03 June 2021, Moscow – 17 projects from Russia and 9 international projects hailing from 8 countries have been selected to take part in WEMW Goes to Russia, a new international co-production forum between Roskino and When East Meets West which takes places during the upcoming Key Buyers Event: Digital which runs from 8-10 June 2021 with three additional days of screenings and matchmaking. The event is organized by ROSKINO with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Russian Federation, the Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development of the City of Moscow and the Agency for Creative Industries.

The Key Buyers Event: Digital event now in its third year has expanded the co-production programme and together with WEMW, they aim to boost co-production with Russia and introduce international and Russian filmmakers to find the right partners and access essential funding to complete their projects. 

The selected global teams will now have the unique chance to meet leading Russian producers, find the possible right partners and access a minority co-production support granted by the Russian Ministry of Culture, which traditionally mounts up to RUB 10 million (about 110.000 EUR). 

The line-up includes 9 international and 17 Russian feature-length projects in development which span animation, drama, documentary, comedy, and action-adventure. 

Head of WEMW Alessandro Gropplero explained: “We received an amazing number of international applications, almost 60 from 25 different countries. I am sure none of us could expect this response at the beginning of the call. We finally selected 9 very diverse projects from 8 different countries. All projects have a different genre, a different profile of directors, and a very solid package and significant funding in place that increase their chances to be produced. Having the chance to have a Russian point of view in the selection was a key element as we wanted to be sure to include projects with high chances to raise the interest of possible Russian co-producers.”

Evgenia Markova, CEO of ROSKINO said: “With expanding the co-production section at Key Buyers Event, we have responded to the global demand for partnering and co-producing with Russia that we’ve seen over recent years. The number and quality of the entries for our inaugural year of WEMW Goes to Russia has exceeded our expectations. Apart from the well-known titles such as “Persian Lessons”, “Dovlatov”, “The Whaler Boy” and their creators, there are also a lot of new, less obvious IPs and opportunities for partnerships. It’s not only about Russian projects – this year we have a selection of international titles as well, which could benefit from the minority co-production support from The Ministry of Culture, that launches the competition right after Key Buyers Event.” 

All the details on the selected IPs below.

This year’s international line-up of production include:
Counties of production:Italy, Canada, Poland    
Director: Umberto Spinazzola               
Producer: Alessandro Borrelli    
Pier, a former top chef with a dark past who is now homeless, reconnects with his love for cooking, embarking on a journey through the world of food waste, while rediscovering the relationship with Anna, his teenage daughter.

Counties of production:Azerbaijian, France       
Director: Asif Rustamov            
Producer: Fariz Ahmadov, Guillaume de Seille  
When Akbar is released from prison, his son Khalid’s quest for the truth about his mother’s murder leads to a revelation that turns his life upside down.

Counties of production:Germany          
Director: Anja Kreis      
Producer: Anna Kruglova          
The city of N. is experiencing difficult times: Because of the newly built highway, it sinks into fornication and sin. Gynaecologist Angelina Kukushkina performs an illegal abortion - the patient claims to carry the Antichrist in her womb - and takes the embryo home with her. But what is going on in the сity of N.? Is it a triumph of evil or the opposite?

Counties of production:Bulgaria
Director: Kondtantin Bojanov     
Producer: Katya Trichkova        
Nina (24) finds herself in Rotterdam’s Kunsthal the night two masked robbers storm the famed museum, making off with six priceless masterpieces worth over fifty million euros. Once she realizes who is behind the heist, she decides to go after what she believes is rightfully hers.

Counties of production:Serbia, Italy, Croatia     
Director: Goran Stankovic         
Producer: Snezana van Houwelingen    
When Dejan (32), a drug addict arrives for treatment at a monastery commune in a remote part of Serbia, the charismatic and authoritative Father Branko (54) takes him under his wing. Dejan becomes his right hand until the priest goes too far into pursuing his violent methods of healing.

Counties of production: Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Romania
Director: Slobodan Šijan
Producer: Miloš Biković (Archangel Digital), Marko Paljić (Gargantua Films)        
He was the first film auteur in the Balkans and the first one in the world to go to jail for it.

