The international online content market KEY BUYERS EVENT: Digital closed its third edition which gathered over 1600 participants from 80 countries, with approximately 550 online meetings held between global distributors, producers, and the Russian community.
KEY BUYERS EVENT: Digital organized by ROSKINO with the support of The Ministry of Culture, the Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development of the City of Moscow, and the Agency for Creative Industries was held from June 8 to June 10* on a dedicated online platform. Companies including Netflix, Apple, BBC Studios, Mediaset Spain, Wild Bunch, Armoza Formats, Beta Film, Capelight Pictures, Loco Films, BF Distribution, Koch Media, APC Kids, and others participated in the event.
Evgeniya Markova, ROSKINO CEO explained:
"We have been running the event for three years now, and both global and Russian markets have significantly transformed. Our mission is to make the whole market transparent for all global players, to highlight the latest trends and new opportunities for all international partners. This year we succeeded, gathering 1600 participants from over 80 countries, with over 750 international delegates. We had 5500 views of Russian content at this KBE, an increase of 20% from 2020, and the average length of viewing up also up by 135%. We expect national companies to resume and finalize the negotiations they’ve initiated at the upcoming Marche du Film. Key Buyers Event traditionally remains a preview of the top Russian content before the Cannes market."
KEY MARKET DEALS AND AGREEMENTS
Grindstone Entertainment Group, a Lionsgate company, together with CTB Film Company and Luminescence, announced at KEY BUYERS EVENT: digital the acquisition of North American rights to the Russian box office hit Upon the Magic Roads. In addition, CTB Film Company closed a deal with Discovery Networks on the project for Latin America and received offers from Taiwan, Japan, and Italy. Distributors for Italy and Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, and Montenegro are negotiating on the Cosmoball project. The company also started to discuss the deal on My Sweet Monster for Germany, France, Italy, and Poland – these negotiations will continue into the meetings for Pre-Cannes Screenings. Buyers from Germany, Italy, Eastern Europe, Latin America showed great interest in the brand-new project Infiltration.
Central Partnership (part of “Gazprom-Media”) and the Latin American BF Films announced its first joint co-production project – a feature-length psychological horror film Schizophrenic. The company has also presented premiere materials on its new projects The World Champion, December, The Ice Demon, The Pilot. A Battle for Survival. The feature film Couple from the Future, which is also offered as a format, generated high interest among the company’s global partners.
“Following the recent success of the “Son of a Rich” feature format sales, we see this as a promising trend and plan to offer internationally not only ready-made content but more remake options as well,” explained Katerina Pshenitsyna, VP, International Distribution at Central Partnership.
1-2-3 Production premiered the pilot of the 8-episode thriller Insomnia starring Gosha Kutsenko and Irina Starshenbaum. International buyers expressed interest in both the ready-made series and the format behind the show, which is available for adaptation.
Art Pictures Distribution presented the second season of the project The Lanky Girls, which interested distributors in Spain, Italy, France, and Vietnam. The company’s projects received around 10 offers from international partners. Art Pictures Distribution is currently in the final stage of discussing the offer for more TV originals with Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Finland, Scandinavian countries, and Brazil, and is negotiating the remake rights with the USA.
CTC Media's projects – sci-fi comedy series Guests from the Past and the family show Children vs. Adults – caught the attention of buyers from India, Brazil, and China.
SMF Studio announced three deals with international partners. Jetpack company acquired the rights for international distribution of the project Claymotions; comedy series Pirate School will be handled by British animation company Bill Melendez Productions (UK) Ltd, and the French company Playbig will distribute the series for preschool audience Captain Kraken and His Crew in Southeast and South Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea.
Riki Group announced an agreement with the American VOD service for children Toon Goggles, which acquired the rights to the projects Kikoriki, BabyRiki, and educational spin-off Pincode. Riki Group also signed a deal with Good TV, which will distribute the project The Fixiesin Taiwan and the Philippines.
