Gosfilmofond to collaborate with Greenaway [pictured] on Eisenstein Among Friends; director is currently shooting Eisenstein in Guanajuato.
Peter Greenaway is planning a second film about the legendary Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein.
The Russian Federation’s National Film Foundation (Gosfilmofond) announced this week that it is planning to collaborate with Greenaway on the project Eisenstein Among Friends.
The Foundation’s director Nikolai Borodachev said that there had already been plans at his institution for a film about Eisenstein based on its own research work about the director’s 1931 film Que Viva Mexico.
Borodachev explained that the project would be partly financed by a bank from Switzerland.
In addition, Greenaway has expressed interest in having his own films digitally restored at the Foundation’s facilities in Moscow.
Discussions about the Eisenstein project and the restoration plans will be continued when Greenaway comes to Moscow in mid-April to launch the UK-Russia Year of Culture. Staged with the Netherlands’ Saskia Boddeke, Greenaway will hold an exhibition on The Golden Age of the Russian Avant-Garde in the Central Manezh.
Greenaway is currently shooting his latest film, the love story Eisenstein in Guanajuato, which tracks the ten-day love affair between the director and his young guide Palomino Canedo.
For the British director, Eisenstein is “the greatest film-maker of all time”: “I have long admired Eisenstein – as a radical and also very practical film-maker, as a film teacher and as a film-thinker and writer.”
Shooting on the international co-production between the Netherlands’ Submarine and Fu Works with Mexico’s Paloma Negra Films, Finland’s Edith Film and Belgium’s Potemkino began on location in Guanajuato in Mexico on Feb 6.
After numerous casting sessions in Russia and Ukraine over the past two years, Greenaway finally found the actor to play the title role of Eisenstein in Finland: 32-year-old Elmer Bäck whose previous credits include The Spiral TV series.
Eisenstein in Guanajuato had been pitched on two occasions at the Moscow Co-Production Forum in 2012 and 2013, and was awarded €25,000 towards post-production services by Glavkino as Best Pitch in 2012.
Minister against 50% quota
Meanwhile, Russia’s Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky has made it clear that he would not be supporting a bill brought to the Russian parliament by Robert Schlegel. The bill sets to impose a 50% quota on the screening of non-Russian films in Russian cinemas.
According to Schlegel’s proposal – which is similar to one he had made four years ago – national Russian films would then have better distribution potential and not be blocked from the screens by “bad American films”.
However, Russian distributors, exhibitors and other industry observers have expressed concern at this latest attempt at introducing quotas, arguing that arthouse and European titles would be the ones to suffer from such a policy and not American films.
Speaking to the BBC’s Russian Service, Moscow International Film Festival programmer Kirill Razlogov suggested that such measures would not be effective and these proposals were “political gestures for self-publicity”.
Speaking to RIA-Novosti, Medinsky said: “The best thing is a mechanism of self-restraint. If we don’t agree, we’ll come back to the issue of how to provide administrative support for national cinematography. At the moment, national cinematography is on the rise.”