Russian film financing program in the works

Commercially successful producers would get state support

MOSCOW -- The Russian government is proposing a film financing program that will give the nation's most commercially successful producers 12 billion roubles ($485 million) in state support over the next three years.

The Ministry of Culture, which assumed oversight of state support for the film industry after May's disbanding of the Federal Agency for Culture and Cinema, has prepared a proposal under which state subsidies to producers will be cut from the current 3 billion roubles ($121 million) a year to 300 million roubles ($12.1 million), business daily Kommersant reported Tuesday.

However, an additional 4 billion roubles ($162 million) a year will be distributed among the four producers responsible for the most commercially successful films. Eligible companies must have a combined audience of at least 1 million people for their films over the past two years.