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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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Russian companies to present over 140 projects at the European Film Market


Thirty-nine Russian content makers united at the ROSKINO* virtual umbrella booth to present more than 140 projects, including feature films, series and animation, at the European Film Market 2021, taking place from March 1-5 as a part of the Berlin International Film Festival.

In addition, within the industrial section of the Berlinale Co-Production Market, there will be a presentation of co-production opportunities with Russia in the Country Session format. For the first time, a large number of Russian projects (11) will be presented in the Berlinale Series Online Market section. The participation of Russian content producers at the first film market of the year is possible with the support of the Russian Cinema Fund.

“The unprecedented number of Russian projects confirms the great productivity of content producers, despite the difficulties of 2020. This year, our lineup includes more than 25 new titles (projects that were not previously presented on any film markets), including 8 series and 6 animation projects. In addition to the film markеt, Russia is represented at the Berlinale Series Online Market, as well as at the Berlinale Co-Production Market (here we present co-production opportunities within Russia). I would also like to mention that two Russian talents entered the Berlinale Talents program (producer Egor Odintsov and a screenwriter Lisa Tsyganova). In addition, two Russian films will be presented at the Berlin Film Festival’s Forum section (Tzarevna Scaling by Yuldus Bakhtiozina) and Berlinale Shorts (animated film Vadim on a Walk by Sasha Svirsky) respectively”, - Evgeniya Markova, CEO of ROSKINO

Traditionally, you can see the key figures of the Russian film industry at the EFM.

Central Partnership, a major Russian distributor, presents a number of brand-new titles at EFM. “The World Champion”, a co-production from Nikita Mikhalkov's Studio TriTe, television channel Russia 1 and Central Partnership, follows the most dramatic and legendary showdown in the history of chess – the match between Anatoly Karpov, world champion at the time, and Viktor Korchnoi, a recent emigrant from the USSR.
“December”, co-produced by Yellow, Black and White and START, is set in the noir atmosphere of 1920s Russia. The film focuses on the last days of Sergey Yesenin, a famous Russian poet and a big love of Isadora Duncan, who plans his escape from the Soviet Union.

The WWII feature “The Pilot. A Battle for Survival” centers on an IL-2 pilot who crash-landed in a remote forest clearing and has to find his way back to friendly territory – the bone-chilling survival story is set to premiere this May.
Another war movie on the slate, “Zoya” tells the real story of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, one of the most celebrated heroes of WWII.

Another title based on true events is “White snow” – an inspiring biopic about the legendary skier Elena Vyalbe, who won five out of five gold medals at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 1997, making her way from a small-town childhood to setting the world record.

The company’s line-up also includes “The Ice Demon”, a new horror from the creators of “The Mermaid: Lake of the Dead” and “Baba Yaga: Terror of the Dark forest”, and “Row 19” a thriller about a young female doctor trapped on a flight in a violent storm with her small daughter.
Three projects from 1-2-3 Production, the creators of "To the Lake" a Netflix Original, are set to be presented at this year's EFM in Berlin. The Market Screenings program will include two episodes of The Big Game (release date August 2021), the hit survival drama (co-production with Amedia Production), that already has a second season confirmed and is being prepped for shooting.

The series Dreams of Alice (release date 2022) became the only Russian project to be included in the Berlinale Series Market selection committee's list of most promising projects with the greatest marketing potential. The plot of the series centers around a mysterious small Northern town next to a military base and the young female protagonist Alice, who suffers from prolific nightmares and plots an escape with her best friend. The series attracts attention using local witchcraft components spiced up with extensive VFX, but at the same time this fictional reality addresses real-life universal teenage issues including bullying, social cruelty, the topic of missing children, single parenthood and true friendship. TV-3 will premier the series in Russia.

Finally, Italian distribution company TVCO, which owns the international screening rights to the drama Masha starring Anna Chipovskaya, plans to show the project to potential international partners as part of ongoing negotiations with them; we'll be sure to keep you updated on the results.

