Russian Producer and Distributor Central Partnership to Sell Movies on iTunes

The iTunes store for music and videos

Jobs added video to the company’s popular iTunes software in 2006. “We’re doing for video what we’ve done for music—we’re making it easy and affordable to purchase and download, play on your computer, and take with you on your iPod. Right out of the gate we’re offering 2,000 music videos, Pixar’s short films and hit primetime TV shows like ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ‘Lost’,” said Jobs.

The move -- 20 films at first, followed by a plan for all new titles -- makes it a pioneer among Russian companies.

MOSCOW -- The independent film producer and distributor Central Partnership has become the first Russian company to begin selling its films on iTunes.

“The first batch is to consist of 20 titles, but in the future we hope to release all our new titles on iTunes,” a Central Partnership spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.

“It is important for us to create a channel for delivery of Russian movies to the international market,” she went on to say. “Unlike agreements with distributors, who are normally very selective, here, we can offer a large number of titles.”

Central Partnership movies will become available to iTunes users in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Great Britain this coming spring and, later, they are expected to be also introduced in several other European countries. The main target audience will be Russians living abroad. All movies will be in Russian, with English subtitles.

Among the titles to be included in the first batch are Boy S Tenyu (Shadow Boxing), Paragraf 78 (Paragraph 78), Stilyagi (Hipsters) and others, which are to retail at $1.25 to $12. Central Partnership would not disclose the financial details of the agreement with iTunes Store.

Meanwhile, iTunes Store is not operating in Russia. Some local film companies are using Apple AppStore to target Russian users.