The Russian Ministry of Cultural Affairs hasput forward an initiative to create a National Film Commission in the country, which will be responsible for attracting foreign film companies to make movies in Russia.
A source in the Russian government said that the National Film Commission will be registered this month, with founders including state authorities, public organisations of cinematography and a number of local commercial film companies.
The Commission will be mainly responsible for the delivery of all the needed information and organizational support to international filmmakers, which are planning to make films in Russia, as well as for the promotion of the regions of the country abroad as venues for filming.
Igor Callistov, Deputy Director of the Cinematography Department of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, said the new Film Commission will help foreign producers to receive permission to shoot in Russia, will provide them with transportation, information booklets, accommodation and so forth.
“Creating a Film Commission will help to remove the iron curtain from the Russian film industry, which has not yet integrated in the global community,” he said.
Russian analysts believe that the new project may become extremely profitable for the country, due to the fact that filming of an average-budget movie, only for a week, can bring several million dollars to the regional budgets.
Konstantin Nafikov, CEO of Rfilms, a Russian company specialising in developing the film industry in the country, said the administrative barriers, lack of infrastructure and information about potential locations of filming so far were among the major problems, which force foreign filmmakers to abandon shoots in Russian.
Most of them prefer to go to Hungary, Bulgaria, or Romania, where they can find all the needed conditions for filming.
According to analysts, filmmaking in Russia may be mostly attractive for producers of average-budget (up to $40m) and low-budget (up to $10m) movies. However, in addition to providing comfortable conditions for working in Russia there is need to ensure to ensure other benefits for them, in particular tax incentives.