AFM: Russian Distributor Arna Media Stocks Up With ‘Awful Auntie,’ ‘Duchess of Malfi’ (Exclusive)


Arna Media, the new Russian distribution company launched by Capella Film executive Nadezda Motina, has stocked up on new features ahead of its official launch next year.

Motina signed deals for multiple pre-sales titles at last week’s American Film Market, picking up rights across Russia and the CIS territories for Awful Auntie, a children’s book adaptation starring Rosamund Pike (I Care a Lot) and Chloe Coleman (Big Little Lies); period drama The Duchess of Malfi featuring Sam Riley (Control), Dominic Cooper (Mamma Mia!) and Morfydd Clark (Saint Maud); and monster movie The Black Demon, starring Josh Lucas (The Deep End).

Arna also secured Russian and CIS rights for Maigret, a French animated feature from director Patrice Leconte (Girl on the Bridge), featuring the voice talents of French star Gérard Depardieu. Montina said she is currently also in negotiations on other pre-sale projects.

Arna plans to theatrically release 12 titles a year in Russia starting from 2022. The new company will kick off its slate with features including Lionsgate’s Good Luck to You, Leo Grande starring Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack, Park Chan-Wook’s crime drama Decision to Leave, the Gemma Arterton-starrer Enter the Dragons, Not Bloody Likely featuring Pierce Brosnan and Helena Bonham Carter, as well as Oliver Stone’s new documentary JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass.

Russia reopened its cinemas in the summer of 2020 after the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and has not shut them since. Infection rates across the country are spiking, however, leading to fears that Russia could be heading towards a winter lockdown. The government implemented a nationwide mandatory paid holiday aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, but that came to an end on Monday.

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