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MOSCOW — Russian World Studios (RWS) has vacated its studio facilities in Moscow and plans to focus on its St. Petersburg operations.
The company didn’t extend its lease on its facilities located on the premises of the collapsed automotive giant ZIL, which expired in late Aug. Due to high rent, the production of movies and TV series in Moscow was uneconomical, RWS said.
Yuri Sapronov, RWS’ general director, was quoted by the Russian business daily Vedomosti as saying that the Moscow’s studio complex’ annual revenues stood at about $3 million – $4 million, and while last year it barely broke even, losses were expected this year.
“While some production costs for movies and television, like actors’ and shooting crews’ fees have almost returned to the same figures as before the  economic downturn, prices for studios’ services have not,” Sapronov was quoted as saying. “With rent going up, it was impossible to make a profit.”
RWS is now going to focus on its 11,000 sq. meter studio complex in St. Petersburg, which it owns. In 2011, plans to construct another St. Petersburg studio, Lenfilm XXI, as a joint venture between RWS and the state-run television company VGTRK were announced, but construction has not yet begun.
Meanwhile, RWS’ St. Petersburg studio remains the city’s sole contemporary film production facilities, while Moscow’s major studio facilities are Mosfilm, Glavkino and Amedia.
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