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World Screen Newsflash

March 16, 2021


SMF Studio Brings Rich History to Modern Animations

This year, the oldest Russian animation studio, Soyuzmultfilm (SMF Studio), is celebrating its 85th anniversary. The studio has released about 1,500 animated movies, which have become embedded in the history of Russian culture and have been recognized internationally with awards.

"Our mission today is to unite different generations that grew up or are growing up watching SMF's films, different animation techniques and technologies, commercial companies and state offices, within the country and in different Russian-speaking countries of the former Soviet Union," says Yuliana Slashcheva, chairman of the board of SMF Studio and chairman of the board of the Russian Animated Film Association. "That is why the studio is developing in many areas and is open for cooperation with both national and foreign studios and production companies. We have vast experience, traditions and creative potential ***Image***that we started to successfully realize thanks to bringing in strategic investors and partners all over the world."

SMF Studio is one of the few studios working in all existing animation techniques, Slashcheva explains. "We are preserving puppet animation, clay animation, hand-drawn animation and various kinds of cutouts. These techniques were developed in our studio, and it's important to us to preserve and develop them in the modern world." The film studio also produces high-tech 3D projects and is actively experimenting with new technologies. For example, its new detective show The Secrets of Honey Hills is produced with the Unreal Engine developed by Epic Games.

Slashcheva says there's a special creative environment that has formed in the studio from the synergy of these various styles. "Two years ago, SMF Studio got a new status: it became a technology park, which means that we, as a major company, unite several more companies under our roof. Each of them is special and contributes to the creative atmosphere. Also, thanks to a cooperation with Sberbank and their investment, we are able to expand the scope of producing new content and do many creative projects together."

SMF Studio is involved in content distribution for its vast portfolio consisting of the Golden Collection and new IP. Its films have been sold across more than 50 countries for broadcast or streaming, including France, the U.K., Israel, China, Indonesia, Latin America and many others. SMF Studio has series, full animated features and short films for different age groups, some of which are based on classic franchises that are already beloved by audiences. This year, the company is presenting its new animated series for Meow Magic and I'll Get You! Holidays, a reboot of the popular Soviet animated films. The latter is made in a non-dialogue comedy genre. "We kept the characters from the classic version and the main story element of the chase; however, as our series is intended for modern kids, we created it in 3D with relevant music and locations," Slashcheva says.

Another new animated series from SMF Studio is Rockoons, a preschool show filled with music. Slashcheva says that music provides "huge potential when it comes to kids' development, and in every episode, our charming characters, each of whom personifies one of the musical notes, will perform songs in totally different genres—from folk tunes to rock 'n' roll."

The Secrets of Honey Hills is an animated crime show in which detective Sophie the Owl and her partner Chirp the Squirrel investigate mysterious events in a magical town. "This visually colorful and picturesque 3D show is produced by our studio based on a video game engine," Slashcheva adds. "The Secrets of Honey Hills' animated universe inspired our authors and audience so much that this year we are also offering a full feature detective film called The Golden Beehive for international distribution."

Each year, the number of SMF Studio films in the international market grows. The company already has 43 IPs in production—series, full feature films and short films. Three of these are co-produced with international companies, which is another crucial area of focus for SMF Studio. The 2D animated preschool series Orange Moo Cow and Squared Zebra are co-produced with Cyber Group Studios. The series Aliens in My Backpack, about environmental issues, is co-produced with Toonz Media Group.

Persevering through the pandemic, SMF Studio achieved more goals than initially planned in the last year. "Demand for animated content increased drastically," Slashcheva says. "The three biggest Russian online platforms—Okko, Premier and KinoPoisk—bought our studio collection. We are pleased that the audience has a chance to see not only our famous films but also rare ones that got international awards. It's a unique opportunity to get to know masterpieces that have been waiting for their audience for many years. Also, the limitations [brought about by Covid-19] boosted the educational direction development in our film studio." The company created a range of educational programs for animation and launched online education programs together with one of the most prominent private colleges in Russia.

"SMF Studio is open to various ways of cooperation, not only in terms of production but also in educational projects, offline activities, relevant technologies development in animation and allied creative industries," Slashcheva says. "But one of the most important tasks is to strengthen our position in the international market through productive cooperation with our partners. Given our rich author school, experienced management and the energy that we are all putting right now into the oldest Russian film studio development, I think in the nearest future Russia will take its place in the top ten of the world market leaders."

See SMF Studio’s Winter 2021 Showcase here.

More from SMF Studio


***Video***(Kids 2-4, 52x7 min.) Seven playful raccoons representing seven musical notes perform different musical gigs using things in unusual ways.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

Meow Magic

***Video***(Kids 5-7, 52x7 min.) A fun, mischievous 6-year-old girl meets a magic cat who can make two wishes a day come true.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

Mr.Theo, Cat & Dog

***Video***(Kids 6-8, 52x6.5 min.) Follows the everyday life of an intelligent boy, Mr.Theo, who manages the household in a village with the help of Sailor the Cat and Mutt the Dog.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

I'll Get You! Holidays

***Video***(Kids 6-8, 52x7 min.) A reboot of one of the most popular shows about Wolf chasing Hare like mad! While the locations and adventures are brand new, the fun and sly humor haven’t changed. Coming soon.


***Video***(Kids 8-10, 26x11 min.) The first superhero team of the galaxy is on the mission of protecting civilians from the forces of Evil.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

The Adventures of Peter and Wolf

***Video***(Kids 9-11, 52x11 min.) Peter, a geeky and rather timid schoolboy, has an unusual friend: the talking Wolf who travels to the parallel universe inhabited by folk characters and solves their problems.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

Captain Kraken & His Crew

***Video***(Kids 5-7, 26x7 min.) An under-the-sea comedy about the daily adventures of Captain Kraken and his grandchildren Flip the Fish, Sue the Jellyfish and Quack the Sea Duck.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

The Secrets of Honey Hills

***Video***(Kids 5-7, 52x7 min.) Genius detective Sophie together with her young assistant Chirp solves exciting mysteries. Funny but simple detective stories that help develop logical thinking for kids.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com


***Video***(Kids 2-4, 52x2.5 min.) Seven lovely clay characters can transform into anything they like in this fun edutainment series that widens children's knowledge.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

Pirate School

***Video***(Kids 8-10, 13x11 min.) Three best friends attend the school of pirates. Each episode, they get themselves into comical situations and manage to handle conflicts with humor, bravery and disarming childlike frankness.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

Visit SMF Studio’s Screening Room

SMF Studio Contacts: Yuliana Slashcheva, Chairman of the Board; Boris Mashkovtsev, Director; Yulia Osetinskaya, General Producer; Vladimir Chibisov, Commercial Director; Tatiana Melnikova, Marketing Director; Valeria Korotina, Head, International Business Development and Sales; Valeria Zaitseva, International Sales Manager.


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