Roskino, Gravitas Ventures Announce VOD Collaboration to Bring Russian Films to Hulu


Roskino and Gravitas Ventures announced today the exclusive availability of twelve Russian films on the free, ad-supported Hulu and the Hulu Plus subscription service. Key titles that will release in mid November on Hulu and Hulu Plus include the internationally recognized The Edge, Bedouin, Another Sky, Spy and Paper Soldier.

As part of the arrangement, these and future Roskino titles will introduce U.S. audiences to timely, critically-acclaimed works soon after their Russian theatrical release or international film festival debut. Starting in mid November, all twelve titles will be made available on Hulu in their International Movies section.

"We are thrilled to offer new Russian cinema among Hulu's vibrant collection of great international films." said Roskino CEO Catherine Mtsitouridze. “This will mark the first time ever that a fine selection of Russian films will be available to a wider U.S. audience. It is a huge opportunity for our independent filmmakers to be exposed in such a way to the U.S. market.”

“I had the good fortune to screen many of these films while in Russia during film market DOORS, and we are thrilled to work with Roskino to introduce them to Hulu’s discerning audience,” said Nolan Gallagher, founder and CEO of Gravitas Ventures.

Roskino titles covered in the Gravitas Ventures collaboration include:
The Edge - Selected as the Russian entry for the Best Foreign Language film at the 2011 Academy Awards, The Edge takes place shortly after the end of the Second World War in the Siberian hinterland. Damaged Russians and Germans have a strange transformation: the victors seem to be crawling into the skins of the defeated. The central character is Ignat, who embodies the larger-than-life image of the victorious Soviet warrior; he proves to be shell-shocked, sick and broken, although not completely destroyed. A train becomes a fetish for the heroes of the film, and speed becomes a mania. Risking their own lives, the heroes set up a fatal race in the Siberian forest.

The Stroll – Recipient of a Golden Eagle Award from the Russian National Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences The Stroll follows a young girl and her two accidental companions walk halfway around St.-Petersburg. Flirting and teasing, they act out a real-time romantic drama. Set against a backdrop of the hustle and bustle of the streets, The Stroll is full of laughter, tears, and a mystifying secret that keeps the audience in suspense.
Atomic Ivan - From director Vasily Barkhatov, a relationship buds between two young physicists working at a nuclear power plant in a small town, which they are stationed. This story explores the new interpretation of the relationship theme between "physicists" and "lyricists."

Bedouin- Winner of the 2011 Athens Panorama of European Cinema Audience Award. In the film, Rita’s daughter is sick with leukemia. In order to obtain the money needed for a bone marrow transplant, she becomes a surrogate mother. After being drawn into the criminal world, she must escape with her daughter to the Near East of Jordan.

The Practice of Beauty - Winner of the Best Screenplay at the 2011 Kinotavr Film Festival. Synopsis: After giving up the hopes and dreams of youth, people usually settle for being pawns in the game of life. But some feel within them the power and purpose again. And they do something about it. They create. Or they steal and kill, to unimaginable scale. They travel to act in the play, go, play, fly, play, drink, fight, go, make up, drink, love, hate, live, live, play, live...

Another Sky- In this Crystal Globe nominated film directed by Dmitri Mamulia, a father and son from the Uzbek Steppe move to Moscow in search of the boy's missing mother. They are condemned to the lot of the gastarbeiter: little income and a hand-to-mouth existence. The film unfolds journalistically, documenting the lifestyle and livelihood of a man on The Edge in a foreign country that force him to communicate intuitively.

Who Wasn’t There- The story of Andrei, a middle-aged meteorologist overwhelmed by fear of his own death. Because of a palm-reading performed by a mysterious woman long ago, Andrei expects to die within the year. In a desperate attempt to change his fate, Andrei persuades a scientist working on a secret program to use him as a test subject in the procedure he is developing, however the procedure radically alters a person’s identity.

9-7-7- In this Cannes accepted film, Ivan, a young scientist, gets assigned to work in a private research, attempts to “test the harmony with algebra”; it calculates the mathematical regularities in the emotional and spiritual realms of human being. A group of people volunteer for the experiment, being put through not only scientific researching, but also through the everyday trials of friendship, love, attractions, envy, and curiosity. Thus, the scientific experience turns into a human one, and the result is unpredictable…

Moscow- Moscow, the 90s ... A city with no past and no future— a city that does not forgive mistakes. Moscow life is made up of its bohemians, criminal business, night life, easy money, excitement and confusion. During one of the regular shipments, payment disappears when given to the new guy, Mike. The situation further complicates when, on the eve of his wedding, his bride falls in love with his friend—a friend who Mike suspects of diverting the money.

Paper Soldier- Winner of the Silver Lion for Best Director at the 2008 Venice Film Festival. Kazakhstan, early 1961. Daniel Pokrovsky, a medical officer, working for the first Soviet cosmonauts' troop, finds himself in a complicated, yet tender relationship with a young girl, despite already being married. He is torn between two women who love him, and must make a difficult choice between the honor of his professional duty, and his conscience and call of the heart.

Spy- In spring of ’41 German espionage agent Wasser of the Abwehr Intelligence Service holds the Soviet State Security Commissariat by the throat. Two mavericks a boxer and an experienced spy are the NKGB’s last hope for setting things right.

For Marx- Filmed in Cherepovets, Nizhny Novgorod, Yaroslavl, and in Moscow, the film is about a clash between soviet-bred workers and wild realities of Russian capitalism.

ROSKINO is Russia’s only state-run organisation in charge of promoting Russian films internationally.
Since 1924, ROSKINO has been helping Russian filmmakers take their place in the international cinema industry. In 2014, the company will celebrate its 90th anniversary and is planning several events around the world to commemorate the occasion.

The company has been promoting Russian films at international film festivals in Cannes, Venice, Berlin and Toronto, film markets: AFM in Los Angeles, EFM in Berlin, Asian Film Market, Marché du Film and MIPCOM in Cannes, and award ceremonies such as the Oscars, Golden Globe and the European Film Academy prize. This year ROSKINO is actively supporting the award campaign for White Tiger, Russia’s official entry for the 85th Academy Awards. ROSKINO has supported the distribution of Russian films worldwide and organized DOORS, an international travelling film market aimed to promote, market and support the sale of the best of the new Russian films.

Gravitas Ventures connects independent filmmakers, producers and distribution companies to leading cable, satellite, telco and online distribution partners. Working with more than 500 content partners, Gravitas Ventures aggregates and distributes worldwide thousands of hours of feature films, documentaries, animation, alternative sports, comedy, and music concert programming.