At EFM 2021 All Media will present its lineup with highlights of the following films:

Fib The Truth, a psychological thriller about a couple who expects to spend their weekend alone. But when the heroine’s ex-boyfriend along with her sister suddenly show up, the idyllic weekend turns into a cruel game in which there is no distinction between truth and lies, love and passion, innocent flirting and a deadly danger. The release is planned for the fall of 2021.   

The North Wind, a visual masterpiece by Renata Litvinova that premiered at IFFR 2021 in the BIG SCREEN competition and on Feb 6 locally.

The Nose or the Conspiracy of Mavericks, an animation masterpiece that got onto the Oscars' long list and will be released locally in March.

The company plans to close deals for the key territories during the market.

Mirsand’s key projects at EFM are “V2-Escape from Hell” and “Blue Whale”.

“V2-Escape from Hell” is a new biopic from producer & director Timur Bekmambetov (recent films include Spacewalker, Searching, Unfriended, Hardcore Henry). This action driven war drama is inspired by real events that happened during WWII. The high budget adventure film is the first film about WWII made for generation Z. “V2-escape from hell” is released by SONY and is  available in cinemask April 2021 as well as its vertical version will be available for digital release and on smartphones. 

“Blue Whale” is a new Screenlife thriller from Timur Bekmambetov inspired by tragic real events that happened in Russia in 2015 and 2016. This flascinating story made for teenagers and their parents is warning about the dangers of a teenager’s world. Available in feature and series format “Blue Whale” is made using screenlife technology, depicting our everyday lives by sharing our lives on screen. The premier of the first episode of the series is available exclusively at Berlinale Series screenings 2021.

Bubble studios will be focusing on the main sales push for its completed title MAJOR GROM: THE PLAGUE DOCTOR. This $10 million action-adventure adaptation of the bestselling comic book about a detective fighting villains in an alternative Saint Petersburg releases in Russia on April 1st via Disney Studios with high expectations.  The film is directed by Oleg Trofim (Ice), stars Tikhon Zhiznevsky and Lyubov Aksenova, with VFX by Main Road Post (Attraction, Invasion, Sputnik), produced by Artem Gabrielyanov & Mikhail Kitaev (T-34, Invasion, Sputnik).

Hungarian distributor Luminescence will present the film from the CTB film company, the CGF studio and the Russia-1 TV channel – Upon Magic Roads - it is presented at the European film market. The Russian premiere of a large-scale fabulous blockbuster, created with the support of the Cinema Fund, took place on February 18, 2021.

The Art Pictures Distribution package includes the international project “Ballet”, starring Ingeborge Dapkunaite, the latest project “Happy End”, the already internationally renowned “Chicks”, and the series “Psycho” and “Kids”.

A Russian film Tsarevna Scaling presented at the Forum section of Berlin film festival, will also be presented to international buyers at the EFM by the international distributor REEL SUSPECTS. This film is a debut work by the art and fashion photographer Uldus Bakhtiozina. The genre is folk-tale satire. In October 2014, Uldus was named one of the 100 women changing the world for the better by the BBC.

Planet Inform Group of Companies is going to present three new projects at different development stages: “We”, a sci-fi project in post-production, based on the book by Yevgeny Zamyatin; “Wings over Berlin” (working title), a military feature about the unknown heroic Soviet pilots in the times of WWII (post-production), and “The Ex” (finished), a new horror from the internationally renowned “Bride" horror producers.  "The Ex" is going be exclusive screened for the first time to the buyers at the EFM. 

One Media Company is going to do the first-time screening of their “Into the Arctic” movie for international buyers of EFM.  It is a unique, beautiful travel project by the producer and traveler Leonid Kruglov. The company is also going to show a full version of “Invisible Hope” - an international project on garbage pollution, filmed in Belgium, Estonia, India & Russia. Another ambitious documentary project is  titled “The Deepest Cave on Earth”, which tells the audience about the discovery and exploration of the world’s deepest vertical cave, located in Abkhazia.

