Russian Bank Reveals it Invested $61 Million in Konchalovsky's 'The Nutcracker in 3D'

Director previously claimed that funding for the movie came from the U.S.


MOSCOW -- The Russian state-run bank Vneshekonombank has revealed that it financed Andrey Konchalovsky's The Nutcracker in 3D, which makes the project the largest ever Russian investment in film.

"In May 2007, Vneshekonombank provided a $50 million loan to the company Nutcra?ker Holdings Ltd for the production of the feature film The Nutcracker," Ekaterina Karasina, a spokesperson for Vneshekonombank, told The Hollywood Reporter.

She wouldn't disclose the terms of the loan but added that earlier this year, the bank provided another 338 million roubles ($11 million) for the transfer of the film into 3D format and its promotion as "sponsor support." "Under the sponsorship agreement, the sponsor's logo is to be present on all advertisement for the project's international releases, including in the U.S., Germany, U.K. and other countries," Karasina said.

The total comes short of the film's announced budget of $90 million, but a spokesperson for the Andrei Konchalovsky Production Center in Moscow refused to provide any comments on The Nutcracker's finances.

Meanwhile, Vneshekonombank's information comes to contradict the director's previous statements that funding for the movie came from the U.S. "This is American money, American actors, [Russian] director and composer," Konchalovsky told the daily Rossiyskaya Gazetaearlier this year.

In any case, The Nutcracker in 3D, which is slated for theatrical release in Russia on Jan. 1, turns out to be the biggest Russian-financed film project ever.

Previously, the two-episode film Burnt by the Sun-2, by Nikita Mikhalkov, Konchalovsky's brother, with a reported budget of $55 million, held the record Russia's biggest film investment.