Moscow Business Square (June 21-24) runs parallel to the Moscow International Film Festival.

The UK and Latin America are the focus of the sixth Moscow Business Square (MBS) (June 21-24) which is being held parallel to the Moscow International Film Festival (June 19-28).

The programme of events will include case studies of the Cannes 2014 title El Ardor and the first ever Brazilian-Russian co-production Red Russian, as well as of Vera Glagoleva’s Turgenev adaptation Two Women, starring Ralph Fiennes, and Peter Briggs’ Tank88.

In addition, there will be presentations of Russian documentaries at the stage of post-production to festival programmers, distributors and sales agents as well as roundtables on the production and distribution of biopics, potential for international remakes of Russian properties, legal aspects of the Russian VoD market and a day dedicated to trends in the Russian and international animation sectors.

From Australia to Afghanistan, Kazakhstan to Colombia

MBS’ four-day programme will kick-off on June 21 with the pitching of 27 projects selected for this year’s Moscow Co-Production Forum.

15 projects will presented by film-makers from Europe, Russia and Asia, while delegations from Latin America will be travelling to Moscow with another 12 projects looking for partners.

The Australian-Russian producer team of Joanna Bence and Fyodor Druzin are returning to MBS for the second year running after pitching the comedy Lenin?! last year with the first project to come to the pitching forum from Australia.

This time, they have Hannah Moon’s documentary The A Women which highlights the phenomenon of Shengu, the ‘leftover women’ in China, the class of educated, independent women choosing not to marry.

(At last month’s Cannes Film Festival, Bence and Druzin launched a crowdfunding campaign for Lenin?! and have since revealed that Daywatch composer Ilya Lagutenko will score and select music for the film.)

Other projects selected include:

  • Kazakh producer-director Serik Abishev’s Ademoka which won a prize as best project at last year’s Spotlight on New Kazakh Cinema in Almaty.
  • Evgenia Tirdatova’s Rudolph Nureyev. The Beginning, to be produced by Alfia Chebotareva, Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre, and Neil McCartney. Tirdatova curated the Rudoph Nureyev. Known & Unknown retrospective at last year’s Moscow Film Festival on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of his birth.
  • Veteran animator Andrey Khrzhanovsky’s The Nose, or the Outsider Conspiracy, based on Shostakovich’s opera and the Gogol short story of the same name, will have a mix of animation, staged renactments and documentary scenes.
  • Azerbaijani film-maker Asif Rustamov’s Pipeline about a simple-minded and kind shepherd who makes a fateful decision when he leaves his native land of Karabakh because of the continuing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Rustamov presented the project at last year’s Open Doors in Locarno.
  • Afghan film-maker Fazila Amiri’s feature-length documentary debut Hip Hop Kabul about Afghanistan’s first female rapper, Paradise Soururi, who risks death threats from the Taliban to become a world-class hip hop star. Amiri and producer Paul Lee presented the project at Hong Kong’s HAF this year.

Latin American selection

The 12 projects being presented in Moscow from Latin America include four from Mexico, three each from Brazil and Colombia, and one apiece from Argentina and Chile.

They include:

  • Mexican director Antonio Zavala Kugler’s Lunik 3, described as a Cold War space race comedy, presented at Guadalajara’s Ibero-American Co-Production Meeting in March.
  • Brazilian Ludmila Curi’s documentary Maria Prestes about the widow of Luiz Carlos Prestes, the icon of the Communist Party in Brazil and beyond, who lived with her husband in Russian exile for 10 years.
  • Colombian Luis Villegas’ thriller-documentary The Confidant centres on the world of drug trafficking and “the attorney of the mafia”.

The full line-up can be found at MBS’ official website.

International guests expected to attend include Eduardo Valente (ANCINE), Mira Staleva (Sofia Meetings), Claudia Triana (Proimagenes Colombia), Laurent Danielou (Rezo Films), Marge Liiske (Baltic Event), Jens Meurer (Egoli Tossell Film), Diana Karklin (Rise&Shine World Sales), Monserrat Sanchez (IMC), Alex Tate (Carnaby International) and Ali Al Jabri (Abu Dhabi Film Festival).