Russian Government Sets Admissions Target for Producers Getting Funding

timur bekmambetov headshot - P 2011
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timur bekmambetov headshot - P 2011

Film companies receiving state cash must account for 13.2 percent of local admissions in 2013.

MOSCOW -- In a bid to raise the cinema funding system’s efficiency, the Russian government has set a target for state cash recipients. The top 10 production companies, which will collect state funding in 2013, are to account for at least 13.2 percent of all local admissions this year.

That figure is set in an agreement signed between the culture ministry and the Russian cinema fund, a state agency in charge of distributing cash for the film industry. This year, it is to disburse 3 billion rubles ($96.6 million).

Since a new system was introduced in 2010, the lion’s share of government funding for the film sector has been channeled to the largest film production companies as opposed to individual projects, as was the case under the previous system. Only cash earmarked for debut films, auteur cinema and “socially important” movies is distributed on a project-by-project basis.

The “big 10” list for this year has not yet been announced. The cinema fund is currently collecting applications and is due to announce the winners in late May. Last year, the recipients of state money included Nikita Mikhalkov’s TriTe, Fyodor Bondarchuk’s Art Pictures, Timur Bekmambetov’s Bazelevs, Channel One’s Direktsiya Kino, STV, Central Partnership, Real Dakota, Rok, Koktebel and Non-Stop Production.

Meanwhile, last year’s target figure for performance was not met. In 2012, the culture ministry said the top 10 companies were responsible for 12 percent of the total box office gross, but the actual figure was a mere 6.8 percent. The ministry’s only reaction so far has been the switch to measuring admissions rather than box-office receipts.