At Key Buyers Event, START met with top European buyers, including the largest Italian-based commercial broadcaster Mediaset S.p.A and it's subsidiary Mediaset España, as well as leading French distribution companies Ampersand Fiction and Trade Media. START’s original series Passengers, Mediator, The Vampires of Midland, and Container have generated a lot of interest from international buyers and several deals are now being negotiated.
Sovtelexport, the official distributor of Russia Television and Radio, announced a sales deal with a French distributor for the series The Blood Widow. The title will be included in the catalogs of PointdeVue.tv, Nighty.tv, MovieCentral.tv streaming services. The classical drama Idiot was sold to Swedish channel Axess TV. The Spy feature film will soon be licensed in Thailand with other sales deals being negotiated. The company has held meetings with representatives from France, Spain, Italy, Israel, Pakistan, Lebanon, Japan, Brazil, and Slovakia. Sovtelexport also presented the new series The Optimists: Caribbean season, The Terrible, Cloister, Godunov, Zuleikha opens her eyes, documentary projects Kresty and Homo Sperans.
Channel Five is negotiating the sales of the series A Suspended Cop and The Fabulous Five to France. The lineup of the channel’s series, including the new detective series Owl, has generated interest in Latin America, the U.S., China, Italy, and other countries.
The brand-new series Vertinsky by Avdotya Smirnova, which was presented by ROSKINO, attracted the interest of French, German, and Brazilian participants.
Russian World Vision company reported around 20 meetings with buyers from Europe, Asia, and Latin America. The company screened the Homeward and Eleven Silent Men trailers, which were well received by participants. Russian World Vision got the preliminary agreement on the theatrical release of the film Red Ghost in Cyprus and received offers from SAARC countries. The Cursed Official will also be released in theatres in the USA, Canada, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. International participants also got a chance to see the projects Palmyra, Ginger's Tale, Take a Hike, Vasya! Lost in Bali and Inadequate People 2.
Planeta Inform Group of Companies held around 30 meetings with buyers from America, Asia, and Europe. The company showed first shots of the sci-fi project WE and discussed the brand new film Wings over Berlin.
Mirsand presented V2 - Escape from Hell and Blue Whale that secured the interest of buyers from Latin America, Asia (Korea, Japan, China), Germany, and France.
Rock Films premiered the materials on the new ambitious project PALMYRA, a high-budget war drama, entering into final negotiations with Europe and America. Rock Films also presented the feature film Zemun, generating a lot of interest from festivals from around the world, as well as Filipp Yuriev’s Kitoboy and Sententia by Dmitri Rudakov.
Animation studio 100 Kilowatt presented the new cartoon Turtles, as well as several other projects Homies, Eager Beaver, Nick the Inventor, and Magic Kitchen.
Sputnik Vostok Production, which presented the film Up to the Sun, as well as several other projects, held negotiations with buyers from Germany, France, Spain, India, Brazil, and other countries.
As a result of the market, Odin Media began to work with Latin American partners, negotiating the sale of 250 hours of series content. The company got the offer from China, Japan, and Vietnam for the sale of Combat Approved. Buyers from Argentina, Poland, Brazil, Germany, Spain, France, and others were also interested in the company’s lineup.
The general partners of the KEY BUYERS EVENT: digital are Russia’s largest holdings: National Media Group (Art Pictures Studio, Vodorod, CTC Media, Channel Five) and Gazprom Media (Gazprom Media Entertainment Television, Central Partnership, NTV broadcasting company). The official partners of the event are CTB Film Company, Star Media, streaming service START, the Association of Film and Television Producers, and the Russian Animated Film Association.
International media partners: C21 Media (UK) and Variety.
National media partners: Channel Five, “Booker’s Bulletin”
The executive partner of the event is Expocontent, the official representative of MIPCOM and MIPTV in Russia, Ukraine, and the CIS countries. SPB TV is the technical partner of the KEY BUYERS EVENT: digital for two years running.
*8–10 June are the main market dates. The full program included 5 days of screenings and 6 days of matchmaking.