Russian cinema agency back in new form

One division will advise government on spending

MOSCOW -- Two months after the disbanding of Russia's federal agency for cinema and culture, the department's responsibilities have been transferred to the Ministry of Culture's newly created cinema department.

The cinema agency, which manages 3 billion roubles ($127 million) a year in support for the local film industry, was among the few government institutions that fell prey to a minor government reshuffle following Vladimir Putin's taking the prime minister's office in mid-May. Now, after a two-month hiatus, the program of state support for film is getting back on track, the ministry's officials say.

According to deputy culture minister Alexander Golutva, the newly formed agency will have a division that will advise the government on spending on the film industry. There also will be separate units for animation and documentaries.

Sergei Zernov, general director and producer of state-run production company Center of the National Film, has been appointed head of the department.