Crimean Broadcaster Launches Film Production

The company from the peninsular region, annexed by Russia, cannot afford to acquire Russian content.

A broadcaster in Crimea, a peninsular region annexed by Russia from Ukraine last year, has launched productions of TV movies and series because it cannot afford to acquire content from Russia.

The first film produced by the broadcasting company Krym, based in the region's capital, Simferopol, has recently aired.

Set in Crimea following its annexation by Russia, the thriller Potselovat Neznakomku (To Kiss a Stranger) is centered on preventing a foreign secret service's attempt to steal classified documents.

The broadcaster's next project will be a TV series, details of which haven't been revealed yet.

The budget of Krym's first project was not disclosed, but the company said it was small.

The Russian news agency TASS quoted Krym general producer Boris Yemets as saying that producing its own films is much cheaper than acquiring TV content from Russian rights holders.

"For that kind of money, we would have been able to buy only very old [Russian] films," he said.

Crimea also has a film studio, Yalta. Founded in 1917, it was used for filming many major Soviet-era films, including The Blue Bird, the sole co-production between the Soviet Union and the United States.

However, its future is currently uncertain. Following the annexation of Crimea, Russia said it would nationalize and develop the studio, but recently, lawsuits aimed at the nationalization were dismissed by courts.

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