Russians unite with co-prod plans at mart

Berlin Film Festival 2012

The Russians are coming to the European Film Market as a united force this year.

Russia’s Cinema Fund, the country’s major public film funding body, has for the first time booked its own stand on the first floor of the market’s main venue, the Martin Gropius Bau.

Although other Russian production and distribution shingles will be holding court elsewhere, the stand brings seven Russian companies, including Fedor Bondarchuk’s Art Pictures, Timur Bekmambetov’s Bazelevs, Central Partnership and the country’s second-biggest television network, Rossiya 1, under one roof.

Lena Romanova, head of the international department at the Cinema Fund, says the stand will be a one-stop shop for those interested in doing business with the Russians.

Romanova is also in charge of the Cinema Fund’s new co-production coin, which has around $8 million available to spent on international joint projects this year.

On Feb. 13 at the stand, the Cinema Fund will present its plans for regional film commissions and coin in Russia; it will also unveil its bigger plans for 2012 at an event at the stand at 5 p.m. that day.

Russia’s new enthusiasm for promoting co-productions received a big boost last summer when, after nearly a decade of complex negotiations, a Russian-German co-production treaty was finally signed. That treaty will be getting into gear this year and first projects are expected to be announced soon.

A Russian-U.S. co-prod will also be repped on Berlin’s red carpet: Billy Bob Thornton’s “Jayne Mansfield’s Car,” the first English-language film from producer Alexander Rodnyansky (who’s also got “Stalingrad” in the market mix) and U.S. shingle Media Talent Group. A number of films will also be presented at the stand during the EFM, including Christmas ensemble produced by Timur Bekmambetov “Yoly 2” (Christmas Tree 2), “Belaya gvardiya” (White Guards) and 3D cartoons, “The Snow Queen” and “Sheep & Wolves.”

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