Russian Production Company Plans Drama on 1972 Olympic Basketball Team

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Nikita Mikhalkov

'Road to the Top' will center on the final between the USSR and the U.S.

TriTe, a production company owned by Oscar-winning director Nikita Mikhalkov, says it plans to make Russia's most expensive sports drama.

Dvizheniye Vverkh (Road to the Top), centered on the 1972 Olympics basketball final between the USSR and the U.S. teams, will be directed by Anton Megerdichev.

Leonid Vereshchagin, TriTe's general director and the film's producer, was quoted by the news agency RIA Novosti as saying that the movie will have a special focus on the Soviet team's coach, Vladimir Kondrashin.

"[He] sacrificed everything he had for the victory and eventually created the world's best basketball squad," he said.

As one of Russia's top film production companies, TirTe is entitled to government funding via the cinema fund. However, as of last year, state cash has been allocated to local "majors" on a project-by-project basis.

Still, chances of obtaining a state subsidy for Road to the Top are quite high, as the government recently said that "patriotic" films would be one of its main funding priorities.

Legend Number 17, a 2013 high-profile sports drama centered on the 1970s hockey player Valery Kharlamov, was highly praised by senior government officials, including President Vladimir Putin.

The budget of Road to the Top has not yet been announced, but the online news service Gazeta.ru reported that it will be higher than that of Legend Number 17, which, at 350 million rubles ($6 million), made it Russia's most expensive sports drama released to date.

Road to the Top is tentatively scheduled for release in the fall of 2016.

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