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Russia’s Culture Ministry to Fund Television Series

For four selected shows, preferably focused on military and historical subjects, the group will spend $6 million.

MOSCOW -- Russia’s culture ministry will fund four selected TV series this year, spending 200 million rubles ($6 million).

In accordance with a letter sent by the culture ministry to the Russian government and quoted by the wire service RIA Novosti, “as of 2013, the ministry will be providing state funding for the production of television series.” The letter stressed that "during selection, special attention will be paid to historical and military television series."

The ministry acted upon an order from President Vladimir Putin, who said that the government had to come up with extra cash for funding TV series on Russian history at a meeting with filmmakers last May.

Specific series eligible to collect state cash will be chosen in July and August.

Late last year, the culture ministry won control over state funding for the film industry. The other organization previously charged with the same task, the cinema fund, was basically reduced to administering cash flow while major decisions about which projects or companies to fund shifted to the culture ministry.

Meanwhile, the cinema fund said it could also provide financing for historic TV series, as long as it can collect at least 500 million rubles ($15 million) from the state budget.

In accordance with the letter, the culture ministry could increase funding provided for TV series under the condition that its own budget is raised.