Russian Theater Chain Rejected By Government Seeks Private Investment

Moscow Red Sqaure - H 2015
AP Images

Moscow Red Sqaure - H 2015

Producer Oleg Teterin hopes to attract $15.5 million for his project focused on local films.

Russia's culture ministry, which initially said that Oleg Teterin's cinema chain project for smaller cities should be supported "in all possible ways," eventually refused to provide any funding for his project, prompting him to look for private investors.

Two months ago, Teterin came up with a project for a national theater chain that would focus on local films, keeping prices very low.

The government's initial enthusiasm for the project subsided when it studied the project's specifics.

The culture ministry's press service said that although the project was "interesting," there were many questions about it. The ministry's main problem was that the theaters wouldn't be equipped with professional projection equipment, and unprotected copies of films would be screened, "raising piracy risks."

Announcing the project, Teterin's company Teterin Films said that the chain would champion "a national patriotic idea" and there would be restrictions on Western movies. There was also a pledge to keep prices as low as 100 rubles ($1.60).

But, apparently, the "patriotic" idea was not sufficient enough to secure government funding, and Teterin is now turning to private investment. He has partnered with the Russian Investment Society (RIO) to form an investment fund for the project.

The Russian business daily Kommersant quoted Dmitry Rotenberg, RIO deputy director for innovative projects, as saying that the fund aims to attract investments between 500,000 rubles ($7,800) and 1 million rubles ($15,500) for a total of 1 billion rubles ($15.5 million).