Roskino, the Russian film promotion body, is set to host its first digital market on June 8 to showcase Russian content for international buyers, producers and distributors.
The initiative, called The Key Buyers Event: Digital Edition, will highlight a wide range of Russian content, both completed and in post-production, and will aim at helping filmmakers and industry executives do business and share experiences.
The org held the inaugural Key Buyers Event last October in Moscow. The physical event screened over 120 Russian films, TV series and animated projects and lured buyers and commissioners across 60 territories.
The program of Roskino’s virtual market will include live presentations and pitches, a screening room with over 150 hours of films, series and animated features, as well as live meetings, international panel discussions, and a dedicated co-production and co-development section. Roskino will also host a showcase of concerts and performances celebrating Russian culture as part of the digital event.
Among the leading Russian companies set to attend the upcoming virtual market are National Media Group, Russia Television, Radio holdings, NTV Broadcasting and TV channels Friday, TV-3 and Super.
Many production and distribution companies will also take part, including Central Partnership, Planeta Inform Group of Companies, Art Pictures Distribution, Art Pictures Studio, Mars Media Entertainment, Bazelevs, Yellow, Black and White Group, CTB Film Company and Premier Studios. SVOD platforms on board are Start and more.tv, alongside animation companies such as Soyuzmultfilm, Wizart, Riki Group.
“It’s challenging for Roskino to organize such an event in one month, but we are keen on using the current situation to the benefit of all sides involved,” said Evgenia Markova, CEO of Roskino.
“Russia remains a united industry, that’s why it’s crucial to present it as such on a single platform, entirely devoted to national content,” said Markova.
The event is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Moscow Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development.
“With production suspended and cinemas closed, export is one of the few fields available to keep the industry thriving,” said Maxim Ksenzov, the deputy minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, added that the Federation had supported Roskino’s Key Buyers Event event in October.
Alexey Fursin, the head of the Moscow Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development, pointed that Moscow was at the heart of the creative industries in Russia. “It is important for us to support their international effort – as the crucial investment in our creative economy sector continues to flourish despite the crisis,” Fursin said.
Prominent Russian producers are looking forward to the event. Fedor Bondarchuk, the founder of Art Pictures who is also a filmmaker, said his company was continuing to develop new projects and sell new titles during the lockdown, for instance “Sputnik” which was selected for Tribeca and has been acquired by IFC Midnight for the U.S., U.K. and Australia.
“A platform like the Russian Virtual Market is key to enable us to keep up the pace and present our best titles to international partners, now and in future,” said Bondarchuk.
Meanwhile, Timur Bekmambetov, the Russian filmmaker and creator of ScreenLife storytelling whose credits include “Profile,” said “the Russian industry needs technological and infrastructure solutions that allow content creators to promote content abroad quickly.”