Russia's Cinema Fund Announces 2015 Budget

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Due to the ruble's devaluation, local filmmakers will collect much less cash in dollar terms this year.

Russia's cinema fund, an agency administering half of the government's cash earmarked for the film sector, has announced its 2015 budget. The ruble figure is to remain the same as last year, but the sharp fall of the ruble means that local filmmakers are to receive much less cash this year.

In 2015, the cinema fund is to distribute among Russian filmmakers $43 million (3 billion rubles). In light of the ruble's sharp devaluation over the last few months, the dollar figure is almost one half of what it was a year ago, when the 2014 budget was announced. Given the fact that many production expenses, including cast and crew fees, are nominated in U.S. dollars, local filmmakers will receive considerably less cash this year.

Of the 3 billion ruble figure, 1.9 billion ($29.3 million) is to go to "industry leaders," a list of which the agency is to announce by Jan. 26, based on box office, TV and festival performance of films produced by local studios.

In turn, of that figure, 1.2 billion rubles ($18.5 million) will be provided in the form of non-repayable subsidies, while the remaining $10.8 million will be released as interest-free loans. Although some producers suggested late last year that for the next three years, only non-repayable subsides should be provided, the cinema fund apparently didn't take the suggestion.

The culture ministry, which is the other agency is charge of distributing state cash among filmmakers, will also have a $43 million (3 billion ruble) budget this year.

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