Timur Bekmambetov Launching Russian Distribution Company

Bazelevs Distribution could become one of the top five Russian distributors in 2011


MOSCOW -- Bazelevs, the production company of director/producer Timur Bekmambetov, is launching a new distribution company in Russia.

The first release of Bazelevs Distribution is going to be Yolki (Christmas Trees), an anthology of New Year-themed shorts, scheduled to come out on Dec. 16.

"This is an experiment, but we always do what no one else did before," Bekmambetov, who produced and co-directed Christmas Trees, said in a statement. "At some point, we realized that no distributor, unfortunately, could give our film as much time and attention as we could."

Ruslan Tatarintsev, sales and marketing director at Bazelevs, told The Hollywood Reporter that the new company will be distributing all films produced by Bazelevs, which are about three a year, as well as other local and U.S. independent fare.

"We could buy some films at the upcoming AFM," he said. "Also, we have partner relations with Summit and Lionsgate and other big indie companies, which I hope would help us to enter in international distribution and acquisitions. And we hope that other local producers may turn to us, as not all of them are happy with their existing distributors. If it works out well with independent fare, majors might also notice us." He added that the proportion of local and foreign movies distributed by the new company is expected to be roughly equal.

According to Tatarintsev, Bazelevs Distribution could make the top five Russian distributors in 2011. "Based only on the box office of two releases, Yolky and Vykrutasy (Duck'n'Dive), scheduled to come out in February, we expect to become the fifth or sixth distributor in the country," he said. "Films directed or produced by Bekmambetov have always been box office champions here."