Timur Bekmambetov co-produces pic preeming at AFM

MOSCOW

Russian animation is poised to make a splash at the AFM with an adaption of Hans Christian Andersen’s famous fairy tale called “The Snow Queen” on offer.

Timur Bekmambetov, whose Moscow-based shingle Bazelevs will distribute the film in Russia, has boarded the 3D cartoon story from Russian animation studio Wizart as co-producer.

The cartoon showcases the advances made in recent years in Russian animation where local toons have become big hits.

“Ivan Tsarevich and the Gray Wolf” produced by Sergey Selyanov, has taken over $20 million at domestic box office since its release late December and is the top grossing local film in Russia this year.

“The Snow Queen” features slick state-of-the art-animation, funny talking animals and a beautiful princess on a mission to rescue a prince kidnapped by an evil queen.

With a budget of $7 million the 80 minute film, which will world preemt at 9 a.m. today at AMC Santa Monica and is due for release in December — is being made for a fraction of the cost of Disney’s cartoon “Frozen” based on the same fairy tale.

“While ‘The Snow Queen’ was still in production, we presented clips to buyers in Berlin and Cannes this year and are now in the process of closing sales with multiple territories,” said “Snow Queen” producer Yuri Moskvin.

“With Bazelevs on board as co-producer and distributor in Russia, and a wide release planned in Russia for the end of December, there’s widespread interest in the final cut of the film which we’ll be screening for the first time in its entirety at AFM.”

Russian cartoons sold well at this year’s Mipcom in Cannes where the Russian Cinema Fund and Assn. of Animated Cinema had a joint stand.

Among the deals was Russian company Aeroplan’s agreement with Italy’s Atlantyca Entertainment for the distribution of TV series Fiksiki in Western and Eastern Europe, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea. Norway’s NRK Super bought the rights to the series Masha I Medved (Masha and Bear), which was earlier aired in France, Switzerland and Canada.

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