Russia’s State-Run Gorky Studio Unveils $60M Renovation Plan to Attract Foreign Productions

Moscow Kremlin - H 2015
AP Images

Moscow Kremlin - H 2015

The studio, launched in 1915, hopes its modernized facilities will help boost its revenue.

One of Russia’s oldest and best-known film production facilities, Gorky Studio, on Friday unveiled a five-year, $60 million renovation program, hoping to attract foreign crews to its modernized facilities.

“Gorky Studio expects to attract foreign film crews to its facilities once they’ve been renewed,” a spokesperson for the Moscow-based studio told The Hollywood Reporter.

She added that the program will cost about 4 billion rubles ($60 million), which makes it one of the biggest investments in the Russian film industry in recent years.

The state-run studio won’t require any cash from the state budget, as it will finance the renovation by selling assets outside its core business, Gorky Studio said.

“[The program stipulates] the studio’s revenues shall double or triple in five years’ time, thanks to the renovation,” general director Sergei Zernov said in a press release, adding that the facilities would double in size over that period.

Launched in 1915, Gorky Studio mostly focused on production of kids movies in the Soviet era. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, it has focused on providing studio services.

For years, many of the studio’s facilities were in a state of disrepair, and several years ago, privatization of the studio was seriously considered. However, Gorky Studio was eventually taken off the list of companies slated for privatization out of fear that a new owner might use the studio for non-film activities.

Two years ago, when a new management team headed by Zernov was installed, an initial decision about renovating the studio was made.

As the studio has been in bad shape for nearly two decades, no major films have been shot there over this period. But in the Soviet era, it served as a production facility for many movies, including a rare Soviet Union/U.S. co-production, A Captive in the Land, in 1990.