Russian Studio Lenfilm Signs Partnership Agreement With Alexander Sokurov’s Foundation

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Alexander Sokurov

The renowned director’s organization focuses on helping aspiring filmmakers.

MOSCOW – The St. Petersburg-based film studio Lenfilm has signed a partnership with the foundation "Primer Intonatsii" ("An Example of Intonation"), headed by renowned director Alexander Sokurov and focused on supporting aspiring filmmakers.

Under the agreement, Lenfilm will provide access to its facilities to debut film directors "on special conditions," a spokesman for Lenfilm told The Hollywood Reporter, but the size of the discount was not specified, adding, "We are not planning to provide any financial assistance to the foundation."

The document partially brings back to life the idea of Lenfilm's division for young filmmakers under Sokurov's direction, which Fyodor Bondarchuk, the studio’s chairman of the board, voiced over a year ago when appointed to his position. However, it took Sokurov and Bondarchuk a while to make even the first steps towards the execution of that idea.

Earlier, when the future of Lenfilm was discussed, a strategy proposed by Sokurov stipulated the creation of a center for debut cinema at Lenfilm, which would later develop into a national institution. However, Sokurov’s proposal was rejected.

And while a formal agreement between Lenfilm and “An Example of Intonation” is in place now, it may take time before the two organizations work closely together.

The St. Petersburg-based newspaper Fontanka quoted Sokurov as saying that his foundation isn’t going to move to Lenfilm or become part of the studio just yet. "The atmosphere there is uneasy, so collaboration with the studio is difficult," he said.

Currently, Sokurov’s foundation is producing debut shorts by three directors.