One of Russia’s Largest Studios, Lenfilm XXI, to be Built in St Petersburg

The studio complex, a joint venture between RWS and VGTRK, plans to begin construction in the summer.


MOSCOW -- One of Russia's largest studio complexes is to be built in its "northern capital" St Petersburg by the private studio and production company Russian World Studios (RWS) and the state-run television company VGTRK.

Lenfilm XXI, a joint venture between RWS and VGTRK, tentatively plans to begin the construction in the summer, Natalya Shabarova, an RWS spokesperson, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Scott Carter, head of Wylie Carter Architects, known for his work for Walt Disney Studios, DreamWorks Studios and Hollywood Center Studios, has been hired to design the complex.

"The uniqueness of the complex will be its versatility," Shabarova said. "In addition to the full cycle of film production, it could be used as a venue for film festivals, conferences, premieres and round tables."

The construction of Lenfilm XXI is expected to take three years, and once the 67,630 square meter complex is completed, it could become Europe's largest film studio. The investment in the project is estimated at between $140 million and $150 million.

"The project has positive business prospects, as the Russian film industry has been developing very rapidly over the last ten years," Shabarova said. "But the modernization of the domestic film industry is impossible without the [improvement] of its production base."

In an unrelated project, RWS is considering possible formats for a "state/private" partnership with St Petersburg-based state-run Lenfilm, one of the country's best known and oldest studio complexes. The future of Lenfilm has remained uncertain for the last few years, and there have been reports about the studio's privatization and sale to RWS, which the company wouldn't confirm.