Russia is moving ahead with plans for a new National Film Commission.
Such a group, to promote domestic films abroad, was discussed in Cannes this year, however its implementation was slowed by a recent management reshuffle in Russia’s Ministry of Culture, which is expected to be responsible for the project.
Now Alexander Avdeev, Russia’s Minister of Culture, says the new National Film Commission is expected to be established with Sovexportfilm as its base. “This will be an autonomous, non-profit organisation, specially designed for the promotion of Russian films abroad and deepen the integration of Russia into the international filmmaking,” he noted.
This new initiative, according to the minister, is part of the big state project called “Promotion of Russian culture by 2012,” aimed at boosting the image of Russia’s cultural life abroad.
So far, Sovexportfilm was the only company responsible for the promotion of Russian films abroad, however, according to its CEO Grigory Gevorgyan, the company does not receive any financial support from the state, which means its inability to “cope with its duties”.
At present the annual revenue of Sovexportfilm from the promotion of domestic films abroad is only $800,000. Due to lack of funding, the Russian display stand will not be presented at this year’s American Film Market in Los Angeles.
In addition to the establishment of the Promotion Commission, the Russian Ministry of Culture is considering several other ideas for the promotion of Russian movies abroad.
There is a possibility that promotion could take place through the expansion of co-production with foreign countries. According to the Ministry of Culture, in the period from 2006 to 2009, 36 joint projects with the total cost about 360 million rubles (USD $12 million) were implemented.
Alexander Avdeed, Russia’s Minister of Culture, said: “We hope that this year we will be able complete the approval procedures of Russia’s joining in the European program of joint film production (Eurimages) and to sign an intergovernmental agreement with Germany on joint film production. This will help to stimulate the development of Russia’s movie industry as a whole.”
Despite the efforts of the Russian government, the country still has serious difficulty in attracting foreign studious to work in area, due to lack of necessary infrastructure, as well lack of tax breaks.