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The 71st  Berlinale International Film Festival will be held from February 11th to 21st, 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 films go to 35 countries after EFM

At the European Film Market 25 Russian companies presented over 50 titles at the Created in Moscow x Roskino stands, organized by Moscow Export Center and by Roskino accordingly. Content from Russia will travel to USA, China, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Brazil, as well as get co-production partners.

 
“Russia was on the spotlight in Berlin this year. The 70th Berlinale and the EFM saw unprecedented representation of Russian content. Russian projects feature in almost every program and competition of the film festival, including co-production pitching sessions. Exporters were represented at two key venues on the film market, and this brought about an increase in the number of meetings and closed deals. Finally, we are witnessing an unprecedented surge of interest in Russian productions from the foreign media and country players. It seems that Russia is regaining trust in the international film industry, and we have to meet these expectations of our foreign partners”, - says Evgeniya Markova, CEO of Roskino.
 
“Moscow-based companies held over 400 meetings at the Created in Moscow stand. As a result, national films, TV shows and animation keep expanding worldwide”, adds Natalya Sergunina, Deputy Moscow Mayor.
 
Russian projects have also attracted interest from U.S. streaming services, such as Amazon Prime and Hulu. Five Russian projects will be supported by foreign co-production partners. Russian post-production services have been presented for the first time on the European film market, with European and Chinese producers expressing their interest in Russian special effects and CGI technology.
 
DAU. Natasha by Ilya Khrzhanovsky and Ekaterina Oertel has been selected for the main competition of the Berlin Film Festival and won the Silver Bear for cinematography, while another part of the project, DAU. Degeneration by Ilya Khrzhanovsky and Ilya Permyakov, and Persian Lessons, a Russian/German/Belarusian co-production directed by Vadim Perelman (producers: Ilya Stewart et al.) has been featured in the Berlinale Special section. My Galactic Twin Galaction by Sasha Svirsky has competed in the Berlinale Shorts in Animation section. Kotlovan (The Foundation Pit) by Andrey Gryazev has been included in the Panorama Dokumente section, while Maria Ignatenko has made her debut in the Forum section with a feature film In Deep Sleep, presented at the Created in Moscow x Roskino stand by producer Katerina Mikhaylova, founder of the Vega Film production company. A new section, Encounters, has featured Gunda by Viktor Kossakovsky. Ten projects selected globally for the Co-Pro Series pitching event of the Berlinale Co-Production Market include Pawns, a Russian comedy series written by Lily and Michael Idov (presented by Artem Vasilyev's production company, Metrafilms).
 
Highlights of the 2020 Berlinale also included an announcement about the establishment of Women in Media (WM), Russia's first International Women's Association, an organization for women working in culture, arts and the media. The Association was presented as part of the Women's Shorts special screening at the Russian House in Berlin, a new addition to the list of the Berlin Film Festival venues.

Films & Series: national box-office hits and brand-new titles
 
"Son of a rich" by Klim Shipenko, the highest-grossing film of all time in Russia, was acquired by the largest Chinese platform iQiyi. Central Partnership handles international sales of the project.
 
The company also presented sports dramas “Streltsov” and "On the Edge”, which will be both released in theatres in Baltics, as well as in Serbia and Germany accordingly. “On the Edge” will be available in Italy, Switzerland and Austria on digital platforms.
 
War drama “Last Frontier” will go to Japan and South Korea. Central Partnership is finalizing the global sales of "Baba Yaga. Terror of the dark forest” which is available in more than 60 countries, including Japan, South Korea and Poland who signed at EFM.
 
Art Pictures Distribution presented Zhora Kryzhovnikov's "Ice 2", which keeps its way up in national theatres with 1,2 roubles (over $ 18,2 mln.) box-office in Russia as of now. The film has been recently released in Germany, UK and Cyprus, and will soon go to theatres in USA, Canada and Israel.
 
"Invasion" by Fyodor Bondarchuk has been released in Germany, UK, Austria, Cyprus, Israel, USA, Canada, Switzerland and Latin America. At EFM the largest Polish TV holding Polsat signed the deal, and also acquired rights for "Selfie" movie.
 
The company also presented "A Dog named Palma" produced by Mars Media Entertainment and Amedia Production (with OKKO studios as co-producers), and "Sputnik" by Yegor Abramenko, co-produced by Art Pictures Studio, Vodorod Studio and Hype Films. “Sputnik” has been selected to the Midnight program of Tribeca Film Festival 2020.
 
Planeta Inform sends “Coma” to Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Malaysia, Turkey, USA, Korea and Japan, and is negotiating with the Middle East and Latin America.  "Robo" comedy will go to Middle East countries, while “AK-47” about the invention of the famous Kalashnikov weapon goes to Korea and Poland (Germany, UK and USA currently negotiating).
 
Yellow, Black and White studio, presented by All Media company at EFM, received a bunch of offers for "The Last Warrior: Root of Evil” by Dmitry Dyachenko, co-produced by "Yellow, Black and White”, Disney Russia and "Russia 1". The company’s now negotiating with Germany, France, Italy, USA, Japan and South Korea.
 
Mint Films International sold rights for "The Battle" by Anar Abbasov to the German-speaking territories. The company finalized negotiations for the Polish remake of Anna Parmas's comedy "Another Woman" and signed several package deals with international airlines. Mint Films International presented "47" by Alexey Uchitel, which is now in post-production, and launched international sales for the criminal action drama "Winter" by Sergey Chernikov. Another brand-new title is "Palmyra" from Rock Studio, which is now in pre-production.
 
