ROSKINO expands its presence on HULU's platforms and enters collaboration with AMAZON and summarize results of AFM
ROSKINO EXPANDS ITS PRESENCE ON HULU’SPLATFORMS
AND ENTERS COLLABORATION WITH AMAZON
ROSKINO ORGANIZED RUSSIAN FILM WEEK IN LOS ANGELES
TOOK PART IN PITCHING CONFERENCE AND LOCATION SHOW AT 34TH AFM
The 34th American Film Market (AFM) took place in Santa Monica, California, November 6-13. Five days before the start of the main event in the film industry, ROSKINO took its Russian Cinema Week to Santa Monica, presenting the best new Russian titles to film lovers, students, film school staff and – first and foremost – industry professionals.
For the last three years, with the support of Aeroflot Russian Airlines and the Russian Ministries of Culture and Foreign Affairs, ROSKINO has been an official partner of AFM, holding a series of conferences for film industry professionals, producers and distributors.
Results of DOORS 2013
At the AFM, ROSKINO announced the results of the 2nd Traveling International Film Market DOORS, which took place in St. Petersburg in September.
ROSKINO and Digital Media Rights, the leading cable channel operator and aggregator of digital content, announced the exclusive broadcast of 100 Russian titles on major video services - Hulu, Hulu Plus and Amazon.
Furthermore, ROSKINO has agreed to extend the range of content available on these media platforms, adding TV films and series to its selection of feature movies. At this moment the company's management is discussing the creation of a special niche section, which will make a full range of Russian cinema and TV movies, TV series and other programs available. Representatives of Digital Media Rights are confident that this will lay a stronger foundation for success, since the one-off release of a couple dozen films from any one country is unlikely to generate on-going audience interest and expansion. ROSKINO also hopes to draw attention to Russian content through direct advertising campaigns that can be focused on a single channel.
The agreement makes films from ROSKINO's line-up available for American audiences shortly after they are released in Russia or premiered at international film festivals. In early 2014 a Russian film package will appear on Hulu and Amazon in the International Movies section.
“I'm happy to launch the second phase of cooperation between ROSKINO and Hulu. Last year, Hulu's library had 12 Russian titles. Even with no additional promotional support the film “Shpion” (The Spy) became our 14th most-watched film according to the results of the first two weeks. In total, the Russian package gathered 160,000 views, which I regard as a serious success. I've seen many Russian films at the DOORS event in St. Petersburg and in partnership with ROSKINO we are delighted to present these and other titles to Hulu’s wide audience. But there is more to come from our cooperation – in early 2014, a large package of Russian films from ROSKINO's collection will be presented via Amazon, one of the biggest players in the industry. This is a great breakthrough for Russian cinema,” said Michael Hong, Digital Media Rights Managing Director.
ROSKINO is currently completing discussions with Russian rights-holders, movie and TV studios over the inclusion of their content in the Hulu and Amazon libraries. The final list will be announced at the end of 2013. At present, 1,200 hours of premium film and TV content is expected to be made available.
ROSKINO PRESENTED KONSTANTIN FAM's TRILOGY “SVIDETELY” (THE WITNESSES) AT A PITCHING CONFERENCE
AND TOOK PART IN A LOCATION-SHOW
November 9 saw a pitching session for new projects at the AFM. Industry professionals shared basic rules and tools for pitching with an audience of over 700 people, and selected participants presented their projects to the jury. These pitches were assessed by a panel headed by conference moderator Stephanie Palmer, founder of ‘GoodInRoom’ consulting firm and blog, and her colleagues Tobin Armbrust, president for international acquisitions at Exclusive Media Group, and Cassian Elwes, one of Hollywood’s most influential independent producers.
ROSKINO helped Russian director Konstantin Fam to pitch his Holocaust trilogy “Svidetely” (The Witnesses). The first short in this project – “Tufelki” (Shoes) – has already been shot. It qualified for the American Academy Awards and might earn an Oscar nomination as best short.
At the opening of the pitching conference, Catherine Mtsitouridze, head of ROSKINO, said: “I'm very pleased to be a co-organizer of professional conferences at the AFM. When I come to Los Angeles, I can see how much people love films. It's impossible to succeed without loving what you do – this holds true for any industry, and for ours, especially. Passion is the key word that leads to success. I hope that all participants will find support for their projects and regardless of what happens here, they will never lose faith in their initiatives. Your sincere belief in your project will make other people believe in it. I’d also like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to a Russian project which is taking part in this session. I hope you will like it.”
