The continuing financial and political troubles of Vladimir Gusinsky's Media Most Group has spilled over into its film production outfit NTV Profit.
Speaking at a press conference in Karlovy Vary this week Igor Tolstunov, general director of NTV Profit, revealed that police had visited his office in Moscow last week.
Media Most's headquarters in Moscow were raided in May and the group's director Vladimir Gusinsky was arrested and imprisoned for three days last month (Screendaily, June 14). Media Most is Russia's largest backer of feature films and supports nearly all big-budget high-end production in the country.
NTV Profit, which has produced 17 films since it was founded five years ago, is responsible for producing most of the top-end features in Russia including Pavel Chukhrai's 1997 Oscar nominee The Thief, this year's Berlin competition film Russian Rebellion, directed by Alexander Proshkin, and the French-Russian Oscar nominee East West, directed by Regis Wargnier.
Speaking about the group's problems Tolstunov said: " About 80-90% of our budget for film production comes from Media Most. If the flow of financial investment from the group would be stopped of course it would have a negative effect on us."
NTV currently has four new films in production. Tolstunov said there have not been any cuts in NTV Profit's production budget, but that film production was heavily dependent on the Media Most group for funding.