Historical series and animation from Russia are among the main preferences of MENA distributors
The Russian film industry summarized the results of participation in the DISCOP Dubai television content market, which took place from May 17 to 19. Representatives from the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, India, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon showed the greatest interest in Russian content; at the top were animated series and historical and drama series.
In total, Russian companies participated in more than 200 sales and co-production meetings with distributors, TV channels and VOD platforms. Twelve Russian producers of films, series and animations were presented on the Russian Content Worldwide (RCW) stand, organized by ROSKINO, the Russian film promotion body, with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. Some companies also presented their projects as part of the catalog.
Inna Shalyto, CEO of ROSKINO said: “The DISCOP market in Dubai confirmed the prospect of further work with the Middle East and North Africa, but also with India, whose representatives are also actively involved in the markets. of content in the Middle East and showed great interest. multilateral cooperation with the Russian film industry. Having participated in two major events in the United Arab Emirates – in November 2021 at Dubai International Content Market (DICM) and in May DISCOP Dubai – there is already an understanding of trends in this region, audience needs and content specifics; and important business contacts with key players have been identified. ROSKINO heads east; within the framework of DISCOP Dubai, the Russian industry received invitations to several other international film markets. We are also in dialogue with the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, India and other countries.
Vodorod Pictures has revealed that preliminary negotiations have taken place with companies in the United Arab Emirates regarding the sale of the digital rights to the biographical drama Lord of the Wind in the MENA region. The film is dedicated to the 11-day flight around the world of the Russian traveler Fyodor Konyukhov in a hot air balloon. In the title role is a famous Russian actor and director Fyodor Bondarchuk, who was also one of the producers. Art Pictures Studio and Vodorod Pictures are engaged in the production. In addition, the guidelines for co-production were defined at DISCOP Dubai.
CTB Film Company has entered into preliminary agreements on the sale of feature films and series produced by the company over the past 15 years. The CTB also continues its fruitful cooperation with the Arab company Front Row, which has acquired the rights to the musical animation feature film The Barkers Team and the cartoon Marakuda in the MENA region; the deal was closed by CTB’s commercial agent, Luminescence. BTC representatives said more than 20 meetings were held over three days with buyers, TV channels and VOD platforms from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, from Israel, Singapore and India. The company also said that in 2022, MENA will release the action movie Infiltration whose rights were previously acquired by NSTAR.
Online cinema representatives, IVI, who participated in the RCW stand for the first time in the MENA region, spoke of the great interest of Turkish, Indian, UAE and Pakistani companies in the Tenderness series. International representatives noted that the series had “a deep beautiful aesthetic enjoyment”. Buyers were also drawn to the action comedy Welcome back!. The company held more than 30 market meetings: with Indian entertainment channel Zee TV, Abu Dhabi Media, Shahid TV, Pakistani TV channels, Inter Media (Turkey), Colinos (Turkey) and others. IVI representatives have noted buyers’ requests for long-form series (drama and history) with Arabic dubbing. Online cinema is also negotiating co-productions with Turkey.
Sovtelexport, the official content distributor of Russian television and radio, noted that the main interest of buyers was in a new historical project – the adventure drama Elizaveta about the fate of Peter the Great’s maiden, who was destined to become a great Russian empress. Proposals have been received to license the Ekaterina historical series. The Suitors and the drama The Son. The feature film Elsa’s Land interested representatives of several digital platforms. Streaming service Noor Play is considering acquiring multi-episode drama Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes. MENA TV viewers are already familiar with the film adaptation of the novel of the same name: the project has already been broadcast on several television channels and has been included in the catalog of the first VOD platform in the region. Market participants did not ignore documentaries from the catalog of Russian television and radio – the Turkish distributor confirmed its interest in Kursk, Salyut-7 and The Great Unknown War.
START showcased some of the most successful projects. The greatest interest from local actors, especially platforms and streaming channels, was in the comedy series Ms Sweet, which focuses on family values important to countries in the region, as well as the second season of the mystical drama. Passengers series, which premiered at the DISCOP Dubai TV market. The latter appealed to local buyers not only as a finished product, but also as a format for adaptation to the local market. It fits perfectly into the current trend of horizontal-vertical narrative structure, where each episode is a complete story, but at the same time there is a common plot that runs through the entire series. Meanwhile, distributors in the MENA region noted action drama Kris+Tina and psychological thriller Mediator, which are currently in negotiations. In total, the START video service held more than 30 meetings with businesses in the region.
Buyers from the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Jordan, India, Pakistan and other countries in the region have shown strong interest in the film catalog of All Media (a START company). The most interesting projects for buyers were the family fantasy Red Riding Hood, the original thriller from START Behind Closed Doors, the drama The Riot and the company’s animated projects. All media held about 15 meetings, including meetings with production companies from India, Turkey, UAE and Saudi Arabia interested in cooperation and co-production of content.
Russkoe Film Company premiered its new 12-episode crime drama The Cruel World of Men which centers on a successful young financier who becomes the victim of a financial scam. The meetings were held with representatives from Lebanon, Pakistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
Kinopoisk presented the Patient Zero series (with Sreda Production), which chronicles the first major HIV epidemic in the USSR. They also featured an Aeterna historical fantasy. Part 1.
SMF Animation presented animated series at DISCOP Dubai: Secrets of the Honey Hills, The Adventures of Peter and Wolf, Claymotions, Monsikids and Mr Theo, Cat and Dog. The company said there are about 50 OTT platforms in the MENA region that want to expand their libraries for children and families, and now is the best time to discuss selling media rights, creating joint projects and localization of existing projects. The studio held meetings with Abu Dhabi Media (UAE), OSN (UAE), Hilal Play, KEDOO (UAE), Zoland Animation (China) and others.
Animation studio Platoshka presented the animated series The Beadies at the DISCOP market for the 0-5 year old audience. The series with elements of edutainment entertainment has attracted interest from Turkish and Arabic channels, OTT sites and distributors, and the first potential offerings in the MENA region have been described.
Digital Television Russia presented four animation projects produced by the Parovoz animation studio: Puppies & Kittens, Be-Be-Bears, Leo and Tig and Fantasy Patrol. Companies from the United Arab Emirates, India, Pakistan, Israel and Armenia have expressed interest. Numerous meetings took place with TV broadcasters, digital platforms, representatives of companies involved in the production and distribution of e-books, as well as film distributors. Digital Television wishes the outcome of the negotiations and the launch of the projects.
Riki Group presented its popular animated series The Fixies, Tim and Tom, Babyriki, Beardy Bodo, and the feature film Finnick, negotiations are underway on these projects.
Central Partnership, Art Pictures Distribution, Mars Media Entertainment, 1-2-3 Production, Russian World Vision, KION, Odin-Media, Igmar, Sreda production, Rock Films, TV Channel Five, NTV Broadcasting company, Kinoland, PRAD-media, and Parovoz Animation studio all showcased their projects in the market catalog.
Roskino’s Russian Content Worldwide (https://rcw.online/) is an umbrella export brand for the Russian content industry. The mission of Russian Content Worldwide is to foster international collaboration and cooperation, to improve the transparency of the Russian film industry and to establish communication between Russian actors focused on international markets and international audiences interested in new names, original content and new horizons in the field of film production.