9 september 2015




For the first time ever ROSKINO awarded grants to support co-production with Russia.

ROSKINO is participating in the 72nd Venice International Film Festival (September 2 - September 12) and the 4th Venice Film Market (September 3 - September 8) with the support of Aeroflot Russian Airlines Public Joint Stock Company and the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation.

On September 6, a pitching session was organized by the Venice Film Market jointly with ROSKINO to present projects targeted at co-production with Russia to the expert jury. The list of finalists consisted of 8 feature films currently in pre-production with no less than 30% of consolidated budget secured.

The expert jury board included Andreas Eicher (producer, Cine Plus Filmproduktion GmbH, Germany), Raphaël Berdugo (President, CITÉ FILMS, France), Pascal Diot (Head of Venice Film Market, Italy), Andy Whittaker (Dogwoof Pictures President and Founder) Leonid Demchenko (Russia representative, Eurimages, Russia) and Katya Mtsitouridze (CEO, ROSKINO, Russia). The session was moderated by Lucas Rosant (producer, France).

The expert board awarded 4 grants.

‘Swing’, produced by Alexey Telnov and Max Efros, directed by Nicolay Dreiden, was awarded a ROSKINO grant of $5 000. The jury decided that this project has the highest festival and commercial potential. Moreover, Russia will support Swing’s application for Eurimages financing.

Loneliness on the Net’, produced by Vlad Ryashin and Galina Balan-Timkina, has also been recommended for Eurimages financing owing to its high international potential. The film is produced by Star Media, one of the leading Russian film and TV studios.

‘The Longest Birthday’, produced by Anna Dziembowska and Maxim Dashkin, earned a special mention of the jury for the screenplay. Andy Whittaker of Dogwoof Pictures will recommend the project to UK distributors. Katriel Schory, President of the Israel Film Fund, also took an interest in the film.

‘Censor’, produced by Nikolay Bunkin, Igor Fokin and Vladislav Pasternak, will receive a special Star Media $5 000 grant for post-production. German and Swedish distributors took notice of the project.

At Katya Mtsitouridze’s invitation, the acclaimed Russian director Alexander Sokurov, a Golden Lion winner returning to the festival competition of 2015, welcomed the pitching participants.

Alexander Sokurov, director: ‘My life’s experience proves that you cannot achieve anything on your own. Which is why I am very grateful for those of you who are willing to support my colleagues. In my experience, no one works better than us Russians. We always stick to our word. So I am calling upon

my international colleagues: we have to dare to support these young filmmakers. I am convinced that such partnerships will bring excellent results. My thanks go to the ROSKINO team and the festival organizers who have prepared this important and essential event in spite of the difficulties of today’s climate’.

Among other pitching finalists are ‘Fairy Tales Around the World’, produced by Lika Alekseeva and Maria Samoylova; ‘Matrioshka’, produced by Ulyana Kovalyova and Antonio Piccoli; ‘Terminus’, produced by Alexander Plotnikov, and ‘The Whistling Art Factory’, produced by Anastassia Razlogova and Andjei Petras. The producers of each project spent several days meeting with professionals from around the globe and drawing up lists of potential partners from Italy, Germany, France, Belgium, UK, Israel and US.

Katya Mtsitouridze, expert jury member, CEO, ROSKINO, Russia: ‘Co-production is neither an end in itself nor a cure for all woes but rather an excellent opportunity for authors to expand their scope. Having carefully examined the scripts, interviewed the authors to establish the degree of commitment and received financing confirmations, we were able to select 8 projects ripe for international co-production out of 42 submissions. The projects differ immensely in kind, genre and scale but they were all properly presented. The wealth of experience allowed the expert jury to appreciate their merits. The winners are several but it is now completely safe to say that no project went unnoticed and each one is bound to enjoy success.’

Andreas Eicher, expert jury member, producer, Cine Plus Filmproduktion GmbH, Germany: ‘I felt really honored to be part of the international jury that was to give an award to a Russian Project in order to encourage co-production with Russia. Especially in the current economical situation it is of a special importance to enhance co-production activities and work together on an international level. This first pitching event of Russian Cinema at the Venice Film Market jointly with ROSKINO is an important step to finding more international partners and building new relationships.’

Raphaël Berdugo (expert jury member, President, CITÉ FILMS, France): ‘I am really happy to touch base again with Russian cinema. I had a very good co-production experience with Russia in the past as I co-produced ‘The Thief’ by Pavel Chukhray which was screened in the official competition of the Venice Film Festival and subsequently nominated for the Golden Globe and the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. Today I have met new generation of Russian producers and directors. And this is an important meeting.’

Pascal Diot, expert jury member, Head of Venice Film Market, Italy: ‘I was very happy to be a jury member of the first Russian Co-Prod Pitches because of the quality of the selected projects and also because I am a strong believer in international coproductions and today’s event presented the perfect opportunity to trigger such international cooperation."

Andy Whittaker, expert jury member, President of Dogwoof Pictures (UK): ‘As national grants become harder to attain, co-production is becoming increasingly important. Co-production is one of the key strategies to pursue for national cinemas in an increasingly international market. Many producers are unaware of the benefits and possibilities of co-production which is why this initiative between ROSKINO and Venice Film Market is encouraging. Co-production is an important avenue through which Russian producers can tap into international financing and talent to create their film.’

Leonid Demchenko, expert jury member, Russia Representative at Eurimages: ‘Aspiring filmmakers should grasp at every chance to present their projects while they are at the development stage, especially when it comes to films with an evident international component, be it the script, the talent attached, or production requirements. Eventual cooperation with other countries allows for an expansion of distribution networks. The pitching session we have witnessed today was incredibly exciting, and it was not an easy job to select the winner.’

Lucas Rosant, pitching session moderator, producer, France: ‘The pitching was truly interesting and intense. It included projects of all genres, from drama to comedy. I have got the impression that exciting and relevant stories abound in contemporary Russia. It was wonderful to look into the Russian universe, and I am totally sure of the international potential of all these stories.’

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