Films, TV series and Animations ‘Created in Moscow’ to be shown in 50 countries
Films, TV series and Animations ‘Created in Moscow’ to be shown in 50 countries
Russian animation creators signed a record number of deals during the American Film Market
SANTA MONICA – November 18. Major Moscow-based film companies signed agreements on the distribution of their products in more than 50 countries as the results of the world’s largest American Film Market revealed. Movies, series, and animations presented in the United States under a single brand ‘Created in Moscow’ as part of a special program by the Moscow Export Center will be shown in Europe, North and Latin America, China, Japan, Korea, and even in Africa.
“American film market has shown that our cinematography is interesting around the world not only as a festival product, but also as a commercial project that can bring a good box office. During the AFM, Moscow filmmakers held about 300 meetings with representatives of major distributors and film markets. These are the main powerhouses in the cinema world: we had more than 50 meetings with industry people from China and the USA, about 40 meetings with German distributors, and 20 meetings with buyers from France, Spain and Latin America. Therefore, the expansion of Moscow filmmakers’ products is becoming truly global,” commented Head of the Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development of Moscow Alexey Fursin.
“Last year, exports of audio-visual and related services from Russia were up 5.2%, coming in at USD 210.7 million. Moscow authorities pay great attention to supporting the export of products and services of creative industries, and in particular, film and animation products”, commented Kirill Ilyichev, Director General of the Moscow Export Center (MEC).
Russian rebates tease foreign film producers
During the AFM, the introduction of a Federal Rebate Program in Russia was announced: the respective decree was signed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The possibility to get the reimbursement of funds spent on shooting a movie in the Russian Federation aroused much interest in foreign film studios and companies.
“The launch of the Federal Rebate System will allow the Russian movie-making not only to fully integrate into the global cinema economy but also to become a new major hub for international film production,” commented Pavel Stepanov, Deputy Minister of Culture. “For us, it is more than just conditions for shooting more films in Russia thus developing our own industry but also an opportunity to show Russia in a different way, as it has never been seen abroad before.”
“Following the AFM, we expect the first wave of foreign studios to come and shoot their movies in Russia, as now they can get a refund of 30% to 40% of their costs and engage Russian filmmakers in their work,” said Evgenia Danilchenko, Head of the Russian Export Center’s Project for the support of creative industries.
If a foreign film company wants to get its expenses reimbursed at a higher rate, at least 80% of its film crew in Russia must be the residents of the Russian Federation; or its spending must be at least RUB 75 million (about $1.2 million); or the shooting schedule must envisage at least 19 days to be spent in the territory of the Russian Federation. Furthermore, the higher reimbursement rate will be available to foreign movies based on Russian literature, as well as to those where one of the protagonists is originally from Russia. The creators of a full-length feature film can count on getting reimbursed if they spend at least RUB 15 million (about $235,000) in the Russian Federation, the refund will also be available to animation filmmakers who spend at least RUB 5 million (about $78,000), and a documentary producers can get a rebate if their spending is at least RUB 3.75 million rubles (about $59,000). A similar scheme is applicable to TV series producers as well.
The rebate system will be based on a service model and will only be available to foreign filmmakers: the subsidy will be granted to a Russian company acting as a contractor for a foreign film company. Starting next year, rebates will also be applicable to joint production – it will be possible to get a rebate on the “foreign” part of the production. The program will be in force during three flights in a year (for example, during the winter flight one can apply for shooting in spring and summer; the summer flight is for filming in the fall; and the autumn flight – for winter shooting). The exact dates of the flights have not been determined yet. Next year, RUB 750 million (about $11.8 million) will be allocated to compensate the expenses of foreign film producers, and in 2021 the amount will be as large as RUB 1,5 billion ($23.5 million).
“The Ministry of Economic Development and the Russian Export Center have done a great job in the shortest time. Several dozen film studios have already contacted us for information. The launch of rebates in Russia makes us a high-potential partner for international co-production. All this may attract new players and new investments into the industry, contribute to the development of existing ones and make Russian cinema a profitable business,” comments Evgenia Markova, Industry Relations Director at Expocontent company.
