The Cannes Film Festival’s Marché du Film took place July 6-15 – this year as a hybrid format, with online and offline events. The Russian delegation, organized by ROSKINO with the support of the Cinema Fund and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, now reports a series of sales for animated projects at the international market. Within the framework of the market, a virtual stand dedicated to Russian filmmakers operated on the Marché platform, with more than 30 companies presenting over 60 projects.
“Russian participation in the Marché du Film was as profound as in the Cannes Film Festival. Offline and online presentations of Russian producers were organized. We are delighted to have presented the Russian animation, one of the fastest-growing segments generating 30 percent of the export revenue of all content,” noted Evgenia Markova, CEO of ROSKINO. “As part of the Producers Network platform, we introduced foreign colleagues to promising Russian producers working with minority co-production. Several large deals secured by Russian participants at Marché du Film signify the continuing trend of growing interest in Russian content not only from the festival audience but also from buyers and viewers, while the geography of our content sales is constantly expanding. Our commercial films, TV series and animation are in demand no less than the art films, which collect festival awards.”
Animated projects finding new partnerships during the market include:
- Luminescence, the official distributor of the CTB film company, has finalized an agreement with distributor New Select to sell the fairytale fantasy Upon the Magic Roads to Japan. The live-action/CG hybrid fairy-tale film made a billion-dollar box office in Russia; the rights to the film recently have also been sold to the United States. The company will also be sending the animated comedy My Sweet Monster (already sold in 97 countries) to France through an agreement with distributor Luminescence is also in the process of signing a deal for animation projects The Nutcracker and the Magic Flute and The Barkers: Mind the Cats! for North America.
- Riki Group announced a partnership with German company Sola Media, which takes on distribution rights to the original animated feature Finnick in Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, Poland, the countries of the former Yugoslavia, Benelux, Scandinavia, South Africa and others. According to Solveig Langeland, Managing Director of Sola Media, “this is a project with beautiful animation and wonderful humor that is especially necessary for viewers today”. Finnick will be released simultaneously in Russia and several countries in early 2022. (Full announcement here.)
- Russian World Vision has secured deals which will bring animated feature Ginger’s Tale to viewers in the Middle East and North Africa.
The Russian presence in Cannes was also expanded through participation in the traditional programs of the film market. As part of the Animation Day, ROSKINO held a presentation of six Russian animation projects in development:
- Christmas fairy tale The Nutcracker and the Magic Flute is about the adventures of the little girl Marie and her toys – and the enchanted prince. Produced by CTB, it is a colorful animated film full of detailed graphics.
- The Snow Queen 5, the fifth film of the popular franchise from Wizart, tells the story of Kai and Gerda. They live in a cosy quiet town, but suddenly the Ice Spirits come there, intending to freeze everyone. Ila, a little sorceress and daughter of the Snow Queen herself, comes to help the main characters. (Read more.)
- The Warrior Princess, based on the poem by Alexander Pushkin, is another Wizart project. This is a romantic comedy fairy tale based on folklore – a story about two loving hearts that are not destined to be together. Strong in spirit, Mila is a role model for young girls, teaching them to go their own way, stay true to their wishes and choose their path themselves. (Read more.)
- Finnick is the flagship original animated feature of the Riki Group and was created with global animation and story development trends in mind. Finnick has already received offers from distributors in several territories and has entered into a partnership with a major European agent (Sola Media).
- Teddy Boom, another Riki Group project, is a flamboyant and mischievous family comedy that follows the adventures of an unconventional protagonist who is changing for the better. Riki notes high licensing potential, which has already been confirmed by agreements on the Russian market.
- The Formula of Water from SMF Studio (Soyuzmultfilm) is a post-apocalyptic family romance about a girl named Dana, who sets out on a journey to rescue her kidnapped father, a scientist who created a machine capable of restoring drinking water to the planet. The visual style was developed by an international team of experienced professionals who have worked on films such as Maleficent, The Lion King, Gravity, Prometheus, The Avengers, Men in Black, Coma and many others. Set in a completely original world, this magical story aims to raise awareness of important environmental topics.
Also during the market, two Russian co-production projects were presented during the online pitching session presented by the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival; one of which is the animated feature Pinocchio and the Water of Life, an Estonia-U.S.-Russia venture.