The Russian virtual content market, supported by the Ministry of Culture and Moscow Government will go live on 8 June, featuring a wide range of Russian voices from across the country as they contribute to panel discussions, company presentations, and screenings, as well as a large co-production section. Buyers and producers from over 40 countries, including RTL, AMC Networks, Mars CGV, Wild Bunch, Beta Film, Koch Media, and Iqiyi, have registered for the event.
Evgenia Markova, CEO of Roskino explained: “Such a national virtual market is unprecedented, and it is exciting to be the pioneers. For 8 days, The Key Buyers Event: Digital Edition has been designed to facilitate networking, inspiring discussions and screenings that showcase the diverse landscape of Russian content inclusive of films, series, animations, and documentaries, and to promote Russian talent around the world. During these challenging times, we are adapting to champion our filmmakers to give them every opportunity to engage in global exchange through the virtual market, which is possible with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Moscow Government.”
Key Buyers Event will host a diverse industry programme of panel discussions with Russian and international media and industry professionals on co-production, animation, the TV and film landscape both in Russia and beyond and new international opportunities in a post-pandemic world. The speaker line-up includes Pierre Sissmann, CEO, Cyber Group Studios (France), Richard Rowe, Director of International Acquisitions & Co-Productions, Wildbrain (UK), Yan Li, CEO, Beijing Joy Culture Media Co. (China), Lionel Marty, Managing Director, APC Kids (France) and Ariel Tobi, CEO, SNAP TV Lat Am (Argentina) who will discuss Russian animation and its international success, the panel to be moderated by Thatcher Mines, Director of Development and Deals at Power Animals United (Finland).
The Moscow Film Commission will host a discussion on film production after the pandemic, with Jess Conoplia, President, Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI), and Pavlína Žipková, Head of Czech Film Commission among the speakers. Programme international speakers will include Juliana Da Cunha Jacobsen, Head of Acquisitions & Operations at BF Distribution, Jordan Fields, VP Acquisitions at Shout Factory, and David Ellender, CEO of Sonar.
The programme will also gather notable Russian executives: producer and film director Timur Bekmembetov (“Nightwatch”, “Wanted”, “Profile”), producer and film director Fedor Bondarchuk (“Stalingrad”, “Attraction”, “Invasion”), General Director of CTC Media and TV producer Vyacheslav Murugov (“Sputnik”, “Invasion”), Hype Film producer Ilya Stuart (“Persian lessons”, “Leto”, “Sputnik”), producers and directors of PREMIER Studios Valeriy Fedorovich and Evgeniy Nikishov (“Ordinary woman”, “Identification”, “Dyatlov pass”, “Metro 2033”), general producer of Metrafilms (“Dovlatov”, “Dau”, “Air”) Artem Vasilyev and Vadim Vereshchagin, CEO of Central Partnership plus more speakers to be announced in due course.
The programme will include Screenlife Fest hosted by Russian producer and director Timur Bekmambetov, a pioneer in Russian filmmaking. Bekmambetov’s “Bazelevs” has recently launched “Quarantine stories,” a competition for Screenlife projects, and will announce the finalists at the Key Buyers Event, as well as show the best Screenlife series from notable national directors.
The event will also feature a co-production section highlighting a diverse selection of over 90 projects open to international co-production. The pitching sessions will highlight the best work in progress in series, feature films, documentary (films and series), and animation (films and series).
Since the majority of international participants will attend from home, Roskino and its partners will provide cultural activities to keep children entertained while their parents are attending the Key Buyers Event. As part of the children's program, Russian actors will recite national fairy tales in English. There will also be online excursions, games, cartoons, and educational videos for children of all ages in English and other languages.
The Ministry of Culture will also present opera and ballet performances from the country's most prestigious theatres including Bolshoi and concerts performed by world-known classical music performers such as Kirill Richter, Denis Matsuev, and Valery Gergiev.
In collaboration with the Moscow Government and the Moscow Tourism Committee, forum participants will have access to online tours around the most famous museums of the Russian capital including the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, the Tretyakov Gallery, and the Moscow Museum.
Participants at the Key Buyers Event include:
National Media Group and NMG Studio will present around 30 titles at the event, including full-length features from Art Pictures Studio and Vodorod film company, original content for more.tv platform, as well as TV series, animation, and formats from CTC Media, Channel 5, and RenTV. International sales are handled by Art Pictures Distribution.
The slate includes Psycho, the first TV series directed by Fedor Bondarchuk. The story centres around a successful shrink who is mentally unwell. Psycho will premiere on more.tv, along with the dramedy Happy End about the adult entertainment industry. Both projects are co-produced by Art Pictures Studio and NMG Studio.
Another large-scale project is Bondarchuk, a documentary produced by Fedor Bondarchuk and dedicated to his father, world-known film director Sergei Bondarchuk, whose 1966 adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.
Art Pictures Studio also presents Ballet, a compelling new drama with Carine Roitfeld, founder of CR studio and former editor of Vogue Paris, joining as a consultant. Art Pictures Studio and Vodorod film company also bring Sputnik, selected for the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year, which is set to be released by IFC in North America on August 14, by Vertigo in the UK and Rialto in Australia on the same day.
