Grindstone Grabs North American Rights to Russian Animated Adventure ‘My Sweet Monster’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Grindstone Entertainment Group, which has a distribution partnership with Lionsgate, has acquired North American rights to the Russian animated adventure “My Sweet Monster,” which is scheduled to be released theatrically in Russia by Sony Pictures on Dec. 9.

Worldwide rights are handled by the sales outfit Luminescence, which screened the film for international buyers earlier this year at the Key Buyers Event organized by Russian film promotion body Roskino, and will also screen it during Rome’s MIA market (Oct. 13-17).

The announcement was made by Grindstone president and CEO Barry Brooker, Grindstone partner Stan Wertlieb, and Juraj Barabas, managing director of Luminescence.

Directed by Viktor Glukhushin and produced by Academy Award-nominated producer Sergey Selyanov (Netflix’s “Secret Magic Control Agency,” “Sheep and Wolves”), “My Sweet Monster” tells the story of rebellious teenage Princess Barbara, who escapes the palace and joins forces with two forest bandits to find the charming Prince, stop the sleazy Bandy Joyce from taking over the kingdom, and restore order.

Grindstone will release the film in April 2022.

“‘My Sweet Monster’ is a unique, fun, heartwarming fairy tale about love, family, and conflict between civilization and nature,” said Barabas. “We are very honored and pleased to expand our collaboration with Barry and Stan at Grindstone.”

“We are very happy that our movie will be released in different parts of the world. It is a modern adventure with a strong ecological message that is very important nowadays, and at the same time, it is a beautiful eternal story of true love,” added Selyanov, producer and CEO of CTB Film Company.

“‘My Sweet Monster’ is a warm and beautifully animated feature for children of all ages and for families to enjoy together,” said Wertlieb. “Grindstone is so pleased to continue our ongoing working relationship with Juraj and his team at Luminescence. Bringing high-quality animation with heartwarming stories is our common goal.”

In addition to North America, deals have closed in U.K. (Dazzler), France (Koba), Benelux (DFW), Scandinavia (Scanbox), Spain (Big Picture), Portugal (NOS), Australia and New Zealand (Rialto), South Africa (Filmfinity), Israel (Tulip), Turkey (Angel Film), and Middle East (Front Row).

Additional sales have been made to the Baltics (Acme), Bulgaria (bTV), Czech Republic and Slovakia (Bohemia), ex-Yugoslavia (MCF), Latin America PTV/SVOD (Discovery), Chile, Peru and Bolivia (Andes), Ecuador (Zoca), Colombia (CineColombia/Zoca), Central America (Cinepolis/Alliance), Uruguay (Jelsi), Malaysia (Suraya), Mongolia (FilmBridge), South Korea and Vietnam (Yejilim), Taiwan (AV Jet) and Southeast Asia PTV (Disney).

The deal was negotiated between Wertlieb and Barabas.

Earlier this year Grindstone acquired North American rights from Luminescence to the Russian box office hit “Upon the Magic Roads,” a fantasy adventure film from CTB Film Company’s Selyanov, CGF’s Aleksandr Gorokhov, and Russia 1’s Anton Zlatopolskiy, which grossed $15.9 million domestically.

Luminescence’s sales slate includes animated adventures “Pinocchio: A True Story,” “Nutcracker and the Magic Flute” and “Big Trip 2: Special Delivery,” and live-action war thriller “Infiltration.”

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