“TIFF Industry is the first major market of the season. It is strategically important for the national industry to participate, taking into account the global boost of digital platforms and theatrical release slowly regaining its grounds. Despite the unstable situation, it is a chance to connect to international partners and also see how the global industry is transforming in response to this year”, said deputy Minister of Culture Maxim Ksenzov.
“TIFF Industry has always been crucial for working with American and Canadian markets. Now, with theatrical release just starting to come back to life, we focus on digital rights in the first place, as well as co-development and co-production opportunities. Russian companies bring quite a slate of work-in-progress across all genres, films, drama and animation this fall. TIFF online is an opportunity not only to negotiate and close deals, but also to see how the global media community is actually feeling and what it needs after the rough pandemic time”, said Evgenia Markova.
Art Pictures Distribution brought “Sputnik” by Egor Abramenko. Its international sales have exceeded 1 million $ by now, with theatrical release in USA, Australia, Baltic countries and VOD and OTT in UK. “Sputnik” has recently topped American iTunes charts, getting on the first place in the horror category and on the fifth place in the movie category.
The movie will be shown in Germany at the Fantasy Film Fest, followed by screenings in Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Gamburg, Cologne, Nuremberg and Stuttgart, and theatrically released in Latin America (in Mexico, Bolivia and Ecuador). With theatrical release in other countries non-guaranteed due to global situation, the movie keeps going on digital platforms and will be broadcast online in Australia and New Zealand this fall.
The company also presented “A dog named Palma”, a family movie from Mars Media Entertainment and AMEDIA Production inspired by a true story of a shepherd dog who was inadvertently left in the airport by her owner.
Central Partnership presented a romantic adventure "Silver skates" by Michael Loсkshin (produced by Central Partnership, GPM KIT, Nikita Mikhalkov's “Three T Studio” and “Kinoslovo”), which is set to premiere at the opening of the Moscow International Film Festival on October 1st.
Other flagships are "Chernobyl" directed by Danila Kozlovsky (produced by Non-Stop Production and DK Entertainment), the first major Russian feature film depicting the aftermath of the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power station, the disaster/action "Fire" (produced by Nikita Mikhalkov's “Three T Studio” with the participation of the channel “Russia 1”) and a biopic/sport drama “Streltsov” (ROCK Studio, Nikita Mikhalkov's “Three T Studio”) about the life and career of the legendary Russian football player and Olympic champion Eduard Streltsov.
Mirsand Ltd. presented “V2 – escape from hell”, a new biopic from Timur Bekmambetov now in post-production. The action driven war drama tells the story of a Soviet pilot who got captured in 1944 and imprisoned, but hijacked a German bomber that had a secret weapon in it’s cargo bay – and escaped. Another biopic from Timur Bekmambetov is “Spacewalker” about the Soviet cosmonauts who walked in outer space for the first time.
“Blue whales” is a new screenlife thriller by a promising young director Anna Zaytseva (produced by Timur Bekmambetov), inspired by real event that happened in Russia a couple of years ago – with teenagers committing suicide as part of some “game” launched in special social media groups by unknown people.
All Media Company line-up included “The Last Warrior: Root of Evil" by Dmitry Dyachenko (co-produced by the Walt Disney Company (Russia) and Yellow Black and White) and “North Wind” by Renata Litvinova based on her own screenplay. The company also presented "The Nose, or the Conspiracy of the Mavericks”, the new work from Andrey Hrzhanovsky (“Dau”) that premiered at the Rotterdam film festival.
Planeta Inform Group of Companies presented its well-known titles: "AK-47" by Konstantin Buslov, "Coma" by Nikita Argunov, "The Balkan Line" by Andrey Volgin, "One Breath" by Elena Khazanova. As for the new ones, the distributor brought its original horror film "The EX” by Yevgeny Puzyrevsky and mystic thriller “Mara” by Alexey Kazakov.
Mars Media Entertainment presented “The Queen”, a romantic comedy about a teenage girl – top student, social media blogger and tennis star, who must have the attention of a new boy in class against all odds. The company also keeps expanding with its WWII action film “Unknown battle” about one of the least known and yet extremely important battles of the World War II under Rzhev.
Drama series produced by 1-2-3 Production have already appeared on Netflix Originals and Amazon Prime Video line-ups, so the company pitches new ones: “Six Empty Seats” by Petr Todorovsky about a company clerks who had miraculously avoided the plane crash and decided to drastically change their lives after that.
“Identification” crime thriller by Vladlena Sandu immerses viewers in the world of contemporary marginal communities in Russia. Before its release, the film has been selected for international festivals Series Mania (France), International Film Festival in Geneva (Switzerland) and Moscow International Film Festival (Russia).
1-2-3 Production also highlighted the drama/thriller “Call Center” by award-winning tandem of Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov and “The Big Game”, a survival drama with the unexpected twist finale. “Masha” will premiere this year at Kinotavr, the main Russian festival nationwide. The drama, starring Anna Chipovskaya, tells the story of a 13-year-old girl with the taste for jazz growing up in a small Russian town among local gangsters in the turbulent 1990’s.
Rock Films presents “The Whaler Boy” by Philipp Yuryev, which has just premiered at the Venice Film Festival at Venice days programme. International sales of the film will be handled by Loco Films. Another premiere scheduled before the end of 2020 is “Sententia”, the first director’s work from Dmitry Rudakov.
