Russia Eyes Increase in Kids Film Funding, Minister Takes Swipe at 'Iron Man'

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

"The viewer for our movies is a hundred times more important for us than the one who goes to see 'Iron Man,' because he has something left in his heart, mind and soul," says culture minister Vladimir Medinsky.

Russia is eyeing a boost to funding for children's and animated films as its steps up its efforts to combat Hollywood's dominance at the Russian box office.

Culture minister Vladimir Medinsky said that funding for kids films in 2016 will likely be increased above the current limit of 25 percent of total public film funding.

Speaking at the closing in Moscow of children's film festival Radiant Angel, Medinsky, known for his conservative, nationalistic views, said: "We will support children's film and animated movies. We have since last year a fixed quota of 25 percent of the total amount of state support earmarked for children's films. We are considering increasing this amount from next year."

In a swipe at Hollywood, Medinsky added: "Good movies are always in demand. The viewer for our movies is a hundred times more important for us than the one who goes to see Iron Man, because he has something left in his heart, mind and soul."

Russian cultural funding would "always be on the side of those who produce wonderful movies," Medinsky said.

The ministry increased funding for children's film this year, putting them on par with support for "patriotic" movies, with funding this year set at nearly $1 million in non-refundable state subsidies. That figure is now expected to be upped next year, which the ministry has dubbed "The Year of Russian Cinema."

Earlier this year, Vyacheslav Telnov, head of the ministry's cinema department, said: "Government support for the production of movies for children and youth is a priority."

In Soviet times, children's movies were considered a strength of the Russian film industry. More recently, some producers of animated films, including the Snow Queen franchise, have enjoyed international sales and success.

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