Successful cases of leading distributors and Russian partners were discussed during the second day of the virtual event highlighting the global appeal of the Russian stories and their high quality.
Key Buyers Event Day 2
Key Buyers Event: digital started its second day highlighting the global resonance of the Russian content. In the last 5 years, the international interest for Russian films, series, and animation has increased significantly thanks to Russian content is defined by unique storytelling with universal themes and appeals to global audiences, along with a high production value and stellar talents.
The digital event presented success cases of leading distributors that have partnered with Russian producers such us the case of START (Russia) and ZDF (Germany) with "Sherlock the Russian Chronicles", 1-2-3 Production (Russia) and Beta Film GmbH (Germany) with "Dead Mountain, the Dyatlov Pass incident" and "Six Empty Seats" and Sreda (Russia) and Armoza Formats (Israel) with "Married Life Scenes".
Daria Bondarenko, EVP, International Sales and Co-Productions, START commented that it was very important for the company to take the main character because Sherlock is very famous around the world even in Russian, but the companies develop the story in a different environment, the Saint Petersburg city in 1889. "'Sherlock, The Russian Chronicles' is a mystery thriller with humor and love," she described. The eight-part mystery thriller originally premiered in Russia on the subscription-based streaming service START in 2020 and made its linear debut on TNT earlier this year.
Mirela Nastase, Director ZDFE.Drama indicated that the Germany company has followed the Russian productions for the last 5 years and now it has bet on the first one. "Our main core is linear TV and we needed a show to premiere in Primetime in France or Germany and Sherlock is an international IP that opens global doors in TV but also on digital platforms,". Prior to ZDF Enterprises acquiring the licensing rights, the series was sold by START to Japan’s NHK Enterprises for the AXN Mystery channel.
In the same session, Nadiia Zaionchkovska, International Affairs, Sales and Co-Production Executive, 1-2-3 Production, told that "Dead Mountain – The Dyatlov Pass Incident" is a dramatization of the real-life mystery surrounding the 1959 disappearance of nine experienced Russian hikers who set off on a skiing trek but never reached their final destination.
Leonid Godik, VP International Sales & Acquisitions, Beta Film GmbH commented: "I saw the first episodes in 2019 and we decided to pick up the series immediately due to the quality of the show and the storytelling. The story of Dyatlov Pass is globally known so the show appeals to global audiences. We are very proud and happy to distribute this amazing show", he added. The series will broadcast on Fox Germany and SVOD platform Cirkus in the Nordics including Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Regarding the second Russian project of both companies "Six Empty Seats", the executives explained that it is a contemporary limited drama that tells the story of six different colleagues that one day, fate binds them closely together when they miss a flight by sheer coincidence and the machine crashes upon take-off, the group of employees are the only ones who live. So, they all decide to take fate in their own hands and do something so dangerous, that it will change the course of their lives forever. "We paid real attention to the show after Serial Killer festival when it resonated in the audiencies, and that is why we decided to present the series to the international audiences and it's also very attractive as a format, because it can fit in many regions", Godik added.
In the final segment, Ivan Samokhvalov, Managing Partner and General Producer, Production Company Sreda, said "'Married Life Scenes' (8x30') is a very good black comedy. It was released on MTC and the KION platform in Russia and it was very successful. We keep filming the second season. We really believed on this project because when I read the story immediately it blew my mind, it is a very global show and I think it can travel around the world like a format".
Avi Armoza, Founder & CEO, Armoza Formats, commented that the company was working on unscripted and scripted projects for the last 10 years. "We are now focused on scripted projects with global appeal and ‘Married Life Scenes’ is some of them. We need to look for something never seen before, and this scripted series meets the requirements".
“Married Life Scenes” follows a young married couple, Polina and Nikita, who were madly in love but have quickly become disillusioned by their relationship and are headed for a divorce. However, when Polina kills an influencer she thinks Nikita is cheating on her with, the couple’s passion is reignited. With their relationship never better, the couples see themselves as “cleansers” as they go on a spree to rid the world of whomever they deem toxic, falling deeper in love with each other again as they do.
Riki Group has announced new partnerships across the world within Key Buyers Event: digital. The American on-demand kids entertainment service Toon Goggles has picked up all adventures of internationally known round-shaped characters "Kikoriki", "BabyRiki" and edutainment spin-off "PinCode", and "Fixies" will be distributed by Good TV in Taiwan and Philippines.
“'Kikoriki' turned 18 this year. They have changed modern Russian animation and several generations have grown up on it. We are happy that new little viewers get to know our characters both in Russia and around the world. We are looking forward to our collaboration with Toon Goggles with great anticipation,” said Anna Mysskaya, Riki Group’s Head of International Development. “Besides, 'Kikoriki', 'BabyRiki' and 'PinCode' will be released this summer on CommonSense Network’s new app Sensical. Moreover, Russian distribution company Pioner Cinema brings special family programme 'Kikoriki and Friends' to cinemas throughout the country. This collaboration is the unique opportunity to create a special family experience for our beloved little and adult fans by arranging the massive cinema release.”
During the Key Buyers Event: digital, Riki Group is also presenting new seasons of its internationally known projects. With that, the company plans to premiere new materials on its upcoming comedy and adventure features "Finnick and Teddy Boom" and the latest TV series "Beardy Bodo".