Counties of production: Greece, Italy
Director: Haris Raftogiannis      
Producer: Eleni Kossyfidou-Luca Cabriolu         
What is “progress” for Makis, is a threat for Maria. A car accident brings them closer. The orgasmic taste of Nuggets even closer. But it takes much more, so they can be together.

Counties of production: Poland
Director: Bart Zmuda    
Producer: Przemyslaw Miekinia ("Before My Eyes")       
"More" is the story of a woman who tries to prove to the world that she can cope with life, it turns out that she cannot.

Counties of production: Turkey
Director: Seyfettin Tokmak        
Producer: Zeynep Koray           
This is the story of Musa (11), a wounded healer who heals the injured rabbits with whom he feels safe and secure unlike he feels at home with his cruel father.

This year’s Russian line-up of production include:
Company: All Media Company
Genre: Drama, thriller
Director: Evgeny Grigorev         
Producer: Olga Erofeeva-Muravyeva    
The father of 12 year-old Ilya gets killed. But the murderer doesn't go into prison. The boy tries hard to restore justice and nearly dies. The whole village doesn't even care. Only his biathlon coach offers to help him. They have a deal that should result in killing the murderer. Will they finally do this?

Company: Animation Studio Platoshka
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Children's
Producer: Nikita Makarov          
The 2D animated series "Agatha: Queen of Garden" features suspense and adventure as it tells the tale of five-year-old Agatha and her cat Marcel. Agatha wields the special power of being able to turn the botanical garden into a big fantasy world for herself at the clap of her hands, with flowers as tall as her and tree-like bushes. Agatha and her wise cat Marcel lend the local residents a hand by helping them deal with various issues while sharing basic knowledge about nature and botany.

Company: Animation Studio Platoshka
Genre: Children's, Comedy  
Producer: Nikita Makarov  

The 2D animated series "Cat Been-In-Use" (or "SecondHand Cat") is a show about about kindness, friendship and love which can do amazing things. It tells us the story of a cat who has repeatedly been betrayed and abandoned by his previous owners. However, he ends up with a family that surrounds him with unconditional love and care. Thanks to his new owners the cat learns to hope for the best and to take pleasure in life.

Company: Ethnofund Film Company
Genre: Drama
Director: Andrey Redkin
Producer: Vladislav Ketkovich   
This is the same story told from two different points of view, from a side of oil drillers, and Nenets, traditional tundra dwellers. For the oilmen it's just a casual story that can be told in a bar, but for the Nenets it turns into a dramatic epos, a traditional song Khinabts.

Company: Mars Media Entertainment / Vega Film
Genre: Drama
Director: Vladimir Beck 
Producer: Katerina Mikhaylova  
When you feel you need a fresh start, do something remarkable. Shave your head. That's what Sasha did when she discovered that she was no longer able to live with her grandpa, who raised her, but is now hospitalized with cancer. Sasha has to move from a small town to her Dad's in the Moscow suburbs. Unexpectedly everybody in Moscow takes her — shaved and lost — for a boy. From that point Sasha begins her wandering through the big city and its lonely, hidden places.

Company: Mimesis
Genre: Documentary
Director: Vladlena Sandu          
Producer: Yanna Buryak           
Vladena Sandy, a survivor of the war in Chechnya between 1994 and 1998, studies her traumatic memories in order to transcend and transform them via the art of cinema.

Company: New People Film Company
Genre: Drama
Director: Ivan Tverdovskiy        
Producer: Nataliya Mokritskaya 
This is a story inspired by the novel from the famous Russian writer Evgeny Zamyatin. The story is centered around Sofia, a middle-aged woman who lives with her abusive husband, Trofim. The couple cannot have children and they adopt a teenage mute girl, Anna. Trofim is attracted to Anna, Sofia is jealous and she kills the girl. The couple tries to hide the horrible crime. All this happens in a setting surrounded by water. During a flood.

Company: N Parovoz Animation Studio
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Fantasy
Director: Evgeniy Golovin         
Producer: Evgeniy Golovin, Anton Smetankin, Marie Lida           
The incredible adventures of Agatha and her mysterious friend Tommy. With their new magical abilities, they fight greedy signor Vittorio, the owner of a fancy hi-tech restaurant whose evil plans are to destroy everyone's favourite place — a small family-owned traditional restaurant, and Agatha is going to do everything she can to protect it. She is the guardian of family values, she goes on a new adventure every day, and she makes the lives of everyone in her hometown a little bit more magical!

