Russian gov't approves state fund for film

$94 mil to be spent on 'commercial' movies

MOSCOW -- The Russian government has approved a new scheme of state funding for the film industry in 2010 after months of squabbling.

Under the recently adopted scheme, the lion's share of state cash, 2.86 billion roubles ($94 million), is to be administered by the newly formed federal film fund to be spent on "commercial" movies.

The culture ministry is to administer 1.6 billion roubles ($52.6) earmarked for "non-commercial" films, including animation, documentaries and debut features.

The film fund is to distribute cash between the country's leading film production companies and, unlike under the previous system, part of it will have to be paid back. Currently, the specifics of the new system are being ironed out.

Alexei Sokhnev, a spokesman for the culture ministry, told THR that it might take a few months for the film fund to begin operation, while the ministry is to begin providing financial support this coming spring.

"What particular companies are to receive financial support from the fund is not decided yet but the selection criteria have already been defined: how long a company has been in the market, a number of released films and their quality regarding both an audience size and their success at film festivals," said Yuri Sapronov, CEO of the production and studio company RWS.
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