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MOSCOW – Well-known Russian producer, actor and director Fyodor Bondarchuk has been appointed chairman of the board at the struggling film studio Lenfilm.
Bondarchuk’s appointment to helm the St Petersburg-based, state-run studio comes after a long period of uncertainty about Lenfilm’s future and is expected to put it back on track.
“The main task, which we have set forth, is to turn Lenfilm into a studio complex that would be in line with the contemporary film industry’s requirements,” Dmitry Pristanskov, deputy head of Rosimushchestvo, Russian state property agency, was quoted as saying by gazeta.ru. “This has to be a contemporary platform with upgraded equipment. Basically, we are talking about returning the status of one of the country’s main film studio’s to Lenfilm.”
Lenfilm’s equipment and premises are currently in poor condition. Costs of renovating the studio have been estimated at between $1.5 billion rubles ($47.7 million) $2 billion rubles ($63.6 million).
Bondarchuk told the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda that over the next two years, he is going to focus on the studio’s revamping and sees himself as a “crisis manager.” He also added that he will try to ease tensions between two renowned St. Petersburg based directors, Alexander Sokurov and Alexei German, who have totally different ideas about Lenfilm’s future. Both directors have been included on Lenfilm’s new board.
Just over a year ago, a controversy stirred up over plans to establish “a state/private” partnership at Lenfilm between the Russian government and privately-owned Russian World Studios. However, the project was shelved after protests from St. Petersburg’s filmmakers who were worried that the studio’s production assets could be moved to another location and its lucrative land in the city center could be converted for other uses.
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