Additional high-profile TV projects include Kitchen. War for the Hotel and Hometown, which both became massive hits in Russia (aired on CTC). Moreover, the channel brings its upcoming shows scheduled for fall 2020, the dramedy Brothers and nostalgia-filled comedy Guests from the Past. CTC Media’s formats will also be presented during the event, including the scripted reality series Fixer and family series Children vs. Adults.
GPM ETV, part of Gazprom Media holding, presents a variety of brand-new titles from PREMIER Studios, TV3 channel, TNT, Friday, 2x2, and Super channels.
The company will show an exclusive trailer of Dyatlov pass from PREMIER Studios, picked up by Beta Film for worldwide distribution. They will also present their brand series, Six Empty Seats directed by Petr Todorovsky and Identification starring Lena Tronina, as well as the Series Mania selection Ordinary woman (distributed by Cineflix Rights) and Cannes Series selection The Outbreak.
TV3 channel focuses on the series Documentalist: The Ghost Hunter, The O.K.O. Detective Agency, The Dead Lake, as well as documentary series Russian True Crime and The Interview.
Major Russian distributor Central Partnership will show exclusive materials for its top three blockbusters, including footage of Chernobyl: Abyss by Danila Kozlovsky, the first major Russian feature film to focus on the aftermath of the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power station. The project is produced by Alexander Rodnyansky and Sergey Melkumov. They will also present the upcoming Russian adventure Silver Skates by Michael Lockshin set in 1899 Saint-Petersburg and Fire by Alexey Nuzhniy, a heroic story about firefighters and rescuers.
NTV will showcase its high-end period series Noble Detective and its latest hit Wolf Trap, selected for MIPTV Drama Buyers’ Summit this year - the complex and original story about a notorious ex-gangster ‘Wolf’ who returns to his hometown 20 years later to fight local crime became a primetime sensation. NTV will also present hugely popular non-scripted formats SuperYou! and Secret for a Million.
CTB Film Company presents a high-scale sci-fi movie Cosmoball, fantasy feature Upon the Magic Roads and a slate of brand-new animated movies The Nutcracker and The Magic Flute, My Sweet Monster, and The Barkers: Mind the Cats! based on the popular TV-show. The company also brings new episodes of the Moonzy animation series which has already gained popularity across the globe.
Yellow Black and White studio will show its key titles of the year including; Ms Sweet, the new family comedy Best Frenemies, and historical drama Conquest of Siberia set to premiere on Channel One in Russia. Yellow Black and White also present the exclusive series of the video platform START: an action drama Hope by Elena Khazanova, screenlife series Games People Play by Konstantin Bogomolov, dedicated to love in times of quarantine, an uplifting dramedy 257 Reasons to Live (picked up by Cannes Series and distributed by Beta outside of the USA) and Sherlock: The Russian Chronicles, a big upcoming mystery thriller co-produced by Start and Sreda.
Bazelevs presents V2. Escape from Hell by Timur Bekmambetov, an action-packed story about a Russian pilot who escapes from a concentration camp on a hijacked Nazi military aircraft. It will be released in 2021 in two formats: horizontal for cinema theatres and vertical for viewing on a smartphone. The film is co-produced by Bazelevs studio, Voenfilm, and MTS mobile network. Part of the film shoot took place remotely during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Sovtelexport, the exclusive distributor of Russian Television and Radio content will premiere Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes, a series based on the bestselling novel by Guzel Yakhina. The company’s slate also includes historical dramas Ekaterina: Pretenders, Godunov, and the large-scale screen adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina.
Other major Russian companies presenting their content, include Magnum (“Fairy” by Anna Melikyan), Sreda (“Tell her”, “Ask Martha”, “Consequences”, “Irregulars”), All Media (“The Last Warrior: Root of Evil”, “Hotel Belgrade”, “A Frenchman”, “Leonid Kogan. Unknown Chronicles”), Planeta Inform (“Mikhail Mil”, “One Breath”, “The Balkan Line”), Star Media (“The Rurik Dynasty”, “The Black Sea”, “Detective Anna”), Mars Media Entertainment (“Unknown Battle”, “Sabre Dance”, “Secret Weapon”, “T-34”), Russian World Vision (“Red Ghost”, “Atakan. The Bloody Legend”, “Motherland”), Metrafilms (“Portrait of the Unknown”), Sputnik Vostok Production, Mirsand, Digital Television Russia, Channel Five, and many others.
Animation, one of the most promising and fastest-growing sectors within the Russian creative industry is well represented at Key Buyers Event with a slate of world-class feature animated films and series.
Soyuzmultfilm will showcase its new animation series Squared Zebra, as well as The Adventures of Peter and Wolf, Pirate School, Claymotions, and Mr. Theo, Cat & Dog.
Licensing Brands will premiere The Magic Arch, an underwater animated comedy written by Alec Sokolow (Toy Story).
Wizart studio brings the Sheep and Wolves: Pig Deal and Snow Queen franchise which includes a fourth feature installment and TV series spin-off. It will also show CG feature film sequel title Fantastic Return to Oz directed by Fedor Dmitriev and produced by Russia’s largest animation studio Melnitsa. Within KBE Wizart plans to announce several international deals and hold a series of meetings with potential partners relating to the new TV series the Snow Queen: Keepers of Wonders and Tins Robots.
St. Petersburg-based Riki Group presents an entertaining and educational slate of beloved brands including BabyRiki, The Fixies, Tina & Tony, Panda and Krash, Beardy Bodo, Kikoriki, and Pincode.
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