Russia Introduces Scheme for Supporting International Distribution of Its Movies

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MOSCOW -- The federal fund for social and economic support to the film industry, Russia’s main agency in charge of the movie sector, is launching a scheme for supporting the international distribution of Russian films.

“Our task is to accustom international audiences to Russian pictures,” Yelena Romanova, head of the cinema fund’s international department, was quoted as saying by the wire service RIA Novosti.

Under the Russian law, the fund cannot transfer funds directly to foreign distributors, so it will operate the scheme through domestic producers who would select movies with the best potential in the international market and find international distributors for them.

The cinema fund would not reveal the exact amount of cash allocated for the new scheme or particular projects. According to Romanova, decisions about providing cash will be made on a case-by-case basis, with a priority given to films released on the larger number of screens and with more active promotion campaigns.

Meanwhile, one important step by the cinema fund in a bid to step up the exposure of Russian fare on an international level is an agreement with Italy’s Cinecitta Luce, which is expected to be signed soon. Under the agreement, the Italian state-run company will distribute some Russian films that won’t find independent distributors in Italy, while the funding will mainly be coming from the cinema fund.

Independently from the cinema fund, the state-run company Roskino is developing a program for supporting the international distribution of Russian films. It recently provided €20,000 for film prints and promotion of Alexander Sokurov’s Faust in Italy.

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