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Wizart Animation studio general producer Uriy Moskvin: The interest in our feature should only grow

RAFA newsOctober 03, 2013 23:04

On the eve of the biggest international film markets MIPJUNIOR (5-6 October) and MIPCOM (7-10 October), we proudly present interviews with studio general directors, that take part at RAFA booth. Interview with Wizart Animation studio general producer Uriy Moskvin:

What lessons have you learned from the launch of Wizart Animation’s first feature animated film, The Snow Queen?

The biggest thing for us is that we’ve seen that our film is engaging audiences and has found a place among the best of independent animated pictures. Animation is universal – adults and children love it. Making content for kids is a special pleasure – their emotional response to cartoons are both positive and honest!

What are plans for TV distribution of The Snow Queen in Russian?

The premiere is scheduled on national FTA for the winter holiday New Year season.

What territories have show the greatest demand for the winter fairy tale?

As a producer working directly with distributors we really wanted to have a theatrical commitment and prove that our film could succeed at the box office. Last winter we were happy to have our partners take our feature to the cinemas. For this winter we wanted to make sure everyone had the chance to see our movie before the release of the sequel in Winter 2014, so we have a mix of theatrical and direct to TV/DVD/digital deals including the US (Walmart and Netflix look out!), France, the UK, Germany, Poland.

How do you expect Disney’s Frozen to influence the perception of The Snow Queen sequel (The Snow King)?

The Snow King is coming to cinemas nearly a year after we will see Disney’s Frozen. I think that the interest in our feature should only grow. Many fans will have seen our interpretation of the classic story of Kai, Gerda, and the now beloved troll Orm. Moreover, the sequel is not based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, but is an original script that extends the adventures of our cast and we feel sure brings value to the franchise both with the introduction of new plots and characters that are sure to appeal to the whole family.

What are you plans for licensing and merchandise on the upcoming feature?

We’ve been thrilled with the response from licensees in Russia and internationally. At this stage we have an agreement with the pan regional publishing house Egmont, who produced wonderful coloring books, story books, collections of children's games, puzzles and stickers in Russia for the release of the first feature, and is now extending the product line and rolling out a pan-European program for the sequel. We also expect to have soft toys and a number of other lines of consumer products for our next projects.

When is the release of Snow Queen 2: The Snow King?

The Russian premiere of the film is December 26, 2014, which is an ideal date for the family holidays. Christmas in Russia is Janurary 7 and pre and post New Year is the biggest time for the box office. We are in discussions with our international distribution partners and will work with them to choose the strongest dates possible territory by territory.

How has the response from international audiences been and what has surprised you?

Our style of story telling was very well received by Russian viewers, who see the heart and kindness as part of the animation traditions we have grown up with. Foreign audiences can be more critical, and this is where the influence of Hollywood majors is most strongly felt. In the end the quality of the film, the story and our success internationally speaks for itself, but it’s been a special pleasure to receive feedback from fans around the world, who wrote with touching letters, dream of becoming animators when they grow up, or discuss the story and characters with each other on forums, social networks and our Facebook page.

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