More than 60 projects – feature films, TV series, documentaries, and animation – are being presented by Russian companies at the TIFFCOM international content market from October 25 to 27, as part of the 36th Tokyo International Film Festival. For the Russian film industry, this will be the first large-scale offline participation in one of the largest Asian content markets. Thirteen companies will be represented at the Russian Content Worldwide (RCW) stand, organized by ROSKINO.
International content buyers will have the chance to get to know Russian projects in different genres: including adventure films, family fairytales, thrillers, historical series, cartoons and animated series for all ages, and documentaries about space, the environment protection, and wildlife.
Among the latest new releases from 2023 being presented at TIFFCOM are the large-scale space drama The Challenge, part of which was filmed on the ISS; the family film Chebi: My Fluffy Friend, the highest-grossing Russian film; the adventure film Lord of the Wind about the round-the-world hot-air balloon flight of the world-famous explorer Fyodor Konyukhov; the disaster film Three Minutes of Silence about a fishing boat caught in a storm; the series Ballet; the new season of the historical saga about Catherine the Great, Ekaterina. Favorites; the mysterious thriller about the dangers of the night city Centaur; the family fairytale The Wish of the Fairy Fish; and many others.
International distributors will also be able to learn about promising projects planned for release in 2024. These include the adventure film Guest from the Future; the adventure film Red Silk (a Russia-China co-production) and the comedy, Vasiliy (a Russia-Mexico co-production).
Almost a third of the projects are animated films and TV series. Among the key projects is The Snow Queen & The Princess, the fifth part of the Snow Queen franchise, which Japanese viewers are already familiar with; the full-length animated films Detective Chirp & the Golden Beehive, Finnick, and Moonzy.Homecoming, and the animated series I’ll get you!, Beadies, and more.
In 2022, ROSKINO organized online participation in the TIFFCOM market for Russian companies, which resulted in a number of deals. This year, Russian companies are counting on closer interaction and more successful negotiations in the offline format.
The Russian presence will also be noticeable at the 36th Tokyo International Film Festival, within which the TIFFCOM market is taking place. The new drama Air, directed by Alexei German Jr. will be presented in the Main Competition and will have its world premiere at the festival.
RUSSIAN FILMS AND SERIES AT TIFFCOM 2023
The largest Russian producer and distributor of content, Central Partnership International, which entered into deals with China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Mongolia this year, expects that offline participation in the Japanese market will help establish new connections. In the TIFCCOM market, Central Partnership is confident of the success of the space drama The Challenge (the second highest-grossing film at the Russian box office in 2023); the adventure blockbuster Lord of the Wind, the thriller Syndrome, and the adventure film Guest from the Future. The company notes that the TIFFCOM market will include representatives from East and Southeast Asia, many of whom have not participated in large Western markets since the pandemic, so TIFFCOM will be an important platform for strengthening business ties in the region.
Art Pictures Distribution is counting on the success of two new international projects: the Russian-Chinese co-production Red Silk, an adventure detective story about the congress of the Chinese Communist Party in the Moscow region in 1928, and the Russian-Mexican comedy Vasiliy. Following last year’s TIFFCOM, the company concluded three deals and hopes for a productive market this year. Art Pictures Distribution is actively working with Asian countries: a sci- fi thriller about cyberspace Reversible Reality was sold to China, and a deal with South Korea for another film is currently being negotiated.
CTB Film Company plans to present a range of content at TIFFCOM 2023, including the fairytale The Wish of the Fairy Fish, the disaster drama Three Minutes of Silence, and the full-length animated films Moonzy. Homecoming, The Barkers—Team, and much more. CTB has been cooperating with Japanese companies for many years and recent releases there include the feature films Upon the Magic Roads and Cosmoball.
The highest-grossing Russian film, the family comedy Chebi: My Fluffy Friend about the adventures of the beloved cartoon character, also popular in Japan, will be presented by All Media (a START company). The company will also present the series Container, The Vampires of Midland and other projects.
