Russian cartoon The Snow Queen is soon to be shown internationally, with the Moscow-based computer animation company Wizart Animation selling the 2012 feature to distribution companies at this year’s Cannes film festival last week. The deal was the first ever Russian sale at the Cannes film festival, with China’s Flame Node Entertainment, Slovakia’s Itafilm and Canadian company Phase4Films among the cartoon’s buyers. The Snow Queen’s forthcoming sequel has already been bought by Flame Node, whose general director Feng Yi sees “great potential for these two films of the franchise on the Chinese market”.
Wizart’s head of international distribution Diana Yurinova noted the significance of the deal “both for Wizart Animation and the Russian film industry as a whole, since distribution of a Russian animated film in China is unusual”. The cartoon is a $7 million adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s famous fairytale of the same name, a story most recently reworked into Disney’s hit Frozen. The Snow Queen is Wizart Animation’s first feature film, with its earnings of $14 million worldwide setting the record for a Russian animated feature picture.