Moscow to become one of the key 3D-animation hubs in the world
A Russian foundation for the development and promotion of three-dimensional animation based on Blender platform will be created by Blender Foundation China – the largest Chinese 3D animation and graphics foundation – and Kolobanga Moscow animation studio. The new foundation will bring together the Russian 3D designer community, developers and digital artists who work on Blender platform and will become one of the key 3D animation hubs in the world. The foundation’s activities will also be aimed at increasing the accessibility of 3D modeling tools and engaging more young programmers and animators to create modern Russian three-dimensional animation.
The Blender Foundation is an international non-profit organization that develops free and open Blender 3D graphics software. According to Raymond Neoh, head of the foundation and the pioneer of the Chinese 3D animation, “this partnership offers great opportunities both in terms of implementing global independent animation projects and for international distribution and marketing purposes.”
At AFM, Russian animation creators have concluded a record number of deals: Moscow animation companies have received the largest number of distribution offers among all the companies presented by the Created in Moscow suite. Following the AFM, Kolobanga studio has reached an agreement on the cinema and TV release of its full-length animated The Mojicons movie in the USA, Latin America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, etc.) and Italy. Companies from the USA, UK, China, Canada, and Italy stated their intention to distribute and co-produce the studio’s flagship project Netski. The Universe of the Net.
The full-length film Big Trip, a project by another animation studio, Licensing Brands, saw the sale of the last unsold territories, that is, Japan and Taiwan. A deal with France is at the final approval stage. Big Trip has been already released in the majority of the sold territories: the spectators in 48 countries of the world will see the Russian animated movie in the cinema in 2019 and in the first quarter of 2020. Pinnochio animation will also be shown in Balkan countries and in the countries of South Africa, in addition to ten formerly sold territories.
The interest in Russian cinema is growing despite a decline in sales at the AFM
Art Pictures Studio successfully presented three next year’s films: Invasion by Fedor Bondarchuk, Ice 2 by Zhora Kryzhovnikov, and Sputnik by Egor Abramenko. A deal on the Invasion project will soon be closed for North America, Australia, and UK territories. The film will have a limited distribution in North America and UK. During the AFM, sales of Fedor Bondarchuk’s movie were also closed for the Middle East countries and the Republic of Korea. Negotiations on the sale of rights in China, where the studio received two major offers, are at the final stage. The other territories will be sold by the end of the year.
At AFM, Central Partnership has held more than 150 meetings with buyers from over 30 countries of the world. The company’s main projects on the market were Chernobyl. Abyss drama directed by Danila Kozlovsky, focused on the repercussions of Chernobyl accident elimination, the action movie titled FIRE, the Silver Skates romantic adventure and The Ninth thriller by Non-Stop Production company. As part of the film market, the company also held the premiere of The Blackout action-thriller by Premier Studios.
All Media Company discusses the distribution of project The Hero by Karen Oganesyan with buyers from France, Italy and the USA; Saving Leningrad by Alexey Kozlov with Italian buyers; and the rights to Tobol historical drama by Igor Zaytsev have already been sold to the UK. “Although everybody was complaining that the AFM has shrunk significantly this year, at our suites it was hot,” commented the company’s head of international department Zhanna Shakhshaeva.
KD Studios company presented at AFM its full-length projects Abigail, Project Gemini, Forgotten Experiment, Identification, and Genesis. The principal territories have been sold for the Abigail project. When the deals are completed, which the studio expects to happen in the next few months, the project will be released for distribution in more than 25 countries. “An active pre-sale is now underway for Project Gemini with 5 contracts at the signing stage. Our company plans to achieve 35+ cinema releases of its Project Gemini movie, including the distribution for Russian-speaking audience abroad,” commented Alexander Denisiuk, KD Studios producer. “The company has received a few proposals concerning the co-production of the Forgotten Experiment film screened at the Market.”
Such companies as Premier Studios, Sreda, Mars Media, Mint Films International, Russian World Vision, RFG Distribution, Vega Film, Ark Pictures, Revolution Film and Planeta Inform have also found their distributors at AFM.
“More and more Market participants start to export. Throughout the six main international TV and cinema markets, we see the increasing number of exporters and contracts. Over the year, the mentioning of Russian cinema in the foreign media has increased more than 1.5 times!“ commented Evgenia Markova, Industry Relations Director at Expocontent company, which operated the Created in Moscow booth at AFM.
Source: Russian Animation
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