Several producers shared their experience and view on the future of Moscow, a city considered as a potential production hub.
Key Buyers Event: Day 3
The third day of Key Buyers Event: digital was focused on Moscow, a lifeblood for Russia film industry. The vibrant city ticks all the boxes – unparalleled locations, quality production companies and crews, sound stages and state of the art post-production facilities and of course, long-awaited incentives and governmental co-production support.
Many international producers already took advantage of shooting their projects in the big city and are willing to come back. Moscow already boasts of hosting such defining projects as “Chernobyl”, “Jack Ryan”, “Yesterday”, “McMafia”, “Lost in Russia”.
The producers Olga Kashirina, Shan Tam; Kate Glover, Margarita Iskandarova, Philippe Martinez and Luke Hull (Production Designer); Mikhail Idov (Director, Screenwriter); Margarita Iskandarova and Val Kupeev, Head of International relations & production service, Bazelevs shared their experience and view on the future of the city as a potential production hub.
Olga Kashirina, Producer of "McMafia" indicated that to shoot the series in Moscow was a very amazing experience. "It was a very organized work for the producers. It's safe to shoot in Russia and the production services companies offer all what the producers need. There are also a lot of Russian actors available that speak English and can participate in the international shows".
Shan Tam, Producer from Holiday Pictures, affirmed that Russia is a very big country and has a lot of different landscapes where producers can shoot. "We asked for a meeting with the Moscow Film Commission and they were very professional and helped us with every of our requirements," she described.
In his intervention, Luke Hull, Production Designer, commented that all the experiences he had in Moscow were very efficient. "It's a great city to work in, it was very organized, I really enjoyed the experience".
Philippe Martinez, Producer, Director and Writer of the crime thriller film "Viktor" admitted that it was his first time in Russia and "it was an incredible adventure". "I have never shot in Moscow and I had no idea what to expect and it was amazing. It is very safe to shoot in Moscow, the Russian crews are excellent, the VXF companies are top of the line and the last factor is the people, they were very enthusiastic to make the film, for me it was more than making a movie, I discovered a new country and its people."
RUSSIAN MOVIE GOES TO NORTH AMERICA
Grindstone Entertainment Group, a Lionsgate company, has acquired North American rights to the Russian box office hit "Upon the Magic Roads", directed by Oleg Pogodin and produced by Academy Award Nominated producer Sergey Selyanov (CTB Film Company), Aleksandr Gorokhov (CGF), and Anton Zlatopolskiy (Russia 1).
"Upon the Magic Roads" tells the story of John, the kind-hearted romantic fool, who is sent on a series of incredible adventures accompanied by the magic foal to find a Cloud Princess. The film was released in Russia in 2021 and grossed an outstanding $15,9M in the local theaters. Worldwide rights are handled by the sales outfit Luminescence and the film is screened for the international buyers at digital Key Buyers Event alongside “My Sweet Monster” and “The Barkers: Mind the Cats!”.
“We are pleased to expand our collaboration with Barry, Stan, Ryan, and the entire Grindstone team,” said Juraj Barabas, Managing Director of Luminescence. “'Upon the Magic Roads' is very unique, funny, heartwarming, and most of all, a very big film in terms of production value.”
“We are very pleased with this deal that will give American audience the opportunity to watch our movie. The film has already earned almost $16M at the box-office at home and we hope it will be successful in the USA. 'Upon the Magic Roads' is produced as a mixture of live action and top-notch visual effects and the fantasy worlds and creatures inhabiting them are very captivating. This story is universal and interesting for everyone, a fairy tale about two buddies that will have to live through exciting adventures, outsmart an evil tyrant and find true love and friendship,” said Sergey Selyanov, producer and CEO of CTB Film Company.
Grindstone’s Stan Wertlieb added: “We are so grateful for our ongoing relationship with Juraj and Luminescence. 'Upon The Magic Roads 'is a rare cinematic gem. Truly a masterful blending of live action and beautiful animation, that children and their families will be entertained and mystified by.”
In addition to North America, the deals have also closed in Germany, Austria, Switzerland (Capelight), France and French-speaking Belgium (Koba), Portugal (Cinemundo), Poland (PulsTV), Czech Republic and Slovakia (MediaSquad), Turkey (aTV), Middle East (Front Row), South Africa (Filmfinity), South East Asia PTV (Disney), Mongolia (FilmBridge), Vietnam (CJ CGV), South Korea (World Cinema), Latin America PTV/SVOD (Discovery).
ARMOZA FORMATS' "A FAMILY MAN" RETURNS TO RUSSIA
The second season of "A Family Man" (16 episodes) recently premiered on TNT Russia following the successful first season. The format and finished tapes are distributed by Armoza Formats, part of ITV Studios.
"A Family Man" (32x30’) follows an ordinary man who has been trying to get his wife pregnant. And when that day finally comes, he is faced with some shocking news – not only is his wife pregnant but so is his mistress, and his one-night stand. Understandably shocked by the news, he decides that he will be there for them all and invites them to all live with him under one roof.
Avi Armoza, CEO at Armoza Formats,“With a compelling story that drew in Russian audiences during a successful first season, ‘A Family Man’ offers a unique perspective into family life, in a very unconventional way. We can’t wait to see where this hit series will go next.”
"WE", THE NEW BET OF THE PLANETA INFORM GROUP OF COMPANIES
The Planeta Inform Group of Companies is glad to offer its clients an exclusive scene from "We" (fantasy, dystopia/sci-fi; action) directed by Hamlet Dulyan and based on the bestselling novel «We» by Yevgeny Zamyatin. Buyers will exclusively assess this scene during face-to-face meetings during the Key Buyers Event.
The company also continues to introduce potential buyers to Konstantin Buslov's ("AK-47"; "Michael Mill") new project, historical war drama "Wings Over Berlin", based on a real military operation in 1941. The film will be released in theaters in spring 2022. The shooting began in May and the first footage is scheduled to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this fall. Planeta Inform will screen online horror "The Ex", from the producers of the acclaimed "The Bride" (2017).
The Russian company also informs that the mystical thriller, "Mara", was released to the general public in Mexico on more than 600 screens and that plans to continue discussions on new territories during the upcoming film market.