Russia’s Culture Ministry Fines Filmmaker Garri Bardin

Smirnov Vladimir/ITAR-TASS Photo/Corbis
Garri Bardin

He failed to complete a state-funded film on time due to sickness.

MOSCOW -- The Russian culture ministry says it will fine award-winning animation director Garri Bardin for failure to complete a film it partially financed on schedule in a show of tightening control over cash it distributes to filmmakers.

According to the ministry, Bardin, a winner of numerous awards -- including the Palme d'Or for best short film at Cannes in 1988 -- will have to pay a fine of 160,000 rubles ($4,850) for not completing the animation film Tri Melodii (Three Melodies) last June, as was previously agreed. The ministry provided two-thirds of the film’s total budget.

Bardin’s son, director Pavel Bardin, said on his Facebook account that the reason for the delay was his father’s sickness and that he had requested an extension of the original agreement.

“Father was unable to complete the film on time because he was sick,” Bardin said. “He is not used to lying and that’s why he didn’t submit a half-finished work, as many do.”

He added that the ministry wouldn’t agree to an extension.

“Fines are imposed always,” Vyacheslav Telnov, head of the culture ministry’s cinema department, was quoted as saying by “There are no exceptions, this is the law. We couldn’t do it because the audit chamber and the prosecutor’s office always control how the ministry spends money.”

The Russian crowdfunding platform Planeta said it will pay the fine for Bardin.