Stephanie Palmer, pitching conference moderator, was impressed by ”Svidetely” (The Witnesses): “Personally the project intrigued me. The Holocaust is not so close to Americans, but I can imagine what it means to a great number of families whose relatives fell victim during World War II. I hope that this pitching session can help the film’s authors find funding for the two remaining shorts that are yet to be shot”.
Konstantin Fam shared his impressions from participation in the pitching conference: “Coming here today and representing Russia in front of a professional audience is a huge honor and responsibility. I was very nervous when I was pitching my work, but the comments from the jury, and the way the audience reacted, assured me that I was on the right track. For me this is a very personal project connected with my own family history, and I hope a film addressing this topic will attract attention today, especially among young people who don’t really have much idea about the Holocaust.”
ROSKINO took part in a location show and presented Russia’s two main film facilities: the new state-of-the-art complex Glavkino and the legendary Mosfilm – Russia’s oldest studio, which recently underwent a complete technical revamp. The location show included presentations of various geographical locations and opportunities, which demonstrated ways of encouraging film production and highlighted the availability and variety of private services, as well as state support of film productions.
The DOORS Traveling Film Market at AFM
32 Russian movies from the DOORS updated catalogue were presented at the AFM at ROSKINO joint stand for Russian filmmakers at the Loews hotel. All the films were included in AFM's official catalog, which was handed out to each of 8,000 accredited participants of the film market. This year, the stand for the Russian film industry represented 25 companies: Glavkino, Koktebel, Profit, the ROCK studio, Mosfilm, Real Dakota, Planeta Inform, Rikki, Central Partnership and many others.
RUSSIAN FILM WEEK IN LOS ANGELES
IN COLLABORATION WITH AMERICAN CINEMATEQUE
Before the AFM, on November 1-5, Los Angeles hosted a Russian Film Week organized by ROSKINO together with the American Cinematheque with support of the Russian Ministries of Culture and Foreign Affairs and the participation of Aeroflot Russian Airlines.
During the festival, American audiences saw seven films selected by the Week's curators, Catherine Mtsitouridze (ROSKINO Director General) and Gwen Deglise (Program Director at the American Cinematheque). The selected titles were: Russian hits ‘Legend No. 17’ (Legenda no. 17) by Nikolai Lebedev and ‘SoulLess’ (Dukhless) by Roman Prygunov; Viktor Shamirov’s graceful comedy, ‘Game of Truth’ (Ingra V Pravdu); ‘Kicking Off’ (Okolofutbola), a gritty social drama by Anton Bormatov; the sophisticated ‘Role’ (Rol) by Konstantin Lopushansky; the psychological drama ‘Thirst’ (Zhazhda) by Dmitry Tyurin, and Boris Khlebnikov’s Berlinale-nominated social drama ‘A Long and Happy Life’ (Dolgaya Schastlivaya Zhizn).
There was a further surprise awaiting the audience, with the addition of Konstantin Fam’s short ‘Tufelki’ (Shoes). As mentioned above, this film is included in the Oscar long-list.
The main premiers of the Russian Film Week were screened at the legendary Aero Theatre, the cinema of the American Cinematheque in Santa Monica which is a regular venue for national film festivals and screenings for members of the American Academy, as well as members of the Hollywood association for foreign journalists, which is in charge of the Golden Globe awards.
ROSKINO also organized a few screenings for students and teaching staff at The Albert and Dana Broccoli Theatre in the George Lukas Building of the University of Southern California (USC)and in Mark Goodson screening room at the Los Angeles Campus of the American Film Institute (AFI).
It was the first time in 10 years that a Russian Film Week was held here. Festival screenings took place in three prestigious professional screening rooms and reached a total audience of 2,500 people over the five-day event. Most of the guests were film industry professionals, producers, distributors, film lovers, students and teachers at the USC, UCLA, Stella Adler Studio, etc. The festival gave them the opportunity to experience contemporary Russian film culture and meet some of our filmmakers in person
F.X. Feeney, American famed journalist and writer, and Alex Ago, the Director of Programming and Special Projects at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, moderated the Q&A sessions with Russian guests.