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The 71st  Berlinale International Film Festival will be held March 1–5 (market) & June 9–20, 2021.
Our team of festival ambassadors and reporters bring you the dailies from the Berlin Film Festival and European Film Market and keep an eye on past editions archives. WATCH OUR VIDEO COVERAGE TRAILERS INTERVIEWS AND AMBIANCE   PHOTOS

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Good run at EFM for russian companies reporting more than 30 deals


Russian companies have summed up the results of the European Film Market (EFM 2021). Companies from France, Germany, North America, Vietnam, Mexico, Brazil, China, South Korea, and others are among the international distributors, which bought Russian films, TV series, and animation.

EFM 2021, which took place online from March 1-5 as part of the Berlin International Film Festival, gathered more than 500 participants from 60 countries. Russian companies presented over 140 projects, including films, TV series, and animation. Thirty-nine Russian content makers participated in the film market as part of the ROSKINO* virtual umbrella stand. In addition, Russian content and companies were presented in the Berlinale Series Online Market (TV series market) and the Berlinale Co-Production Market.
“Russian presence at EFM was extensive this year. Russian projects participated in three markets: the European Film Market, the Berlinale Series Online Market, and the Berlinale Co-Production Market. In addition, Russia was present in the Berlin International Film Festival sections and Berlinale Talents program. At EFM, Russian companies signed over 30 deals according to initial estimates; a number of deals are still under negotiation. Apart from this, we received positive feedback at the co-production market. Seventeen Russian producers participated in this market, including participants of EAVE ON DEMAND IN RUSSIA – an international educational program that we initiated in 2020 with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. The participants underlined interest from foreign partners in co-production opportunities with Russia. Israel, France, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, and other countries were interested in co-production; a number of meetings regarding specific projects were held during the market. We see great prospects in this area,” said ROSKINO CEO Evgenia Markova.

Central Partnership, a major Russian distributor, noted a great interest of buyers in large-scale, high-quality films from the premiere package of the company – “Chernobyl”“Fire”“The World Champion”, and “The Pilot. A Battle for Survival”. At EFM, the company completed a number of major transactions. The internet rights to “Chernobyl” were sold to iQiYI, one of the largest Chinese streaming services. Rights to “Chernobyl” were also sold to Taiwan, South Korea, French-speaking Europe, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Central Partnership had previously announced that MPI, a large independent company, had become the American distributor of “Chernobyl”. The film “Fire”, which will be released in the US in July 2021, has also found distributors in France, Germany, Italy, and the Middle East.

The key new projects of Planeta Inform Group of Companies at the EFM were the sci-fi film “WE”, the horror film “The Ex” – from the producers of the internationally successful horror film “The Bride” – as well as the mystical thriller “Mara”, all of which were sold to German-speaking European countries. A contract for “Mara” was also signed with a distributor from Latin America, and the film will soon be released in Mexico and Brazil. In addition, the sci-fi action movie “Coma” was sold to Poland.

All Media signed deals with distributors from Germany, France, and Italy at EFM 2021, for the sale of the films “The Last Warrior” and “The Last Warrior: The Root of Evil.” 

The film “Upon the Magic Roads” from CTB film company, CGF Studio, and Russia-1 TV channel was sold to Vietnam, France, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Near East and North America. Deals for these territories were closed at EFM through the Hungarian distributor Luminescence. Negotiations for other countries are continuing.

Revolution Film sold the rights to the thriller “Run” with Polina Maximova to China (Virtual Cinema), Taiwan (Av-Jet International Media), France (L'Atelier d'Images), and South Korea (CCS Media Co). The company also noted a large number of requests for the sci-fi film “Petropolis”. Active sales of this project are slated to begin at the Marche du Film market in Cannes.

Rock Films held negotiations with producers, buyers, and festival selectors for the projects “Tsoi”“Sententia”, and “Zemun”. According to the results of the film market, the film “Tsoi” by Alexey Uchitel was sold to Estonia. Offers were also received from buyers from other countries. “Sententia”, which won the FIPRESCI prize at the Black Nights Tallinn International Film Festival, was also popular among buyers. “Zemun”, which is now in post-production, attracted great interest among the selectors of international A-class festivals.

Bubble Studios closed deals with all territories for the sale of the project “Major Grom: The Plague Doctor”, which was shown as part of the premiere screenings at EFM. The company noted a large number of proposals and high interest from buyers. The superhero movie will be released in Russia on April 1, 2021 (distributed by Disney Studios).

Russian World Vision agreed with an American distributor to close a deal for the animated film “Ginger’s Tale” to North America. In addition, the rights to the film “Letters of Happiness” were sold to South Korea. Both Asian and European buyers showed interest in “Palmyra”, while “Eleven Silent Men” attracted buyers from China and Europe. Also, Chinese distributors were interested in the films “Inadequate People 2” and “See it My Way”. The film “Red Ghost”, the rights to which have already been closed for a large number of territories, piqued the interest of buyers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Odin Media has found new partners from Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Germany, Scandinavia, and Canada. For the first time, international buyers saw the new project “Into the Arctic”, with filming and production planned for 2021-2022. Production companies from Germany, Austria, the USA, and Taiwan have shown interest in producing and financing this project. The international project “Invisible Hope”, dedicated to the problem of plastic recycling and the fight against the planet’s garbage collapse, received requests from 22 festivals, 8 foundations, and 17 distributors from 14 countries. The second part of the project is being planned, and will be devoted to the study of plastic-eating bacteria. Italian TV channel RAI confirmed the acquisition of rights for a premiere of the historical documentary drama “Urartu. The Forgotten Kingdom” in Italy. The project was also selected by distributors from Korea and Turkey. Previously, the film was shown by the state-owned TV channel RTVE (Spain) and was made available on the Amazon Prime platform.

