Content from Moscow across genres travels to Asia

Moscow-based companies wrapped up the 2020 edition of the largest Asian audiovisual content market Asia TV Forum & Market Online+ (ATF)

Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) recently completed its successful 2020 edition – ATF Online+. The fully digital market this year (owing to the pandemic) featured Russian delegation of 22 productions, distributors and post-production companies, 19 of them working at the joint virtual ‘Made in Moscow’ stand.

ATF Online+ gathered 3000 participants representing 1200 companies from 58 countries, including 800 content buyers.

The ‘Made in Moscow’ platform was organised under a special programme supported by the Moscow Export Center (MEC), subordinated to the Moscow Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development of the City of Moscow, in cooperation with Roskino. 

Roskino CEO Evgenia Markova said, “China remains one of the main buyers of Russian content in Asia. But, at ATF, companies expand their presence and are now discussing deals with India, Korea, Malaysia, countries of Southeast Asia. The participants presented their projects in development and in production, which allows distributors to get feedback from buyers at the early stage and adapt the product and its package to the international target audience. And it’s not only about content line-up: national participants also offered production and post-production services, sound design, content localisation, subtitling, dubbing, having reached agreements with global content producers at the market and proved the high quality of work in this sector. Our participants will be holding more negotiations this week, with over 80 meetings planned for ATF in general.”

In addition to the virtual stand, on 3 and 4 December, two content showcases from Moscow-based companies were held under the ‘Made in Moscow’ brand on the digital platform. The showcase dedicated to animation brought together nine companies from Moscow, while the second focused on the film and TV content distributors and service companies.

Moscow Export Center (MEC) CEO Alexey Kalachev added, “Despite the digital format of the event, or possibly even thanks to it, our Asian partners discovered many new projects from Moscow-based companies this year. We supported not only those companies who had already been long promoting their brands on the global market, but also the first-time participants looking for new partners in the region. It will obviously take more time to finalize foreign deals, especially with new partners. Therefore, we will be waiting for the contracts to follow ATF in early 2021. We also hope for future co-productions with Asian companies to follow.”

‘Made in Moscow’ virtual stand brought together 19 Moscow-based companies including Sreda production company, Revolution Film, Documentary Film Center, ODIN-MEDIA, R Media. Animated content was presented by Soyuzmultfilm, Wizart Animation, brand4rent, Digital Television, Parovoz studio, Agama Film, Media Basis, Open Alliance Media, and AA Studio. Post-production services were offered by Flysound, Main Road Post, Flussonic, RuFilms, and Sv-kadr.

Apart from the ‘Made in Moscow’ delegation, GPM ETV, Sovtelexport (the official distributor of the Russia Television and Radio content), animation company Riki Group and NTV also presented their projects.

Odin-Media has sold documentaries The Great North Way and Land of Bears to China. The company’s most popular documentaries- The Great North Way and Urartu. The Forgotten Kingdom was selected by a state Italian channel for putting on the 2021 broadcasting schedule – The company plans to close the deal with Italy for these projects soon. The Great North Way also received an offer from an OTT distributor from the United States and Canada.

International buyers showed great interest in Invisible Hope, and the company has begun negotiations with new partners from India, Malaysia, the Pacific, the Middle East, Germany, Belgium and France, and in the TV-show Combat Approved, which was already sold to Vietnam, Taiwan, China, Japan and USA. The company has started sales negotiations on the drama series Newbie with distributors and TV channels from China, India, Germany, as well as with the VOD platform from Nigeria.

Moreover, Odin-Media has got a commercial offer on the line-up of documentary and feature series from Serbian Distributor. TV-series Zhukov, Vlasik. The Shadow of Stalin will most likely be released next year, as well as the war drama Dzhulbars – the Soviet War Dog, the documentary series Armageddon, Hazardous World, Revolution. The Time of Great Changes, Mysteries of Space, Incredible Science and The Great Battles.

CCTV, the largest public broadcaster in China, has acquired a lineup of projects from the official Russia Television and Radio content distributor Sovtelexport. 

Among them are documentaries about World War II Victory Day, Leningrad: Day 901, Liberation, Life at War, TV shows Best Songs of 2016 and Best Songs of 2017, as well as a documentary film Up to the Sky. Sovtelexport also signed a licensing agreement on the series Ekaterina: Season 2 with China Southern Airlines, which also considers buying the sequel Ekaterina: Pretenders. The company is in the final stage of negotiations on a deal with the South Korean licensing company for the TV series And Quiet Flows the Don and is discussing the sale of digital rights for all seasons of the TV series Ekaterina with the Japanese VOD-platform Hulu.

The Fixies

During ATF Online+ Riki Group sold the rights to distribute the animated series The Fixies to PTS in Taiwan. The agreement was negotiated by a sales agent for the TV series Play Big. The series will air on PTS nationwide, PTS 3, and PTS Taigi. The company also received exclusive rights to broadcast on free television. Besides, a deal with a Hong Kong TV channel will be announced soon based on the results of the Asian market.

Soyuzmultfilm will soon announce several deals with China for a slate of animated short films and TV series Claymotions, Mr Theo, Cat & Dog, and The Adventures of Peter and Wolf. Animated series Rockoons, Claymotions, The Secrets of the Honey Hills have also aroused the interest of Asian buyers, many of them are looking forward to the premiere of the new I’ll get you! series.

Russian licensing agency brand4rent is in negotiations with Korea to show Monsikids, which has already been released in China following a deal with Beijing Joy Culture Media. brand4rent also presented the animated series Flora & Team by Klaxon Production – the project received positive reviews from buyers. Currently, the company is preparing direct deals with the platforms.

Other participants of the ‘Made in Moscow’ programme also presented their projects during ATF: Sreda production company (Kitchenblock, Crystal City, Caesar, Scenes of Married Life), Revolution Film (Run, Petropolis, Mistresses, Girls Got Game), Documentary Film Center (Sorokin Trip, After Summer, Enough!), R Media (Princess Olga and Amura), animation companies Agama Film (Fairy-Teens), Digital Television Russia (Puppies & Kittens, Leo and Tig, Bee-be-bears and Heroes of Envell), Open Alliance Media (Jinglekids, Doctor Dinosaurus, Tommy The Little Dragon, My World), Parovoz studio (Amazing Cafe, Spaceport, Tweetville, Boo the Cat and the Good Boy), Media Foundation (Sportaniya and Jumper Treasure Hunting), and AA Studio (Mystery of Haunster).

Five Russian companies presented their production services at the ATF Forum: Flysound, Main Road Post, Flussonic, Rufilms, and SV-kadr.

A sound production and post-production company for films, television, music, advertising, and promotional productions Flysound participated at ATF for the first time. International partners from South-East Asia, India, Malaysia and other countries showed their interest in the company’s services – sound design, foley, recording and mixing music at the Flysound studio.

RuFilms LLC, which provides services for content localisation, subtitling, dubbing, and others, reached preliminary agreements on establishing export-import with Brazil, China, India, Turkey and the United States.

Sv-kadr is in negotiations with two Chinese companies interested in content localisation.

The international conference also highlighted industry trends and the most popular formats in Asia. TUBI CEO Adam Levinson, BBC Studios executive VP Jon Penn, True Digital Group president Michael Gryseels and many others discussed new tendencies, features of the Asian region and shared their insights over the past year.