Lenfilm, one of Russia’s oldest film studios, has been saved from bankruptcy by the Russian government.
Culture minister Vladimir Medinsky has announced that the studio, founded in 1918, will not be privatized and restructured as previously planned, but will remain in state ownership.
There will be the provision of government guarantees on a loan of $48m (RUB 1.5bn), which will be provided by Russian bank VTB.
According to Eduard Pichugin, CEO of Lenfilm, the majority of funds will be used for repairs and reconstruction at the studio, installation of new equipment and modernization of the studio’s production shops, which are not currently in use.
A development plan, drawn up by Pichugin and new chairman Fyodor Bondarchuk [pictured], includes establishing a network of branches of the studio throughout Russia.
The move aims to discover talented young people and move them to Lenfilm’s St. Petersburg headquarters.
The plans also include the construction of a new modern cinema hall and production centre.
Lenfilm claims that, once recovered, the studio will be able to produce at least 15 feature films and four TV series annually.
Last year, losses of the company reached $1m (RUB 32m).