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Russian Director Alexander Sokurov Quits Lenfilm Board

Sokurov's producer Andrey Sigle sacked as director of production.

MOSCOW -- Prominent Russian film director Alexander Sokurov has stepped down as a board member of the St Petersburg-based Lenfilm studio, complaining that his voice isn’t heard.

Sokurov sent a letter announcing his resignation and explaining that staying on the board would be useless for him as his proposals wouldn’t be taken into account, the wire service RIA Novosti reported.

A spokesperson for Lenfilm told The Hollywood Reporter that Sokurov’s letter had no legal power as it didn’t comply with procedural requirements.

Sokurov, one of Russia’s highest-profile film directors and the winner of the Golden Lion at last year’s Venice film festival last year for Faust, has expressed concerns about the future of the country’s oldest film studio for over a year. Last year, he and another prominent director, Alexei German, had a meeting with then-prime minister, now president Vladimir Putin, expressing fears that privatization of the struggling studio or turning it into a “state/private partnership” could lead to the commercialization of what had been a platform for auteur and experimental cinema.

Later, however, the two directors’ views about the studio’s prospects differed, and German, alongside a few other members of Lenfilm’s supervisory board, signed a petition calling for not appointing Sokurov to the board of directors. However, the director was still put on the board last month. In a recent interview with the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, producer/director Fyodor Bondarchuk, newly appointed as Lenfilm’s chairman of the board, said that he would try to ease tensions between Sokurov and German.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday afternoon came the news that Andrey Sigle, a composer and producer of Sokurov’s films, including Faust, was sacked from his position of Lenfilm’s head of production without explanations. Earlier this year, Sokurov and Sigle co-authored a proposal for Lenfilm’s development, which was rejected.