ROSKINO, the Russian film body dedicated to promoting Russia’s motion picture art around the world, has announced they will be hosting the first national digital market to connect buyers, producers and distributors from around the world to showcase the diverse range of Russian content both completed and in post-production. The Key Buyers Event: Digital Edition will run from June 8 and aims to bring together the film industry and build relationships, facilitate business and share experiences.
The pioneering event is being designed to include live presentations and pitches, a screening room with over 150 hours of films, series and animations both finished and in production, real-time meetings, international panel discussions, a dedicated co-production and co-development section and a unique showcase of concerts and performances celebrating Russian culture.
The Key Buyers Event: Digital Edition has been modelled on the success of the inaugural Key Buyers Event which was hosted in Moscow last October. The offline event attracted buyers and commissioners acquiring content for over 60 territories and screened over 120 Russian films, TV series and animation projects. In addition, participants were able to learn more about film and TV production in Russia which offers generous financial incentives, world-class facilities and location diversity.
The event will present over 150 hours of films, series, animation and documentaries from leading Russian companies. Those confirmed to partake include National Media Group, Russia Television, Radio holdings, NTV Broadcasting and TV channels Friday, TV-3 and Super. A range of production and distribution companies participating include Central Partnership; Planeta Inform Group of Companies; Art Pictures Distribution; Art Pictures Studio; Mars Media Entertainment; Bazelevs; Yellow, Black and White Group; CTB Film Company and PREMIER Studios. Also involved are SVOD platforms Start and more.tv, alongside Animation companies such as Soyuzmultfilm, Wizart, Riki Group and many more.
Evgenia Markova, CEO of Roskino explained: “It’s challenging for Roskino to organize such an event in one month, but we are keen on using the current situation to the benefit of all sides involved. The event will be a destination for international buyers to access a wide range of Russian content encompassing all genres both for the big and small screen. Russian organizations will have a dedicated platform they so need at the moment to present their slates and strengthen global partnerships. Russia remains a united industry, that’s why it’s crucial to present it as such on a single platform, entirely devoted to national content. We hope this initiative will generate interest in the latest compelling content coming out of Russia and support the local industry.”
Crucial to the continued growth of the Russian film and creative industries during these challenging times, the initiative is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Moscow Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development.
Maxim Ksenzov, Deputy Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, explained: “It’s our priority to support the national industry, especially now – when the global community is struggling to find a way out of the crisis. With production suspended and cinemas closed, export is one of the few fields available to keep the industry thriving. Last year, we supported the Key Buyers Event, and we are confident this event will be of major interest to global companies.”
Alexey Fursin, Head of the Moscow Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development added: “It was imperative we joined forces to support this initiative, as Moscow is the heart of the creative industries in Russia. The majority of productions, distributors and media holdings are Moscow-based and many of them have become or aim to become export-oriented. It is important for us to support their international effort – as the crucial investment in our creative economy sector continues to flourish despite the crisis.”
The major Russian producers have welcomed the event.
Art Pictures founder, producer and film director Fedor Bondarchuk explained: “Our work continues despite the restrictions enforced by quarantine – production is suspended, but we keep developing new projects and selling new titles. For example, we are now negotiating on ‘Sputnik’ which was selected for the Tribeca Film Festival. The film will be distributed by IFC Midnight in the USA later this year, as well as released in the UK and Australia. We are also finalizing sales for ‘Invasion’ and working on further deals for ‘Ice-2,’ which has already been shown in the UK, USA, France and Switzerland. A platform like the Russian Virtual Market is key to enable us to keep up the pace and present our best titles to international partners, now and in future.”
Vadim Vereshchagin, CEO of Central Partnership, agreed: “We had a very successful experience with the first Key Buyers Event in Moscow, and we rely on the new digital format next month. We are going to present exclusive content to the global community with a focus on building new partnerships with VOD platforms.”
Russian producer and film director Timur Bekmambetov explains now is the time to work with new technologies and bring more innovation to the industry.
“The Russian industry needs technological and infrastructure solutions that allow content creators to promote content abroad quickly. Transition to online will help to make the necessary leap and work more efficiently within global markets.”
The full programme will be announced in the coming weeks.