Company: Producing Centre Youth Initiatives
Genre: Drama, Historical
Director: Philipp Abryutin          
Producer: Philipp Abryutin, Oxana Lakhno         
Throughout the course of a century, the story follows Vyntynne "Sunrise" — an orphaned reindeer herdsgirl from the Russian Arctic, as she grows into adulthood surviving love, loss, captivity and the creation and dissolution of the Soviet era — all while remaining true to her Chukchi oath to become a "true human".

Company: Proline film
Genre: Drama
Director: Konstantin Lopushansky         
Producer: Andrey Sigle
Andrey is a terminally ill writer, who is waiting for his euthanasia date. Now his main wish is to finish all of his affairs and to be prepared for the inevitable. But suddenly he meets a new helper and falls in love with a young woman. Will their love grant him peace of mind during his final days?

Company: Pygmalion Production Co. & New Cinema Distribution
Genre: Drama, Road movie
Director: Sergei Chliyants         
Producer: Sergei Chliyants
Southern outskirts of the former Russian Empire. War has just finished. Ivan and his wife Katya live in a house on the outskirts of their village surrounded by windy steppe. In search of an occupation Ivan leaves his wife and sets off on a journey into the deserted landscape. Having come back home, Ivan finds his wife dead. Realizing his loss, he can no longer see any point in living and finds a way out in setting off to join a new war, where he'll find answers, meet his death and rejoin his beloved wife.

Company: R-media
Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime, Drama
Director: Igor Voloshin  
Producer: Albert Ryabyshev, Igor Mishin, Maria Pork
An orphan from Khabarovsk, Anya Vdovina (20), fell into sexual slavery in Japan. A fragile girl challenges the yakuza world, goes through difficult trials and eventually becomes a super fighter named Amura. To take revenge on her captors, the heroine returns to Russia... where a new mortal danger awaits her.

Company: Rock Films
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: Sofia Meledina
Producer: Alexey Uchitel, Kira Saksaganskaya
The 18-year-old Saint-Petersburger, Mitya, swears to protect the city's cultural heritage. He organises artistic events and, at the same time, becomes the leader of a massive protest. The time comes when Mitya has to decide which is more important for him: people or monuments. This is a story about young heroes and their urge to change the world, when nothing seems impossible.

Company: SMF Studio (Soyuzmultfilm)
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Children's, Comedy, Family
Director: Vasily Volkov  
Producer: Yulia Osetinskaya, Boris Mashkovtsev
At the top of a high mountain there is a small town, Loodle Ville. It is home to an unusual people — the Looddles.The main characters are little Loodle-Anne and her Loodle-family. With each episode we learn more and more about this unusual place and its inhabitants. Loodle-Anne enthusiastically talks about what is happening, while not forgetting to supplement her stories with illustrations from her wonder-album.

Company: SMF Studio (Soyuzmultfilm)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation, Children's, Family, Fantasy, Romance
Director: Oleg Asadulin 
Producer: Yulia Osetinskaya, Lika Blank, Sergey Demchev, Boris Mashkovtsev
A post-apocalyptical romantic story about a girl Dana who set on a journey to save her kidnapped father — a scientist who created a machine that would restore the drinking water reserves on the planet.

Company: SMF Studio (Soyuzmultfilm)
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Children's, Family
Director: Andrey Zhitkov
Producer: Yulia Osetinskaya, Lika Blank, Sergey Demchev, Boris Mashkovtsev
The lucky charm of Honey Hills Town is stolen. This might cause thousands of misfortunes to its citizens.Young Chirp the Squirrel is accused, and Detective Sophie the Owl takes up the case.

Company: Sputnik Vostok Production
Genre: Documentary
Director: Oleg Khristolubskiy, Sofia Popolitova   
Producer: Galina Sytsko, Ada Solovich, Inna Orkina-Sekste, Alexander Kessel
Russian people recreate masterpieces of art using household items. The flashmob becomes an important creative outlet as they deal with the pressures of forced isolation and looming death. Members of the Art Isolation group share their experiences of processing separation, mortality and trauma as they have fun, explore and find surprising new ways to connect with their relatives.