New Project by Russian Director Alexander Mindadze Still Likely to Get Government Funding

The culture ministry recommended the project to the Cinema Fund, another film-financing organization.

MOSCOW – Russia’s culture ministry, which last month refused to provide state funding for Alexander Mindadze’s Russian-German co-production set during WWII, recommended the project to the Cinema Fund, another film financing body, and appointed "historic consultants" for the picture, which the director sees as positive signs for his project.

"I had a meeting with [culture minster Vladimir] Medinsky, and we were able to find some common ground," Mindadze told The Hollywood Reporter. "I hope the situation is going to be resolved now."

He added that he is going to meet with the consultants within the next few days and sees no problem with that. "I had consultants on all the pictures," he said.

The culture ministry’s decision not to give cash for Mindadze’s Mily Gans, Dorogoy Piotr (Dear Hans, Dear Piotr) despite high evaluations of the project by a board of experts, caused an angry reaction in the Russian film industry and the press. The ministry didn’t give in but recommended that the project receive funding via the Cinema Fund.

A decision from the Cinema Fund is expected in mid-September, producer Liza Antonova told THR. However, the initial production schedule for the project, which already has backing from German film funds, had to be reconsidered following the ministry’s original decision.

"We originally planned to go into production in late August," she said. "Everything is ready. Locations have been selected, the German casting is done, and the Russian casting is almost done. But because the entire process of coming up with the budget was disrupted, we’ll have to postpone production."