Russia Will Revive Yalta Film Studio in Crimea

The Blue Bird Elizabeth Taylor - H 2014
Courtesy Everett Collection

The Blue Bird Elizabeth Taylor - H 2014

The former owners will be dealt with "in a civilized way," according to Russian president Vladimir Putin

Russia's President Vladimir Putin said the owners of Yalta film studio, located in the Crimea region, annexed by Russia from Ukraine last March, are entitled to compensation as Russia makes plans to revive the studio and turn it into one of the country's top film companies.

However, due to a murky ownership structure and the fact that the studio, located in the peninsular region's main resort, Yalta, changed hands many times, it isn't currently clear who the owners are, and no one has stepped forward so far.

"[The studio's owners] need to be found quickly," Putin was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS. He added that the issue should be settled with the owners "in a civilized way," including paying compensations to the owners, some of which are Russian and some are foreign nationals.

Meanwhile, Russia's culture ministry has prepared a program for the revival of Yalta studio, which also features using it as a training ground for aspiring filmmakers from Russia's various regions and running the Yalta film festival out of its premises.

Formed in 1917, the studio was used for filming many major Soviet-era films, including The Blue Bird, the sole co-production between the Soviet Union and the United States.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the studio was privatized by the Ukrainian government. Several companies were later involved in litigations over the lucrative property, while some facilities are still used for film production, although they are in desperate need for upgrade.