Ukraine's Culture Minister Seeks U.S. Investment in Film Industry

Yevgeny Nishchuk hopes to attract foreign investors and crews to Ukraine's studio facilities

Ukraine's culture minister, Yevgeny Nishchuk, will visit the United States in a bid to attract investment in his country's film industry.

"A large proportion of our studio facilities are standing idle," Nishchuk was quoted as saying by the Ukrainski Noviny newspaper. "Many of them are in poor financial situation, and attracting foreign investors and foreign filming crews is in our best interests."

According to Nishchuk, the chances for attracting foreign productions to film in Ukraine are good, while co-production between Ukraine and other countries is another promising area.

Ukraine has two major film studios, which have survived from the Soviet era: Dovzhenko Studio in the capital, Kiev, and Odessa Studio in the Black Sea port city of Odessa. Their output declined substantially following the collapse of the Soviet Union, as did that of the Ukrainian film sector in general. In recent years, Russian film crews often came to Kiev and Odessa to shoot, but as relations between the two countries soured following the Maidan revolution in Ukraine earlier this year, the number of Russian productions shooting in Ukraine dropped.

Meanwhile, Ukraine lost another film studio, Yalta, due to annexation of the Crimea peninsular region by Russia earlier this year. Formed in 1917, the studio was used for filming many major Soviet-era films, including The Blue Bird, the sole co-production between the Soviet Union and the United States. Recently, new Crimean authorities nationalized the studio.