Cannes: Russian Animation Feature 'Snow Queen' Sells to China

UPDATED: Wizart Animation announces slew of market deals for the film based on the famous Hans Christian Andersen fairytale that also inspired Disney's "Frozen."

Russian animation company Wizart has sold its 2012 feature The Snow Queen and its sequel to China's Flame Node Entertainment for theatrical distribution among a slew of early deals in Cannes.

The Snow Queen, a $7 million adaptation of the famous Hans Christian Andersen fairytale that also inspired Disney hit Frozen, will be shown in Chinese cinemas by the end of the year. The Snow Queen 2 will be in cinemas next year.

"We see great potential for these two films of the franchise on the Chinese market,” said Feng Yi, general director of Flame Node. "We cannot resist the beautiful scenery, the classic story and the great animation quality, which all appeal to an international audience."

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Diana Yurinova, Wizart's head of international distribution, said: “This deal is significant for both Wizart Animation and the Russian film industry as a whole since distribution of a Russian animated film in China is unusual."

She added that China was a key target for international animation, despite the challenges of its quota system for releasing foreign content.

In other sales distribution company Suraya acquired theatrical rights to The Snow Queen in Malaysia and the Philippines, and MT Entertainment picked up another Wizart production, Sheep and Wolves, for Indonesia.

The Czech Republic and Slovakia are among the European countries, for which theatrical release agreements have also been signed.The Snow Queen went to ITAFILM.

TV rights have also been sold for The Snow Queen in French-speaking Canada to Phase 4 Films.

Another Russian film, Yuri Bykov's The Major, which premiered in Critics Week at last year's Cannes, is still doing mileage on the Croisette: Berlin's M-Appeal has sold the psychological thriller about a cop that kills a kids in a road accident to Nachshon Films, Israel and The Netherlands' EYE FIlm Institute for it archive collection of 'previously unreleased' movies.