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Russian Film Company, Exhibitor to Launch Animation Firm LA Studio

The companies hope to create titles that can compete with the U.S. and European animated films dominating Russian screens.

MOSCOW – Russian theater chain operator Luxor and film company Argus Entertainment are joining forces to create a new animation studio, LA Studio, in a bid to make films that can compete with U.S. and European fare.

“Hollywood and European projects are dominating the Russian market, and only a handful of well-known [Russian] companies are able to compete with them,” the two companies said in a statement. “But competition is conducive for the market’s development, pushing up the quality of films that are produced. So LA Studio comes as the market’s natural development.”

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LA Studio is to focus on the production of 2D and 3D animated films for theatrical release and television, and it also plans to launch a film school for animation. Although LA Studio plans to center on computer technology, some of the company’s projects are to be based on drawing animation, a tradition in Russia. Special attention is to be paid to films based on Russian folklore and fairy tales.

Luxor and Argus also said that the company would work with their existing partners from Canada, India, France and the U.S.

The first major project by LA Studio is to be a feature-length animated film based on Ruslan and Ludmila, a poem by renowned Russian 19th century poet Alexander Pushkin, which is to be written by Alexander Mitta and directed by Tatiana Ilyina.