Russia’s first virtual content market hosts global film industry and wraps a successful edition

1400 registered visitors with over 600 international users from 70 countries joined the Key Buyers Event: Digital Edition

Written by Georgie Dobie

Posted 17.06.2020 | Events

Russia’s first virtual content market hosts global film industry and wraps a successful edition thumbnail

It has been confirmed that the Key Buyers Event: Digital Edition hosted by Roskino, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Moscow Government, welcomed more than 1400 registered participants. This included 600 international users from 70 countries., with the largest number of buyers coming from the United States, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, and China.

The market presented a wide range of national content, encompassing film, TV, and animation with 120 Russian companies presenting 300 exclusive titles that generated over 600 meetings with international organisations. The event attracted leading international organisations including Apple TV, France Televisions, Wild Bunch, Lionsgate, Dogwoof, RTL, AMC Networks, Mediaset, Beta Film, Koch Media, Iqiyi, among others. 

The platform hosted eight days of content negotiations, screenings, co-production pitches, panel discussions, cultural events, and networking. Following the success of the event, plans are in place to create a permanent platform that will become the main source of information on the Russian film market including an overview of completed projects, those in production, and potential opportunities that exist for international partners.

Evgenia Markova, CEO of Roskino, says: “Roskino managed to create a platform that transpired into a full-scale multi-functional digital market for buyers, producers, filmmakers, and media. It proved highly viable and efficient, in line with the global trend of migrating to a mixed event format, which will combine extensive working online with offline meetings and traditional networking. The online platform allowed us to showcase the full landscape of titles and film services that Russia has to offer. Thanks to the combined efforts of the industry we were able to prepare it in a short amount of time and present a panoramic view of the film market to global partners.”

During the event, a number of deals were finalised with numerous negotiations still taking place.

Russian post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller The Blackout directed by Egor Baranov and produced by Premier Studios has secured distribution in more than 90 countries and will be released on iQIYI, one of the largest national VOD services in China. Meanwhile, Shout! Studios will be distributing the film in the US and Canada. The deals were negotiated by Central Partnership (a part of Gazprom-Media Holding) that is handling international distribution rights for the film.

Central Partnership has also inked the US and UK deals for its WWII epic The Last Frontier. Shout! Studios has taken North American rights, while Signature Entertainment will handle the release in the UK. The Last Frontier is a large-scale historical war film based on a true story, produced by VoenFilm Studio with support from the Russian Ministry of Culture and Russian Cinema Fund.

Art Pictures Distribution closed a deal with JOJ Group in Slovakia for the film A Dog Named Palma (produced by Mars Media and Amedia). The company also received offers from Latin America, Korea, and Japan for the film Sputnik and plan to close in the coming weeks.

Broadcast rights to the Kitchen. War for the Hotel  TV series was sold to Bulgaria and Hungary for a three-year window.

APC Kids, who are handling the global distribution of Little Tiaras, has sold the broadcast rights for the first two seasons to Star TV channel for Greece.

Yellow, Black and White have announced an acquisition deal for the drama series Russian Affairs with Walter Presents, the video on-demand service of UK's Channel 4. The company has secured the rights for the UK and Ireland, the deal was negotiated by French-based distributor Oble.

Yellow, Black and White also received huge interest in the new series, Sherlock: The Russian Chronicles, Hope, The Conquest of Siberia and The Cleaned Up, and is currently in negotiations with Spain, France, Hungary, Germany, China, and the United States.

The sci-fi film Coma from Planeta Inform will get a digital release this summer across Latin America, the film will also be released onto the US digital market. The Queen of Spades: Through the Looking Glass will also get a wide release across English-speaking countries around the world.

A leading Indian pay-tv channel has acquired the rights to horror titles The Bride, Quiet Comes the Dawn, Queen of Spades: Through the Looking Glass and family sci-fi title Robo and will be available on Amazon Prime, Hulu and Google Play. Planeta Inform also exclusively presented the first footage of the project The Ex which has received offers from Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam.

Mirsand announced sales of all rights for the film Spacewalker to W&W Investments in Poland, Capelight Pictures based in Berlin acquired the sales of the digital and HV rights for the USA and Canada. During the market, they also had a huge interest in V2. Escape from Hell from acclaimed director Timur Bekmambetov with producers and distributors from Latin America, China, Japan, Korea, France, and Spain.

All Media Company presented the projects The Last Warrior: Root of Evil, Hotel Belgrade, A Frenchman and Leonid Kogan. Unknown Chronicles. The company held over 30 meetings with buyers and production companies from Europe, Asia, the United States, and Latin America. All deals that were initiated at the forum are currently under negotiation.

Russian World Vision continued negotiations on the movie Red Ghost and held meetings with Chinese, Italian, and Spanish companies. The rights to the film have been sold to various territories in Europe and Asia, the USA, Canada, and Latin America.

Odin Media presented a slate of documentaries including: The Great North Way, Urartu. The Forgotten Kingdom, Schelkin. Godfather of the Atomic Bomb and The Great exploration of Siberia. Nomads in time. Two package deals of documentary titles were acquired by Czech channel Good TV and Urartu. The Forgotten Kingdom, Schelkin. Godfather of the Atomic Bomb was acquired by Amazon.

Animation content took centre stage at the event, with international participants getting to view a wide range of high-quality Russian animation.

French and US-based producer and distributor Cyber Group Studios and one of Russia’s oldest animation studios, Soyuzmultfilm, announced the creation of the joint venture label, Cyber Soyuz Junior, which is aimed to create 2D animations for pre-school audiences.

Animation studio Wizart announced several deals whereby studio films will be available in the UK, India, and Africa. Signature Entertainment, one of Britain’s leading distributors, picked up the rights to distribute Sheep & Wolves: Pig Deal and The Snow Queen: Mirrorlands in the UK. Cape Town-based Gravel Road Distribution Group will distribute the second part of the Sheep & Wolves franchise across Africa and the Miraj Group will release Snow Queen: Fire and Ice and Snow Queen: Mirrorlands in India.

Riki Group presented the animated series Panda and Krash, BabyRiki and their new feature film Finnick. The company is planning to announce the sales of the Tina & Tony series to North America, while The Fixies is securing distribution in China in the coming weeks.

The Key Buyers Event also hosted a large-scale co-production section highlighting a diverse selection of over 90 projects open to international co-production. The pitching sessions highlighted 44 best work in progress in series, feature films, documentary (films and series), and animation (films and series).

More deals are expected to be announced during and after the Marché du Film, where Roskino will be hosting the virtual Russian pavilion uniting 18 Russian companies.

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