Gorky restructure moves forward

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KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic -- The long-awaited restructuring of Russia's famous Gorky Film Studios is moving ahead after the Moscow-based film complex this week joined forces with producers Top Line Group to set up a new company, Gorky Film Production.

Gorky Film chief Stanislav Yeshov and Sergei Gribkov of Top Line Group said that the re-launched studio will handle up to eight feature productions a year and bring much-needed studio space to Russia's booming film industry.

Further investors -- including institutional investment funds -- will also be welcome to participate in regenerating Russia's oldest studios, founded more than 90 years ago.

Yershov said the studio re-launch will bring new space and a new brand to filmmaking in Russia, where more than 200 local movies a year are now being produced and studio space is under increasing pressure.

"We want to create a market structure that will be self-supporting. This is what the market demands. Every year sees a growth in the budgets for Russian films and we shall take a slice of that business," Yershov told Moscow business newspaper RBK Daily.

The studios will have the capacity to handle between six and eight full-length features a year in addition to television serials, Yershov added.

The announcement comes after years of wrangling over the status of the state film studios and bureaucratic delays in restructuring.

Gribkov of Top Line Group, a Russian production company, said the precise company structure of the new Gorky Film Production has not been finalized and talks are underway with other interested parties.
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