Russia mulls 'super' studio complex

Would merge three largest complexes

MOSCOW -- The Russian government is considering the creation of a state-run "super" studio complex, based on the country's largest three existing complexes -- Mosfilm and Gorky Studio in Moscow and Lenfilm in St. Petersburg.

The news comes just two weeks after the government said it was putting Gorky Studio on the block by the end of the year, indicating that the plans about selling the complex now may be reconsidered.

No details about the future "super" studio complex, which already has been dubbed by local media as "Russian Hollywood," are available yet, other than that it will be fully owned and operated by the government -- along the lines of the recent trend to create giant state-run corporations in various sectors of the economy.

Meanwhile, some in the industry are skeptical about the ability of the government to efficiently run a studio complex. "Private ownership is normally more proficient and flexible," Yuri Plechev, general director of the Russian Guild of Producers, said.

Currently, the government is launching an audit of the three complexes, whose facilities require major renovation. Rosimushchestvo, the governmental property agency, has said that some of Lenfilm's most valuable facilities have already been illegally privatized -- a situation likely to cause a wrangle if proven to be true.