Russia's 'Yolki' Film Franchise to Go International

Timur Bekmambetov - H 2015
Courtesy of Bazelevs

Germany's Getaway Pictures, South Korea's SCS Entertainment and Mexico's Traziende Films are on board for the fifth installment of the hit film series from Timur Bekmambetov's company.

Timur Bekmambetov's Russian production company Bazelevs has announced an international version of its popular local holiday-season franchise Yolki (Christmas Trees), which will mark the fifth film in the franchise.

“The Yolki films have been incredibly well-received and what I really love about this project is its international nature, not just the theme of the movie but the actual production and distribution of it," Bekmambetov said. "We’re looking forward to other countries joining us on this cinematic adventure."

So far, Germany, South Korea and Mexico have signed on. Getaway Pictures, an independent film production and financing company based in Berlin, will handle Germany. SCS Entertainment and Traziende Films will represent South Korea and Mexico, respectively.

Set in several Russian cities around the New Year's holiday period, with stories of several sets of characters interweaving, the Yolki franchise has been one of the most commercially successful local projects of recent years.

The franchise's first film was released in December 2010, followed by Yolki 2 in 2011, Yolki 3 in 2013 and Yolki 1914 in 2014.

The fifth installment is set to consist of six segments. Each will be shot in a different country in the local language and dubbed for international release. Each production entity will handle distribution in its local territory. The film is expected to go into production in early 2016.

Bekmambetov is currently in post-production on Ben-Hur, which he directed for MGM/Paramount.