Russia’s Key Buyers Event: Digital Edition, a virtual follow-up to last year’s inaugural initiative hosted by national promotional body Roskino, has unveiled a program featuring new Russian works and a host of local and international speakers.
Running June 8-15, the event will showcase more than 300 Russian projects to international buyers, including films, drama series, animation and non-scripted formats, encompassing many of the countries top companies and talent. Involved are new works from Russian major Art Pictures, which as Deadline revealed will be shopping a doc about celebrated filmmaker Sergei Bondarchuk, Central Partnership’s drama Chernobyl: Abyss, which will show footage, and Timur Bekmambetov’s V2. Escape from Hell, which Deadline broke the news on earlier this year.
The market says it will feature buyers and producers from more than 40 countries and has signed up RTL, AMC Networks, Mars CGV, Wild Bunch, Beta Film, Koch Media, and Iqiyi to date.
A program of panels will be hosted with speakers including noted Russian executives such as filmmaker Timur Bekmembetov, producer and Art Pictures founder Fedor Bondarchuk, and Vadim Vereshchagin, CEO of Central Partnership. International speakers include Pierre Sissmann, CEO of Cyber Group Studios, Richard Rowe, Director of International Acquisitions & Co-Productions at Wildbrain, and Yan Li, CEO at Beijing Joy Culture Media Co.
Deadline is hosting panels on topics including Russia’s international collaborations and the emergence of the ‘Screenlife’ format. Industry professionals can sign up through the market’s official website to take part.
There will also be a co-production market with pitching sessions highlighting more than 90 work-in-progress projects.
The event comes ahead of the Cannes virtual markets, which Deadline profiled here. Those, like the Russian showcase, have been set up in response to the cancellation of the physical Cannes festival and market this year due to coronavirus.
The Key Buyers Event: Digital Edition is being backed by Russia’s Ministry of Culture and the Moscow Government. Roskino has been making a concerted push, including working with international PR firms, to increase the territory’s prominence in the international film biz over the last 12 months.
“Such a national virtual market is unprecedented, and it is exciting to be the pioneers,” said Evgenia Markova, CEO of Roskino. “For eight days, The Key Buyers Event: Digital Edition has been designed to facilitate networking, inspiring discussions and screenings that showcase the diverse landscape of Russian content inclusive of films, series, animations, and documentaries, and to promote Russian talent around the world. During these challenging times, we are adapting to champion our filmmakers to give them every opportunity to engage in global exchange through the virtual market, which is possible with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Moscow Government.”