2016 Named 'Year of Cinema' in Russia

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The local film sector will be entitled to extra financing from the state budget.

Next year is to be named "the year of cinema" in Russia, with extra funds to be allocated for the local film industry, which has been heavily dependent on state financing.

A document published on the government's website includes a set of measures that are to be implemented in 2016, such as stepping up local film production, facilitating film production and exhibition in the country's more remote regions, as well as launching a Eurasian film academy and a Eurasian film festival focused on movies from BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

The announcement was well received by the local film sector,.

Previously, the ongoing economic downturn saw a cut in funding for the film industry from 5.2 billion rubles ($77.7 million) this year to 4.8 billion rubles ($71.7 million) in 2016. But funds beyond this figure are now to be released within the framework of "the year of cinema" program.

Meanwhile, the document also stipulates "protectionist measures" for the local film industry. No specifics are yet available at this point, but it may mean that the government plans to revisit the idea of limiting the number of foreign releases, a proposal that was discussed but eventually abandoned last year.