"Russian Hollywood" Planned by Studio Lenfilm
A $60 million studio and entertainment complex is to be completed within three to four years.
State-run St. Petersburg, Russia-based film studio Lenfilm has signed a contract with local company VTB Development to build what it calls a "Russian Hollywood."
With a price tag of 4 billion rubles, or $60 million, Russia's first-ever cinema park project will include studio facilities, some of which will be open to tourists, just like Hollywood studios, as well as hotels, restaurants, congress centers and entertainment facilities.
Lenfilm has secured a 1 million square foot plot of land on the city's outskirts, which is twice as big as what the studio originally envisaged when it mentioned expansion plans a year ago.
The cinema park is seen as a tourist attraction for the city and as a way to promote Russian movies and foreign crews' interest in shooting in Russia, Eduard Pichugin, Lenfilm's general director, said in a statement.
The project is set to be completed over the next three to four years, and negotiations with investors are in progress. Earlier, there were press reports that China Film Group might be interested in being part of the project.
Lenfilm, Russia's oldest film studio, was in disrepair for many years, but the appointment of director and producer Fyodor Bondarchuk as chairman in late 2012 helped rejuvenate the studio.
Lenfilm recently did a major upgrade of its existing facilities, financed by a $50 million loan from bank VTB, which is part of the same group that is now behind the cinema park's development.