The Russian Animated Film Association summed up the results of 2022 and outlined the development prospects for 2023
In 2023, the animation film industry and all cartoon lovers will officially celebrate April 8 for the first time – the Day of Russian Animation, approved by Presidential Decree of August 12, 2022.
On the eve of the holiday, the Russian Animated Film Association (RAFA) held an annual reporting meeting of RAFA members, at which it summed up not only 2022, but also 11 years of the Association’s activity as a whole, and also outlined the directions and prospects for the development of the animation film industry for 2023 and the coming years. Every year the composition of the participants of the RAFA meeting becomes more and more representative. The reports include information that concerns not only the animation film industry, but also the creative industries in general, the youngest and intensively developing sphere of which is animation.
The Association plans to further increase the production of animated films to replace the content of majors who have left the Russian market, import substitution of software for the animation industry (with the support of the Ministry of Finance of Russia), the adoption of a law on preferential income tax in the animation industry, export promotion of domestic animation with the support of the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, the Russian Export Center, ROSKINO, structures of the Moscow government – Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development, Agency for creative industries, Moscow Export Center.
RAFA is engaged in the development of the system of training industrial personnel in the framework of Council for Professional Qualifications in the Field of Culture based on professional standards developed by RAFA in 2018-2020.
RAFA CEO Irina Mastusova spoke about the results of the Association’s activities in 2022 – the first quarter of 2023.
Among the most important industrial events is the introduction of a new package of tax benefits for animation studios from 2023. The appearance of an official industry professional holiday – the Day of Russian Animation – is also the result of RAFA activities with the participation of the animation community.
RAFA represents the interests of the industry at all levels of government, develops the infrastructure of the industry, popularizes and promotes domestic animation in Russia and abroad, implements activities aimed at supporting the industry, including in the licensing field. In addition, the Association implements its own projects, such as “I MYSELF! Poems. Animation. Music” with the support of the Presidential Foundation for Cultural Initiatives and the Animatika festival in the Artek Sports Center (with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation), which this year will be held for the sixth time.
Representatives of almost all Russian animation studios and other members of the Association gathered in the screening building of SMF Studio, and access was also provided to RAFA members via zoom. All interested users watched the online broadcast: AAC made the meeting open to everyone.
Ilya Popov, President of RAFA, founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Riki Group of Companies, stressed that over the 11 years of its existence, the Association has become a backbone organization of the industry, which is increasing its presence in the market every year. RAFA expanded from 28 (2012) to 68 members (2022) and includes all the largest animation studios in Russia.
Ilya Popov: ‘We are engaged in many areas related to animation, lobbying the interests of the industry at all levels, in general, the development of the entire infrastructure of the industry. At the dawn of the creation of the Industry Association as such did not exist, there were many small teams and separate studios. The industrial direction began to develop precisely thanks to the activity of the Association itself.
For 11 years, both the Association and the animation film industry have shown very high growth rates: the annual volume of animation production has grown from 35 to 150 hours, the number of people in the industry has tripled and now stands at about 5,000 people.
Now the Association and its members face very big challenges, much has changed both within the industry in the country and far beyond its borders. We definitely have something to work on right now.’
Chairman of RAFA Board, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SMF JSC Juliana Slashcheva spoke about the achievements of the animation industry over the past year. An important milestone was the creation of professional standards of the industry, which an increasing number of specialized universities are guided by. One of the main directions of the Association’s work for 2023 is the development of subsidies for manufacturers of children’s goods, on which RAFA is working together with the Association of the Children’s Goods Industry and with the support of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.
An important issue is the support of the export of Russian animation content by various state structures. In the near future, meetings of the RAFA leadership with the leadership of the Russian Export Center will be held, at which measures to develop a new format of subsidies will be discussed.
The head of SMF noted the need for an industry study.
Juliana Slashcheva: ‘All creative sectors in the economy really need industry research. Previously, the animation film industry occupied a small volume and was not singled out separately. Now we are a well-established industry with such clear characteristics as All-Russian classifier of types of economic activity, professional standards, market volumes. And with the support of the state, we need to conduct appropriate monitoring.’
Ekaterina Naumova, ROSKINO CEO, spoke at the general meeting, thanking representatives of animation studios for participating in international film markets within the framework of the Russian Content Worldwide joint stand organized by ROSKINO and invited them to participate in the markets of 2023.
Ekaterina Naumova also noted that animated films enjoy constant success at the Days of the Russian cinema – Russian Film Festival abroad. According to Naumova, such screenings contribute to the growth of interest in Russian content from international film distribution companies and online platforms.
Anna Krotova, curator of export Development of the creative industries branch of Moscow Export Center, spoke about the current forms of support for the direction of creative industries from the Moscow government, about the upcoming subsidy campaign, which is planned for the second half of 2023, and about the development of the export potential of Russian animation content.
Anna Terekhova, Deputy Director of the Department of Cinematography and Digital Development of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, discussed in detail with the participants of the meeting the current issues of industry support that the Ministry is working on.