The key novelty from Yellow Black and White for Toronto was “A Good Man”, a psychological thriller centering on the story of one of the most brutal serial killers in Russia, known as “the maniac of Angarsk”. The company also highlighted its best-selling crime drama “Gold Diggers” with French dubbing available and season 3 in development.
Mint Films International presented “Winter” thriller and “The Battle”, both already released in Russia, while the key title is “47” (“Tsoi”) by Alexey Uchitel – the company brought exclusive materials on this one.
The key title from Proline Film this year was “Palmyra” based on real events – the story of a man whose daughter was recruited by a terrorist organization and ran away to Syria. The company also brought “Faust” by Alexander Sokurov, award winner of Venice International Film Festival, “Kharms” by Ivan Bolotnikov, two-time winner of Shanghai International Film Festival, “Three steps towards the happiness” by Dmitry Svetozarov and “Touch” by Maria Afanasyeva.
Russian World Vision (RWV) showed new materials on the sport drama “11 Silent Men” by Alexey Pimanov about the Soviet football players who came to Great Britain in 1945 to compete, and also screened the fantasy drama “Fairy” by Anna Melikyan. The line-up also included “Red Ghost” directed by Andrey Bogatyrev, already sold to a lot of countries, the horror “Atakan. The Bloody Legend” by Alexander Grishin, “A Siege Diary“ which is based on the memoirs of the Leningrad siege survivors, melodrama/comedy “Motherland” by Sarik Andreasyan, a comedy/adventure “See it My Way” directed by George Salnikov, adventure/thriller “Ad Libitum” by Polina Oldenburg, and melodrama “Letters of Happiness” (directed by Svetlana Sukhanova).
Revolution Film presented three projects: “Mistresses” comedy by Elena Khazanova, fantastic thriller “Run” by Andrey Zagidulin about a runner who acquires an ability to see the past after getting in a car crash and a comedy “Girls got game” by Maxim Sveshnikov about a female football team that reunites to make their dream come true.
Sreda production company brought “Tell her” by Alexander Molochnikov, as well as series line-up “Ask Martha”, “Irregulars”, Project "Anna Nikolaevna" and “Last Minister”.
“Elsa’s Land” by Oscar-nominated (in shorts) Julia Kolesnik centers around a love story that involves two people of senior age. Sputnik Vostok Production also brought a musical “Up to the Sun” now in development, and “The River” drama about an 11-year-old boy who travels down the river with his grandfather – the one who was still alive in the child’s imagination.
Sovtelexport brought its new drama series “Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes”, based on a bestseller by Guzel Yakhina translated into 34 languages, as well as “The Blood Widow” thriller about the most notorious female serial killer in Russian history, and action “On the Edge” about three young women lured by ISIS, who are fighting for their lives and freedom. The distributor also presented its famous costume dramas: “Ekaterina: Pretenders”, a new season of which has conquered the audience of 104 countries, and “Anna Karenina”, screen adaptation of the famous novel by Leo Tolstoy.
NTV Broadcasting Company’s flagships were action-packed series “Wolf Trap”, “Noble Detective” and “Reluctant Hero”, its hit non-scripted format “Secret for a Million” and 4-episode documentary “Conquering the Arctic: Missions Impossible”.
TV Channel Five presented new detective series "A Suspended Cop" and “The Fabulous Five”.
Russkoe Film Company represented a crime drama “The Money” directed by Egor Anashkin (“Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes”) about an exceptionally talented young scientist and inventor in USSR, who was forced by the regime itself to become a forger and eventually a crime legend of the country.
Soyuzmultfilm’s flagship was the art project "Hoffmaniada", which has been in production for 15 years with about 90 original dolls in total and lots of detailed decorations made for the film, part of them created by the world-known artist Mihail Chemiakin. The line-up also included adventure film "Suvorov", scheduled to premiere in Russia next spring, and two brand-new titles in development – "The Golden Hive" and “Water formula".
Riki Group introduced the new animation series “Tina & Tony” for preschoolers and feature film “Finnick” by motion capture studio “Petersburg” production. “Tina & Tony” second season was created jointly with Riki Group’s Chinese strategic partner Alibaba Cultural Media Co. Ltd. and got into the TOP-3 rating of popularity of the YouKu Kids channel in the first week of the broadcasting.
The creative team behind the family comedy “Finnick” is international and includes a Hollywood screenwriter Neil Landau, authors of the idea Denis Chernov and Tatiana Belova, and other scriptwriters. Kind and funny yet cantankerous finn called Finnick likes to make fun of tenants, which is the reason why no family stays for a long time at his residence. But everything changes when the new family moves into his house.
Wizart Animation presented three full length animation movies: “The Snow Queen: Mirrorlands”, “Sheep and Wolves: Pig Deal”, “Fantastic Return to Oz”.
Parovoz Animation Studio keeps looking for co-production partners for its series “Tweetville” now in development, as well as “Spaceport”.
RG Bros Studio presented the “Beeography” animated series – an edutaining title for a broad family audience, the core viewers being between 6 and 12 y.o. It tells young viewers about the customs, traditions and fairy tales of different countries as the three main characters are travelling across the globe.
PRAD media company presented the first episode of the animated series “Sunbeam & Ladybug” and the spy detective comedy “System X”, looking for both buyers and investors.