St. Petersburg’s Lenfilm Studio Secures $47 Million Loan
MOSCOW – St. Petersburg-based Lenfilm, Russia’s oldest film studio, currently run by Fyodor Bondarchuk, has secured a 1.53 billion ($46.7 million) ruble loan from state-run bank VTB.
The 10-year agreement was signed during the St Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 20, the Russian wire service Regnum reported. The Russian government’s guarantee will be collateral for the loan.
The funds are to be used for the renovation of the existing studio facilities, acquisition and installation of new production equipment and construction of a new soundstage at Lenfilm’s branch in the Sosnovaya Polyana neighborhood.
“Our main task is to create a strong team of professionals, who will not only service cutting-edge equipment, but will also be capable of making films worthy of the great film studio’s history,” Bondarchuk, who was appointed as Lenfilm’s chairman of the board last October, was quoted as saying. “Contemporary equipment at Lenfilm will lead the famous film studio to the leading positions in the local film industry.”
“Lenfilm is a unique asset with good prospects for development,” added Yuri Solovyov, VTB’s first deputy chairman of the board. “Given the attention that the government pays to this studio, we are sure that this is a very lucrative project.”
For years preceding Bondarchuk’s appointment, the future of the state-run studio was uncertain as its assets were in dire need of renovation. Various privatization scenarios were considered and rejected when the local film community expressed fear that the studio’s lucrative property in the center of the city could be reconverted for other uses.