're positive we'll get to fulfil them».