Industry Report: Market trends
Russian film production has grown by 50% but international co-productions fell sharply
by European Audiovisual Observatory
- The Snow Queen 2 by Aleksey Tsitsilin
- The number of films produced in Russia has grown by 50% over the last five years, from 89 to 134 feature films in distribution.
- The number of co-productions with Russia, which had increased between 2011 and 2014, fell sharply in 2015, from between 24 and 32 films per year to just 13 (or from 27% to 10% of all films released in Russia)
- The international market for Russian films is still limited as two thirds of all foreign attendance is attributable to the CIS (Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus), while Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia show more Russian films than any other country outside the CIS.
These are some of the findings of a new report - Film Production and Co-Production in Russia, and the Export of Russian Films Abroad - which will be presented at a free access Russian co-production conference taking place in St. Petersburg during KINO EXPO. This brand new report takes the pulse of the Russian cinema industry and looks at its capacity to co-produce with other countries, from a quantitive and also qualitative viewpoint. Statistical analysis is completed by candid interviews with Russian professionals active in the industry.
The European Audiovisual Observatory and Nevafilm Research invite you to attend this conference and report presentation in St. Petersburg on Thursday 22nd of September from 9.00 to 12.00. Registration details for this free conference here. A free copy of the report will be distributed to all participants and a networking finger food buffet will follow the conference.
The conference will host a "from both sides now" panel discussion on international co-production with Russia. EU and Russian producers will swap experiences and best practices on co-producing with and in Russia. Full conference programme here.
1. Russian Film Production on the up and up…
Domestic film releases (2011-2015)
Thanks to the Cinema Fund's efforts to support commercial cinema, the number of films produced in Russia has grown by 50% over the last five years, from 89 to 134 feature films in distribution. While film production budgets have remained stable in rouble terms during these five years, averaging RUB 112 million, the falling national currency has brought their value in euro down significantly, making Russia a more attractive destination for foreign producers.
2. Economic instability has hampered co-production dynamism
Number of films co-produced with Russia, by production year and source of country participant data (2011-2015)
Source: Film Business Today Magazine, Booker's Bulletin, comScore, Nevafilm Research (number of films), Movie Research (average budgets)
At the same time, the number of co-productions, which had been on the up between 2011 and 2014, fell sharply in 2015, from between 24 and 32 films per year to just 13 (or from 27% to 10% of all films released in Russia). The reason for this lies in the absence of a specific state policy in support of international co-productions, as well as in the financial instability of Russian producers and their poor visibility on the global film market.
3. CIS still biggest market for Russian films
Countries ranked by average annual share of export attendance at entirely Russian-produced films and films in which Russia was a majority co-producer (2011-2015)
The export of Russian films is concentrated within the post-Soviet space where large Russian-speaking populations reside: two thirds of all foreign attendance is attributable to the CIS (Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus), while Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia show more Russian films than any other country outside the CIS. Meanwhile, film consumers in the West prefer Russian art-house films, while animation and high-budget action-adventure films enjoy popularity in Asia and Latin America, two emerging markets for domestic filmmakers. This trend is demonstrated by the top two most successful Russian-led films abroad: the two animation films The Snow Queen (Snezhnaya koroleva) and The Snow Queen 2: The Snow King (Snezhnaya koroleva 2: Perezamorozka).
The top 5 most popular Russian-led films released abroad in 2010-2015, by attendance