The forum attracted 150 foreign delegates over three days.

The second edition of the Moscow Co-Production Forum attracted 150 Russian participants and 150 foreign delegates for its three days of roundtable discussions and meetings for the selected 23 projects.

At a closing session, Konstantin Nafikov, executive director of the Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF) Business Square, said that 100 one-to-one meetings with potential co-producers and funding institutions had taken place.

Prizes of free participation to the Cannes’ Producers Network next year were awarded to Russian producer Fedor Popov of Moscow-based Stella Studio for his project Not A Simple Story and Massimiliano Navarra of Ang Creazioni for the creative documentary Grand Trans Siberian which will see three directors Yan Yan Mak, Elisa Fuksas and Darya Zhuk travelling along the famous railway line from Moscow to Beijing.

In addition, Kodak gave its award for best project to Dimitri Klepatski’s production of Victor Dement’s drama The Find which had participated in a Mini-EAVE training programme ahead of the co-production gathering.

Kodak also offered discounts on its services to the producers of another four of the Forum projects, including two more of the Mini-EAVE projects: Rules Of Love, to be produced by Mika-Film’s Nina Kalashnikova with Vadim Apekhtin as director, and the Russian-German co-production Last November, to be produced by CTB Film Company’s Natalia Drozd and directed by Benjamin Quabeck.

In addition, Fedor Popov’s Not A Simple Story and Denis Vaslin’s production of 40 Days Of Silence were recognized by Kodak with an offer of discounts on services.

The MIFF Business Square focused on the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – in a BRIC Film finance Forum to address the potential for film financing and cross-border cooperation between these fast growing markets and to report on concrete case studies of international co-production.  The speakers included Jacqueline Liu of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, Raja Chhinal, Deputy Manager of India’s National Film Development Corporation, UK sales agent Laura Wu of GoldCrest, Ajay Goyal of India’s Norasco Films, and Russian producer Evgeny Gindilis.

In a sign that Russia could soon become a member of the Council of Europe’s co-production programme Eurimages, executive secretary Roberto Olla made the trip to Moscow this year to speak to Russian producers about how the fund operates.

He noted that the Russian Federation had been trying to join Eurimages for the past eight years and said that “things are advancing”, but  “everything is in the hands of the diplomats.”

“Hopefully”, the final agreement for membership could be signed by the end of 2011.

Meanwhile, Olla announced that a change will be made to Eurimages’ regulations from January 2011 to allow projects to begin principal photography before the board of management has decided whether to fund a project or not. “We will allow shooting to begin before this decision, but no more than half of the film,” Olla said pointing that this was in response to a development where “more and more producers are starting shooting before they have fully financed the film.”

The weekend also saw discussion in a closed session by representatives of the Russian regions and partners of the National Film Commission about concrete preparations for a non-profit partnership to promote Russia as a film location. Beforehand, they had heard about the experiences of film commissions in Western Europe such as Franck Priot of Film France and Andrea Rocca of the Genova-Liguria Film Commission.

Meanwhile, the first edition of the Moscow International Film Market (MIFM) was a much more modest affair, leading one to question thr wisdom of deciding to launch yet another film market in an already packed calendar.

22 companies had taken stands at the MIFF Business Square, including the USA’s Media 8 Entertainment and Magnolia Pictures, France’s Rezo Films, Germany’s Action Concept, and eight Russian firms ranging from Intercinema to Art Pictures.

Producer Liz DiFiore of Godzone Pictures had travelled all the way from Auckland in New Zealand to present writer-director Stephen Sinclair’s feature film Russian Snark which will have its world premiere at the Auckland International Film Festival next month.

However, traffic at the stands was minimal with some booths unoccupied for long stretches as the participants came to hear the panel discussions at the Co-Production Forum. The unhurried atmosphere meant that participants had time to talk at length with one another and make new contacts.

Moreover, attendances of screenings in the 500-seater cinema next to the MIFM exhibition area could often be counted on just one hand. Western sales agents said that they were having to chase up potential Russian TV buyers and distributors themselves by phone rather than rely on them coming to the Film Market during the weekend.

The MIFM was organized by Moscow Film Market and Sovexportfilm with the support of the Moscow International Film Festival. (ends)