31 projects were presented by nine Russian production houses at a pitching to the Russian Cinema Fund.
Russia’s answer to Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity and an updated, Russian-set adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost were among the 31 film projects presented by nine Russian production houses - the so-called ‘leaders’ - at a pitching to the Russian Cinema Fund (RCF) this week.
An expert committee gave each of the 31 projects a rating, but the final decision on how much production support - and whether it is a subsidy or conditionally repayable loan - will be decided by the RCF later in the year.
Sergey Selyanov’s St Petersburg-based CTB is behind the “first Russian space thriller”, Salyut 7, which would be based on the true story of the rescue mission for the orbital station in 1985. The film is budgeted at RUB320m and CTB is looking to receive RUB150m from the Cinema Fund.
CTB’s slate also includes the third instalment in the successful animation franchise Ivan Tsarevich and the Grey Wolf (to be released for the 2015/6 New Year holidays) and a body switch comedy Naparnik, starring Sergey Garmash.
Meanwhile, Igor Tolstunov’s ProFIT has director Alexandr Kott attached to the family comedy based on Oscar Wilde’s popular short story The Canterville Ghost.
In his pitch, Tolstunov said that a foreign actor might play the ghost and his dream casting would be someone along the lines of Alan Rickman, Rutger Hauer or Charles Dance. In addition, “preliminary negotiations” are underway with the Czech Republic’s Barrandov Studios.
He also presented the action comedy Made in the USSR which would see a KGB agent literally being put into deep freeze after operations at the end of the 1980s, only to be thawed out 30 years later to fight a terrorist threat to blow up the world.
The top rating went to the project Ekipazh (Equipage) by Nikita Mikhalkov’s production house Trite, which is set to be made in IMAX format and star “Russia’s answer to Brad Pitt”, Danil Kozlovsky (Vampire Academy), and Vladimir Mashkov.
After the box office success last year of the ice hockey film Legend No. 17, with Kozlovsky in the lead role, the next sport to be put in the spotlight could be basketball. Trite is planning Dvizhenie verkh (Movement Upwards) about the USSR team’s victory over the USA at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
Meanwhile, Timur Bekmambetov pitched a biopic to be produced by his company TABBAK about the cosmonaut Alexey Leonov, with Evgeny Mironov attached to play him and also serve as co-producer.
Sergey Bodrov is attached as director for the RUB400m project which would begin shooting in winter this year and be released in cinemas in March 2016.
In addition, TABBAK has a Karaoke musical comedy Stari Drug (Old Friend) to be directed by Gorko 2!’s Zhora Kryzhovnikov.
Alexandr Rodnyansky’s Non Stop Production, however, only pitched one project this time round to the Cinema Fund’s expert committee: the RUB580m 3D historical drama Duelyant by the first-time writer-director Alexey Mizgrev about a duellist for hire in the second half of the 19th century.
Non Stop is looking for RUB200m support from the Cinema Fund.
Other projects pitched this week included Enjoy Movies’ latest instalments of its Mam and Champions franchises, as well as a sequel of the feature film version of the Mafia parlour game.
A new franchise - the youth action The Elusives (Neulobimiye) - is to be made like The Hunger Games in two parts - with screenplays for the third and fourth parts already complete - and a new version of the exploits of the first female serial killer Bathory is being lined up by Enjoy.