The war drama “Julbars” attracted the interest of TV channels and distributors from Japan, Spain, and Australia, as well as selectors from several festivals. In addition, the projects “Combat Approved”“The Great North Way”“Urartu. The Forgotten Kingdom”, and “The Great Exploration of Siberia, Nomads in Time” were selected by the Serbian distributor Dima Vision to be shown in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. At the moment, the deals are under negotiation. In addition, Discovery Channel Japan will purchase new episodes of the documentary series “Combat Approved”.

The series “Dreams of Alice” from 1-2-3 Production received interest due to being  selected for the new section of Berlinale Series Market Selects: Major World Content. Industry players are interested in the project, and negotiations are underway now. The hit survival drama “Big Game” (co-production with Amedia Production) also caught the attention of buyers as both a finished series and a format. Company representatives underlined a variety of requests from both key territories and smaller markets. Negotiations are also underway on this project.

A participant of the Berlin Film Festival (Forum Section) – the film “Tzarevna Scaling” from Russian art and fashion photographer Uldus Bakhtiozina – was presented by the international distributor REEL SUSPECTS. Matteo Lovadina, CEO of REEL SUSPECTS, commented that this project is a “powerful cinematographic work.”

Yellow, Black and White studio and START video service noted the great interest of Western partners in Russian content. There have been several requests from Argentina and Brazil to purchase the “Addicted” series as a format. There is also an interest from Eastern Europe in the comedy projects “Grand” and “Offside”. At the moment, those deals are under discussion. In addition, negotiations are underway to release the START series “A Good Man” in the Czech Republic.

Riverlet Films reported a great interest in the high budget action film “Palmyra”. Several proposals have already been received from leading territories, including France, Korea, and Germany.

Megogo Studios’ project “Fatal Illusions” was popular among buyers from France, Italy, Poland, China, South Korea, and Japan. Materials for the series “Hook”, which premiered at EFM, were requested by many countries, because “Russian hockey players are an interesting topic for the international market,” said a company representative.

Sovtelexport presented a series line-up at EFM. The series “The Terrible” attracted the interest of major industry players and festival representatives from Japan, Lithuania, Switzerland, Germany, and the Czech Republic.

STAR MEDIA reported that buyers from over 20 countries attended the screening of the new season of the historic series “Detective Anna”. The company received several requests from buyers for this series, and for some other projects from the catalogue. Negotiations are being held now with distributors from France, Italy, Serbia, Poland, the USA, and other countries.


Russian animation companies also noted buyers’ high interest in Russian projects.

New projects from Wizart Animation – “The Warrior Princess” and “The Snow Queen 5” were popular among buyers from Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, France, Portugal, Argentina, and the UK.

Riki Group launched international sales of the CG-animated comedy “Finnick” which follows the adventures of 13-year-old Christine who befriends Finn, a magical and mischievous spirit who lives in her new house. Distributors from Baltic countries, Latin America, France, and Spain were interested in the project.

The projects “The Alpine Campaign”,“The Formula for Water”, and “The Golden Beehive” from SMF Studio (Soyuzmultfilm) attracted the interest of buyers from Germany, France, Bulgaria, Turkey, Argentina, and the USA.

“Spaceport” and “Amazing Cafe” from Parovoz Animation Studio received positive feedback from European buyers. A company representative said that negotiations are being held with potential partners from France and the UK.

ROSKINO is a state body representing the Russian industry of audiovisual content on the international markets, a national operator for the promotion of films, series and animation as well as the creative potential and coproduction opportunities within Russia. The company also acts as an industrial expert and organizes tailor-made educational programs for Russian talent. ROSKINO promotes Russian content at the key international film markets and organizes the Russian film festival worldwide.

af99e971-c50f-440f-acbc-65d8367a348a.jpg           1a798013-8aa7-4e3d-b3e8-c294f4197fac.jpg
    “Upon the Magic Roads” (CTB)                                “Major Grom: The Plague Doctor” (Bubble Studios)

f67f2908-080a-4986-b70e-f9ac16ab9eb0.jpg           299eb55e-25a2-426b-b689-6ad5b0d998ad.jpg
   "Mara" (Planeta Inform Group)                                   "Run" (Revolution Film)        



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Chatelin Bruno

Berlin 2019: The dailies from the Berlin Film Festival brought to you by our team of festival ambassadors. Vanessa McMahon, Alex Deleon, Laurie Gordon, Lindsay Bellinger and Bruno Chatelin...
Ambiance, film reviews, trailers and podcasts, EFM insider information, and much more.
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