Grindstone Entertainment Group, which has a distribution partnership with Lionsgate, has acquired North American rights to the Russian box office hit “Upon the Magic Roads.” The fantasy adventure film was released in Russia on Feb. 18 and grossed an outstanding $15.9 million.
Worldwide rights are handled by the sales outfit Luminescence, which screened the film for international buyers at this week’s digital Key Buyers Event, organized by Roskino, and will also screen it during the Pre-Cannes Screenings (June 21-25).
Deals have also closed in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (Capelight), France and French-speaking Belgium (Koba), Portugal (Cinemundo), Poland (Puls TV), Czech Republic and Slovakia (MediaSquad), Turkey (aTV), Middle East (Front Row), South Africa (Filmfinity), South East Asia PTV (Disney), Mongolia (FilmBridge), Vietnam (CJ CGV), South Korea (World Cinema), and Latin America PTV/SVOD (Discovery).
“Upon the Magic Roads” tells the story of John, a kind-hearted romantic fool, who is sent on a series of incredible adventures accompanied by a magic foal to find the Cloud Princess.
The film is directed by Oleg Pogodin and produced by CTB Film Company’s Sergey Selyanov, Academy Award nominated for “Mongol,” CGF’s Aleksandr Gorokhov, and Russia 1’s Anton Zlatopolskiy. The film is packed with visual effects produced by one of Russia’s leading CGI houses, CGF, whose effects featured in such Hollywood movies as Timur Bekmambetov’s “Ben Hur” and “Wanted.” Grindstone will release the film next year.
Grindstone’s Stan Wertlieb said: “ ‘Upon the Magic Roads’ is a rare cinematic gem. Truly a masterful blending of live action and beautiful animation, that children and their families will be entertained and mystified by.”
Juraj Barabas, managing director of Luminescence, said: ” ‘Upon the Magic Roads’ is very unique, funny, heartwarming, and most of all, a very big film in terms of production value.”
Selyanov said: “ ‘Upon the Magic Roads’ is produced as a mixture of live action and top-notch visual effects, and the fantasy worlds and creatures inhabiting them are very captivating. This story is universal and interesting for everyone, a fairy tale about two buddies who will have to live through exciting adventures, outsmart an evil tyrant and find true love and friendship.”
Luminescence’s sales slate includes animated movies “My Sweet Monster,” “Pinocchio: A True Story,” “Nutcracker and the Magic Flute,” and “Big Trip 2: Special Delivery,” and live-action war thriller “Infiltration.”