Directors' Restaurant Project Gets Support But No Cash From Russia

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Andrei Konchalovsky

Nikita Mikhalkov and Andrei Konchalovsky hoped to attract government investment in what they see as "an alternative to McDonald's."

The Russian government has promised support for Russian directors and brothers Nikita Mikhalkov and Andrei Konchalovsky's restaurant project, which they positioned as "an alternative to McDonald's," but will provide no financial investment.

Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich was quoted by the Russian news agency TASS as saying that the government will help the two directors to obtain all necessary permissions on a federal and regional level and "to avoid red tape" in developing their restaurant chain. However, earlier, Dvorkovich said that the government will not invest in the project.

Earlier this month, Mikhalkov, who won an Oscar for his movie Burnt by the Sun in 1994, and his brother Konchalovsky, the winner of the best director’s Silver Lion at last year’s Venice film festival for The Postman's White Nights, announced their restaurant chain and requested an investment of $18.5 million (971.8 million rubles) from the government.

The announcement of the restaurant project by the two directors, both known to have railed against Western popular culture in the past, triggered a wave of scathing criticism and memes on Russian social media.

Users specifically made fun of the restaurant chain's proposed name Edim Doma (Eating at Home), a brand name owned by Konchalovsky's wife, actress and TV host Yulia Vysotskaya.

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