The official distributor of Russia Television and Radio, Sovteleexport, will present the large-scale historical drama Chaliapin; the premiere project and fourth season of the historical saga about Catherine the Great, Ekaterina: Favorites; popular documentaries about space; and a series of historical documentaries. The company noted that Japan is a relatively new market for them and one of strategic importance. Exploring the needs of this region face-to-face at TIFFCOM 2023 promises to be effective. This year, a number of the company’s projects were sold to Asian countries: the films Elsa’s Land, We are from the Future, and Kandahar will be screened in India and Vietnam.
ODIN-MEDIA, in its first offline market in Japan, is betting on high-quality documentaries about space (Mysteries of Space), history (Mysteries of History), and environmental protection (a unique international project about the fight against garbage collapse called Invisible Hope). These are the topics that content buyers from Japan, China, Thailand, and South Korea have shown interest in. In addition, a new season of the mystical thriller Psychic and a 16-episode historical drama Margarita Nazarova: The Queen of Tigers – dedicated to the most famous tiger tamer in the Soviet Union – will be presented. In 2022, based on the results of participation in TIFFCOM 2022, cooperation began with the distributor AV Jet and the Cai Chang TV channel. In September 2023, agreements were reached on a new package deal with The Defense Channel from Vietnam.
Planeta Inform Film Distribution is participating in the Japanese film market for the first time and is seeking opportunities for cooperation in the distribution and sale of content. The company’s main bet at TIFFCOM 2023 is on the latest content from its catalog: the fantasy drama Anna’s Feelings, the thriller Centaur, the adventure drama Lost in the North and the military action film Wings Above Berlin. This year the company has already made deals with South Korea and Vietnam, and a number of projects are also under discussion with distributors in the region.
The projects from K’Levafilm at the TIFFCOM market include two thrillers: Zoskina’ Gazstation and FIZFAK (Physics Faculty), and the comedy One Chance.
RUSSIAN ANIMATION AT TIFFCOM 2023
SMF Animation will present a whole range of animated series and films for different ages from preschool to adolescence. This is an animated film Detective Chirp & the Golden Beehive and the animated series Rockoons, Monsikids, The Secrets of Honey Hills, I’ll get you! Holidays, and The Adventures of Peter and Wolf. As the company noted, Russia and Japan have a long-standing relationship in the field of animation. Today, SMF Animation continues its work with Japanese companies and intends to cement promising partnerships at the TIFFCOM market. Following the results of last year’s TIFFCOM, SMF concluded several deals to distribute the animated series Monsikids in Malaysia and Brunei, and also sold media rights to the animated series Captain Kraken in Hong Kong and Macau. This year, deals were concluded with Vietnamese partners (animated series I’ll get you! Holidays and Rockoons) and Thailand (Monsikids).
This year at TIFFCOM, Voronezh Animation Studio is presenting the fifth part of the Snow Queen franchise: The Snow Queen & The Princess, which was previously sold to Mongolia, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, and China. Japanese viewers are already familiar with this animated series as the previous installments The Snow Queen 3: Fire and Ice and The Snow Queen: Mirrorlands were shown in Japan. International representatives will get to know the new project, The Steel Family: Brotherhood vs Gold, for teenage audiences and a feature film in development Arctic Heroes, for which the company is ready to negotiate on co-production. According to studio representatives, it is very important for them that the content of the TIFFCOM market has expanded to include animation and new media.
Platoshka Animation Studio is presenting Asian buyers the educational musical animated series Beadies for children under 4, created with the participation of child development experts. The animated series has already entered foreign markets—Platoshka has concluded an agreement with the large Chinese media holding Uyoung. In addition, Beadies is already in Malaysia and will soon appear in Japan. Platoshka intends to expand its presence in the southeast Asian region and enter into new partnerships for the development of its flagship project.
Riki Group will present a number of animated series The Fixies, Tina and Tony, Beardy Bodo, Babyriki, and the full-length animated film Finnick.