Russian Parliament Won't Consider Restrictions on Hollywood Films

Moscow Russia Aerial View - H 2013
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Moscow Russia Aerial View - H 2013

The move follows President Vladimir Putin speaking against the idea

The State Duma, the lower chamber of Russian Parliament, won't consider legislation introducing restrictions on Hollywood releases in Russia. The moves comes just days after President Vladimir Putin spoke against the idea of restrictions on Hollywood fare.

"Today, regulating film exhibition by introducing quotas on Russian or foreign films would be superfluous," Leonid Levin, head of the Duma's committee on information policy, which is in charge of film industry issues, was quoted as saying by the Russian News Service.

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"If a good Russian film is released, people will come and watch it anyway," he went on to say.

A draft law, limiting the share of foreign films to 50 percent of all releases was submitted for consideration to the Duma earlier this year on the wave of souring relations between Russia and the United States. If adopted, it would have primarily hit Hollywood movies, which account for about 80 percent of Russia's total over $1-billion-a-year box office.

Now, the legislation won't be considered by the Parliament, and there is technically no other way for restrictions of that kind to be introduced.

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However, it is widely believed that the future of this issue will be depend on relations between Russia and the U.S., and if they sour further, the issue could be revisited.

Recently, there were also calls for a complete ban on Hollywood fare in response to sanctions introduced by the United States and the European Union against Russia over Russian policies in Ukraine.

Veteran directors Stanislav Govorukhin and Yuri Kara were among the proponents of the idea, which, however, did not find Putin's support.

"It wouldn't be correct to limit our consumer when it comes to products people generally want to have," Putin said last week, responding to Kara's proposal at an official event. "And films belong to those major products."

Meanwhile, Russia's culture minister has called for his department to get control over the scheduling of film releases in Russia to potentially help homegrown films facing tough competition.