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The Ministry of Economic Development and the Russian Export Center (REC) are launching a new program – companies are compensated for the costs of adapting products for foreign markets, which, in addition to marketing promotion, includes translation and duplication. Moreover, companies will be advised of expenses – up to 80% of the estimated costs.

The program provides for strict KPIs – 1 ruble of budgetary funds should bring at least 3 rubles of export earnings for audiovisual companies and at least 5 rubles for IT companies. A total of 300 million rubles were allocated to support the companies.

Content adaptation costs a separate line of expenses for animation companies. It is impossible to advance on the world market without translation into foreign languages ​​and “adjustment” of cartoons to the cultural characteristics of the audience of different countries. “For example, for the USA we are working on creating a separate song based on the animated series,” says Svetlana Barabanshchikova, a representative of the CTB film company (founder of the Melnitsa studio). Over the past four years, 0 + Media has adapted 10 animation projects in more than eight different languages, which allowed them to sell content to many countries around the world, including on the Netflix platform.

The studio’s new compensation programs have been waiting for a long time. Without state support, animation would not have been able to release such a volume of content and present it so widely in major international markets.

Cartoons produced in Russia are now bought in Europe, the USA, China, Canada and many other countries. Until 10 years ago, Russian animation was practically unknown to anyone. In 2011, sales of Russian audiovisual content abroad were practically zero, and already in 2016, only cartoons were sold for 2.5 billion rubles. It is estimated that the volume of exports of animation could approach a billion dollars (more than 75 billion rubles). “These data are difficult to confirm officially, since, unfortunately, companies have not yet fully realized the importance of sharing this information with those from whom they ask for help,” notes Evgenia Danilchenko, head of the REC’s creative industries export support department.

In 2016, the series “Mimimishki” made a breakthrough: having entered one of the video streaming platforms in China, it collected 6 million views in the first three days of broadcast. Later, the world recognized our “Smeshariki”, “Fixies”, “Masha and the Bear”. The Snow Queen franchise was sold in 150 countries. In January, “Luntik and Friends” began airing on the Chinese children’s television channel CCTV Kids. He not only bought out 513 episodes at once, but also put the cartoon in prime time. Later, the Melnitsa studio (the creator of the series) signed a contract with a Hollywood company to promote the series in the United States, Canada and Latin America.

Our animation now accounts for 1% of the total world market. By 2022, the figure will triple.

This is only a small fraction of those cartoons that are now being produced in Russia and going abroad. The studios have revised their strategies and understood how to properly promote the product, according to REC. “Almost all serial projects that are currently being launched in Russia are made with the expectation of international distribution,” says Alexander Sablukov, CEO of 0+ Media (Digital Television holding). For this, foreign producers and screenwriters are involved at an early stage to help adapt the product.

Our animation now accounts for 1% of the total world market. By 2022, it is planned to triple this figure. Even the pandemic did not affect the success of Russian cartoons. “Our industry very quickly and smoothly switched to remote work,” says Irina Mastusova, executive director of the Association for Animated Films (AAK). However, the coronavirus triggered the growth of digital platforms, and the demand for animated content has only increased.

The production of cartoons is a long and expensive process. 20-40 people can work on one episode of a series. The production of one series in 3D CGI (hyperrealistic computer graphics) technology takes three months from writing a script to mixing sound, says Svetlana Barabanshchikova. A full-length cartoon is created from 1.5 to 3 years, and the team consists of 100-200 people. The budget of a product can reach $ 5-6 million. Abroad, the amount can be $ 20 million, and in Hollywood, even $ 80.

Additional funds are required for promotion. “To work in foreign markets, our companies need not only a good product, but also good sellers. The more the foreign market is interested in the company’s products, the more qualified employees are needed in the staff. These are sellers speaking different languages, and international lawyers, and, of course, marketers who understand the foreign market, “says Danilchenko. The state has launched a program to support exporters of audiovisual content (movies, cartoons, video games) within the framework of the international cooperation and export national project. For example, they are helped to present animated films at exhibitions and film festivals.

Source: Russian newspaper

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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