SREDA Production Company is to present three serial projects: the eight-part mystical horror «Kitchenblock», based on the novel by Alexey Ivanov, which they originally created for the "KinoPoisk HD" platform, as well as their joint projects with "MTS Media": the thriller “Caesar” and the dark romantic comedy “Married Life Scenes”.

Russian World Vision will present the animated film “Ginger's Tale” for its world premiere screening at EFM. The Russian premiere took place on February 4, 2021, and the company has already initiated the negotiation process to export their product to foreign territories. In the Russian World Vision’s package, you can also find such projects as “Palmyra” and “Red Ghost”, due for release spring’2021. For the first time, international buyers will be showcased the comedy “Inadequate people 2”, which was released in Russia December 2020, as well as some materials from the currently-in-development film “Eleven Silent Men”.

Proline Film is going to do their debut international presentation of the documentary “Parents' school” (ready for coproduction), discussing the problems of adoption. The company is also presenting their “The Flight” co-production project (Russia, Italy, France).

RFG Distribution package has a new thriller, “Leave the Group”, the story of a teenager who, while trying to find himself in the world, joins a social network group that recruits children into a mysterious brotherhood. The film will be released spring’2021.

As a part of their EFM screenings program, Megogo Studios is going to first time showcase their new series “Hook”, the story of the famous hockey player Nikita Kryukov, who chose a hockey agent career as a way to continue his life in sports, and the film “Fatal Illusions”, telling the story of some illusionist brothers.

Rock Films plans to keep working with buyers, interested in the acquisition of “Tsoy” by Alexey Uchitel, which premiered at the Warsaw Film Festival in October 2020; “Sententia”, which won the prize of the International Federation of Film Press FIPRESCI at the Black Nights Tallinn International Film Festival in 2020. In addition, the company will present its new projects in post-production – war drama “Palmyra” and drama “Zemun”.

In addition, at the European Film Market international buyers will be able to see projects by companies like Amex Media, Ark Pictures, Yellow, Black and White, Channel 5, Corner Work, IGMAR, MAGNUM, GPM Entertainment Television, Prad-Media, Revolution Film, Riverlet Films, Sputnik Vostok Production, Star Media, NTV, Sovtelexport, Leos Film etc.


The Russian animation segment at the EFM 2021 is represented by key Russian animation companies.

The key premiere of Wizart will be The Warrior Princess.  Set within a traditional, storybook kingdom, 'The Warrior Princess' delivers a strong, female empowerment message that rewrites the classic fairytale narrative. The lead character, Mila, defies the long held stereotypes of a princess to embody and exemplify the contemporary and timely themes of individuality, courage and conviction. Through her infectious spirit, Mila is a voice of inspiration for young girls to fearlessly follow their own path, be true to their heart and shape their own destiny...whatever that may be.

Riki Group will present a CG-animated comedy “Finnick” that follows the adventures of a 13-year-old girl Christine who befriends a Finn, a magical and mischievous spirit who lives in her new house. He knows how to make nasty and funny jokes and he enjoys playing tricks on people. Finnick and Christine, who are so different, will have to team up and work together to solve the mysterious events and save the city. Animation Magazine mentioned “Finnick” in its “Your Don’t Miss List” of upcoming animated features of 2021.

Soyuzmultfilm is going to promote their two latest projects, “The Alpine Campaign” and “The Formula for Water”. “The Alpine Campaign” is due for release in Russia this year. It is a romantic story set against the backdrop of an outstanding military campaign led by Field Marshal Suvorov. “The Formula for Water” pictures the reality of people, who learned to survive in a world with no drinking water.

Other projects will also be presented by Parovoz Studio, 100 KILOWATT Animation Studio, Agama Film &  Zabezoo studio.

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.

Svetlana Lysyakova

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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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