UK distributor Signature Entertainment’s acquisition of 3D animation feature The Snow Queen and its sequel was one of several deals signed at the Russian Cinema stand at this year’s European Film Market (EFM).
Signature will give a wide theatrical release to Wizart Animation’s sequel The Snow Queen 2: The Snow King in February 2015.
A UK TV and DVD premiere of the first film, produced by Timur Bekmambetov, will precede this in October 2014.
South Korea’s Cinema Republic has also picked up the sequel for a release in December 2014 after having taken more than $1.5m at the box office with the first film in 2013. Proficinema noted that Cinema Republic is planning a large scale merchandising and promotional drive to accompany the release.
Shooting Stars has also acquired all rights for the Middle East for The Snow Queen sequel and Sheep & Wolves for theatrical releases.
Leading Russian producer-distributor Bazelevs reported that its comedy Gorko! has interested buyers from the US, Germany and Austria, while New Year comedy Yolki 3 is being circled by distributors from Poland and Italy.
Similarly, Alexander Mitta’s new film Chagall And Malevich, handled by Raissa Fomina’s Intercinema, was in the sights of buyers from South Korea, China, Germany, France, Bulgaria, and Slovenia, while Sovtelexport sold back catalogue titles to the Iranian company Ro-In Entertainment such as the military drama Back In Time (2008) and the drama Piranha (2006).
In addition, Polish broadcaster TVP intends to buy the mini-series Einstein - Theory Of Love and a package of documentary titles from Russian Television VGRTK, while Radio & Television of Slovakia (RTVS) showed interest in the Einstein mini-series and another one on Dostoyevsky.
Making its second outing to Berlin’s EFM this year, Reflexion Films reportedly sold all rights to the animated scifi comedy Koo! Kin-Dza-Dza to Japan and South Korea, and TV rights to USA and Canada, while interest came from the ex-Yugoslavia, Germany, Greece, and Iran for the feature film The Sea (More). Konstantin Lopushansky’s The Role has come into the sights of a German buyer, and final negotiations are underway for The Thirst with a Polish distrIbutor,
These deals come in a year at the Berlinale when Russia was only represented in the festival programme by a single title - Leonid Shmelkov’s 17-minute short My Own Personal Moose in the Generation Kplus sidebar.
In addition, the Russian Cinema umbrella stand at the EFM hosted 15 production companies, sales agents and studios.
The presence in Berlin, which was organised by the Russian Cinema Fund (RCF) with support from the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Culture, marks RCF’s return to coordinating Russian cinema’s international activities a year after its international department was closed as part of the fund’s reorganisation.
According to one industry insider, the administration and promotion of co-productions by foreign producers with Russia will remain in the hands of the Ministry of Culture rather than return to the Fond Kino.
Last month, the Russian Federation’s Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky had struck a conciliatory note when announcing that the Fond Kino would again have responsibility for international promotion of Russia. ¨The war between the Ministry and Fond Kino is completely over,¨ he declared.