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Cannes: Russian Animation House Wizart, QED Intl. Ink Co-Production Pact (EXCLUSIVE)

Wizart, Russia’s leading animation producer, has inked a co-production pact with U.S. sales and finance company QED Intl.

Last month, Wizart’s “The Snow Queen: Fire and Ice,” the third pic in the franchise, became the highest-grossing Russian film in the international box office of all time with a $20.3 million gross worldwide, excluding Russia, where it took $4.95 million. “The Snow Queen: Mirrorlands,” the fourth installment, has been sold in Cannes to Line Friends Corp. in South Korea.

QED Intl., part of Media Content Capital, is best known for “District 9,” “Sabotage,” “Fury” and “Dirty Grandpa.”

The first project to be co-produced between the companies will be animated feature “Hansel and Gretel,” to be released next year. QED is helping finance the project as well as supporting its global distribution and that of other co-produced animation features.

Although inspired by the Grimm fairytale, in the “Hansel and Gretel” film, the siblings are no longer victims but instead face “many great adventures” and meet “different fairytale characters,” according to Wizart.

Yuri Moskvin, a producer on the project, said: “We expect that QED and MCC’s participation in this project will help our studio achieve our creative, production and distribution goals much faster and with an even higher quality than before.”

Sasha Shapiro, managing director of MCC and CEO of QED, said: “We have been looking into both investment possibilities and creative expansion within the family/kids’ genre, and I believe that Wizart has all necessary potentials we have been looking for.”

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