Russia's Government to Fund Adaptations of Classics and "Patriotic" Films

Vladimir Medinsky

Previously, funds channeled through the culture ministry were spent on auteur and experimental cinema

Russia's culture ministry will focus on funding adaptations of classics and "patriotic" cinema in an apparent shift from previously declared policy of supporting experimental and auteur films.

The ministry's main priority will be historical and "patriotic" films that "serve the goal of cultural, moral and spiritual renaissance of society," as well as adaptation of classical works of Russian literature, culture minister Vladimir Medinsky was quoted as saying by the news agency TASS.

The minister's statement, which he made while addressing the Russian parliament's lower chamber on Tuesday, signifies a shift from the previously declared film funding policy, under which the culture ministry was administering cash for auteur and experimental films, as well as debut features, while the other funding agency, the cinema fund, was in charge of funding commercial films.

Earlier, Medinsky made statements hinting that his institution's funding criteria could change. Last week he said that the culture ministry won't fund films presenting Russia in a bad light, and the term he used, which could be loosely translated as "shitty Russia," was later heavily quoted on social media. Eventually, Medinsky apologized for using it.

According to Medinsky, six features and 60 documentaries funded by the government, are devoted to the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, which is to be celebrated next year.

Over the last couple of years, calls for using culture for "patriotic" upbringing have been repeatedly made by Russian state officials.

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