Russia's Lenfilm Studio Mulls Major Expansion
It reportedly hopes to attract Chinese investment in the $75 million project.
Russia’s oldest film studio, St. Petersburg-based Lenfilm, is mulling a major expansion scheme and reportedly hopes to attract Chinese investment in the $75 million (4 billion ruble) project.
A spokesman for Lenfilm confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the project, which was mentioned in the Russian media last week following a meeting in Moscow between Russian and Chinese cultural officials, is in the works, but declined to provide any details at this stage.
Meanwhile, the Russian business daily Vedomosti quoted a source familiar with the project as saying that Lenfilm plans to build a "cinema city" that will provide sets for movie crews and also work as a tourist attraction on an area of between three and five hectares, with the project's tentative cost in the area of 4 billion rubles ($75 million)
Another Russian newspaper, Versia, reported that during last week's meeting in the Russian cultural ministry, attended by officials from China Film Group, the topic of possible Chinese investment in the project was brought up and Russian cultural minister Vladimir Medinsky invited the Chinese officials to visit St. Petersburg this September and continue negotiations.
State-run Lenfilm was slated for privatization several times, but the government eventually chose to retain control of the studio.
For years, the studio was in disrepair, but the appointment of director and producer Fyodor Bondarchuk as chairman of the board in late 2012 helped to change Lenfilm's fate. Over the last two and a half years, the studio has been going through major renovation.