Russian body mulls completion bond scheme

State-run film industry support fund, RWS exploring options

MOSCOW -- Russia's newly formed state-run film industry support fund is to introduce a completion bond scheme to the Russian film industry in a bid to make the industry more attractive for local and foreign producers.

Sergei Tolstikov, the fund's executive director, told The Hollywood Reporter that a separate company providing completion bonds could be formed by a decision of the fund's board of trustees, and the company's operation would be based on the same model as that of similar companies in the world's developed film markets, charging a certain percentage of the investment.

While the details of the completion bonds scheme are still being worked out, the fund has signed an agreement with one of the country's major studio and production companies, Russian World Studios (RWS), to make it a partner in the scheme.

"We're looking at all the options," RWS CEO Yuri Sapronov told THR. "RWS wants to play a proactive role in introducing a system of completion bonds into the market. We're looking at ways to make that happen and also [are looking for the right partners] to work with on this."

According to Sapronov, the introduction of completion bonds is to have a major impact on the industry here. "Russian producers and production companies will have to meet the standards required for a bond," he said. "This will create the kind of stable and reliable industry that will attract both local and international investors."

The film industry support fund began operation earlier this year and is to distribute 2.86 billion roubles ($94 million) to the industry this year.