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Russian Cinema Fund's Board Announces Financing Decisions

All 26 projects by the country's "top 13" producers are set to receive state cash, but some will have to pay back their subsidies.

MOSCOW -- Russia’s Cinema Fund’s Board has announced its funding decisions for projects by the country’s “top 13” major film production companies, based on pitching sessions held earlier this month.

All of the 26 projects approved by an expert council and recommended to the board will receive government funding, but, unlike in previous years, not all of them are going to receive non-refundable subsidies.

"We have a 1.5 billion ruble [$45.1 million] quota for projects by industry leaders," Anton Malyshev, head of the Cinema Fund, was quoted as saying by Proficinema.ru. "But they requested a total of 4 billion rubles. So we had to find compromise solutions."

As a result, only 13 films will receive non-refundable subsidies. Among them are Solnechny Udar (Sunstroke) by Nikita Mikhalkov’s TRITE, Baba Yaga and Vychislitel (Calculator) by Fyodor Bondarchuk’s Art Pictures and Matilda by Alexey Uchitel's Rock Studio.

Five pictures will receive fully-refundable subsidies, the producers of two more films will have to pay back their subsidies from the movie's future profits and the remaining six films will have a combined financing model.

Repayable subsidies from the Cinema Fund were introduced as of this year in a bid to tighten control over the spending of state cash by filmmakers.

“Producers taking 100%-repayable subsidies or subsidies repayable from profits will have to pay them back to the Cinema Fund regardless of the films’ gross,” Malyshev stressed.

Meanwhile, none of the projects will get financing for more than 70 percent of its budget.