Melnitsa Animation Studio

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Melnitsa Animation Studio
Industry Animation
Motion pictures
Founded 1999
Headquarters Saint Petersburg, Russia
Products Animated films
Website www.melnitsa.com

Melnitsa Animation Studio (Russian: Студия анимационного кино «Мельница», "melnitsa" meaning "windmill") is a Saint Petersburg-based Russian studio which produces animated films. There is also a section of the studio devoted to digital special effects for the use of its own projects as well as for live-action films.

Its first animated projects were television commercials, the short film Die Hard by Konstantin Bronzit (Grand Prix of the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, 1998), and work for "Poseidon Film Distributors Ltd" (the animated series "Global Bears Rescue" and "Technology")

In 1999 the animation studio "Melnitsa" was established, with funding from "Midi-Cinema" (Миди-Синема) and the film company STV (СТВ). Its first project was The Adventures in Emerald City (Приключения в Изумрудном Городе) for NTV-film (НТВ-кино); it was a four-part animation released in 2000.

In 2001 Melnitsa released its first 3D-animated project - the short film Good Morning (С добрым утром) by Denis Chernov.

In 2002 Melnitsa released two short films by the famous animator and director Konstantin Bronzit: There Was an Old Lady for Scholastic Entertainment and the 3D-animated film The God (winner of numerous international festival awards).

In 2000, Melnitsa had started work on the feature-length animated film Little Longnose (Карлик Нос) directed by Ilya Maksimov, based on the fairy tale of Wilhelm Hauff. The film premiered on March 20, 2003. It was advertised as "the first Russian animated feature film released to theatres in 40 years", though it is unclear if this was really true.

On December 23, 2004, the feature film Alyosha Popovich and Tugarin Zmey (Алёша Попович и Тугарин Змей) was released, directed by Konstantin Bronzit. It was done in record time and for a very modest budget - work on the film took only a little longer than a year and it cost around $300,000. The film gathered about $1.7 million at the box office. This marked the beginning of Melnitsa's "3 Bogatyrs" trilogy, and two more films were planned for the next few years.

On January 2005, at the 10th Open Russian Festival of Animated Film in Suzdal, the new short film by Konstantin Bronzit premiered, called Cat and Fox (Кот и Лиса). Work on it had been finished in November 2004. Bronzit's film, based on a national Russian tale, was part of the huge government-sponsored project by Moscow-based Pilot studio called "Gora Samotsvetov" (Гора самоцветов)[1]. The project, when complete, will consist of 52 13-minute films based on fairy tales from all of Russia's nationalities.

On March 15, 2006, the second film in the "3 Bogatyrs" trilogy was released, called Dobrynya Nikitich and Zmey Gorynych (Добрыня Никитич и Змей Горыныч), directed by Ilya Maksimov. It came on the heels of the much more serious animated blockbuster Prince Vladimir, which was released on February 22.

The third film in the trilogy, Ilya Muromets and Nightingale the Robber (Илья Муромец и Соловей Разбойник), was released on July 7, 2007.

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