Russian World Vision introduced War drama “A Siege Diary” and “Atakan. The Bloody legend” horror at EFM. The company has sold the rights for “The House Elf” to Japan, while the war movie "Red Ghost” will go to the United States, Canada, German-speaking countries.
 
KD Studios keeps working with "Abigail”, which has already been released in over 30 countries. The company signed package deals for "Project Gemini” and “Forgotten experiment” with Spain, Portugal and Scandinavia, and got preliminary agreements on the “Forgotten experiment” for the United States, Canada, Germany and Asia. KD Studios announced the launch of horror films production, with three projects planned within the next 2 years.
 
Odin-Media is finishing its joint work with LOOKS Film & TV Produktionen on the "Afghanistan. The Trap" project for the Arte channel, and is now discussing new deals with Amazon Prime (USA), Hulu (USA), Rai (Italy), AMC Networks (Spain), RT Vision (Germany), distributors from France, South Korea, and Japan. The company also presented brand-new projects: "The Deepest Cave on Earth" (working title), “Invisible hope" and "KREMLIN. Era of the Tsars".
 
Premier Studios screened the first episode of the “Identification” thriller by Vladlena Sandu with the young European actress Lena Tronina performing the main part of a Slavic girl who grew up in a community of illegal Muslim immigrants from Kyrgyzstan. The company also presented “The Documentalist. Ghost Hunter” series.
 
Sreda Production company also brought its original series: "Ask Martha", the drama by Fluza Farkhshatova about a lawyer who only protects women, and “The irregulars” by Roman Volobuev about a courier of a local criminal who accidentally found himself in a psychiatric hospital.
 
Global sales of “A Dog named Palma”, co-produced by Mars Media and Amedia Production, are handled by Art Pictures Distribution. Mars Media presented “Unknown Battle” (now negotiating deals with Italy, the UK, Spain, Romania and Bulgaria, Latin America and Scandinavia), and "Secret Weapon" (co-produced by Mars Media entertainment, Amedia Production, "Russia 1", with the participation of Nikita Mikhalkov's “Three T Productions”) to be sold to the yet uncovered territories: Poland, Spain, Bulgaria and Scandinavian countries.
 
IGMAR offered "The Oath", "The End of the Season" detective story and the drama "The Cry of silence” as well as Yegor Konchalovsky's “At the moon".
 
RFG Distribution sold five projects to Bulgaria, which includes the flagship “Viy”. Proline Film has participated in the European film market for the first time and presented “Palmyra” by Ivan Bolotnikov. Mirsand was pre-selling “FAU-2" and "The Spacewalker". Roskino stand also hosted Mosfilm that presents remastered classics like movie "War and peace", and Radragon company.
 
Several post-production service providers took part in the market, joining the Russian delegation for the first time. The visual effects studio Main Road Post pitched its best cases, which includes "Stalingrad”, “Wanted”, “Attraction” and ”Invasion".
 
Flysound Studio is among the first studios in the world, built from scratch to the technical specifications of Dolby ® Atmos™. The company specializes in sound production for movies, music and television, and is known for working on "Attraction", "Invasion", and "Ice".
 
Russian animation keeps traveling across the globe
 
Wizart has sold the “Fantastic return to Oz", produced by Melnitsa Studio, to UK, Bulgaria, South Korea and several Latin American countries. Signature Entertainment, one of the leading British distributors, is responsible for the release of the film in the United Kingdom this April. In Bulgaria, the film will be distributed by Pro Films, and by Snap TV in Latin America. BoXoo Entertainment is the company's partner in South Korea.
 
The studio also signed an agreement with Miraj Group, the Indian cinema network owner, to distribute the third and fourth parts of the “Snow Queen” franchise in India.
 
Riki Group presented a new animated film "Finnick" in production. An adventure comedy for family audience about a mischievous furry creature named Finnick will be ready by the end of 2021. At EFM the deals were signed for Bulgaria and Romania, with more announcements to come in the next few months.
 
Red Carpet Studio presented a full-length 2D animated film "The Bugabooz" in early stage of development, as well as animated series "Space Dr. Cat" and "Blinky and Knobby”.
 
Co-production with Russia: Italy, France, Germany and Norway
 
In Berlin Voenfilm company presented “North Pole”, a large-scale project co-produced with Germany and Italy based on the true story of Nobile’s pioneering flight to the top of the world that ends in disaster, leading to the biggest international sea-and air rescue in history. The film stars Daniel Caltagirone, Franco Nero, David Kross, Brian Webber.
 
Revolution film is going to co-produce with Italy, and is also negotiating with a major Japanese manufacturer and distributor for the "Petropolis". The company is now discussing the possibility to film in Italy in partnership with a local film fund.
 
VEGA Film is discussing partnership for "Valter" by Robert Def with co-producers from Germany and France, as well as for the film “Conference” by Ivan Tverdovsky with Italian producers.
 
Cinedoc gets a Norwegian partner to co-produce a new feature project “Archipelago”. The adventure drama is based on historical events. Shooting in Norway is scheduled for the end of April 2020. The company also premiered “The Time Guardians” project at EFM.
 
Presented in Berlin by Proline Cinema, Alexander Zolotukhin's film "The Flight", which will start shooting this fall, attracted producers from Germany and France. The studio aims to develop co-production and invite producers to film in St. Petersburg. The city is now one of the most lucrative filming destinations in Russia due to the federal rebate program launched in Russia last year.
 

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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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