Sony Pictures Entertainment Russia is considering becoming involved in international co-production in the future as its local franchise The Very Best Movie starts shooting in 3D this week.

Speaking at a roundtable in Moscow on international co-production opportunities, Michael Schlicht, director general of SPE in Russia, revealed that he was “on a good way” to collaborating with Germany and had two scripts from there on his desk at the moment. An advantage of working with production partners from abroad was that one then gained access to additional markets for distribution.
Schlicht explained that he has an budget of $30m to spend on production in Russia and plans to produce four to five films a year through the production arm Monumental Pictures, which was launched as a joint venture by SPE and Patton Media Group in February 2006.
“We often seek co-financing to make the films’ budgets higher, but the biggest problem is to find good scripts,” he said.
Monumental Pictures and Comedy Club Production’s The Very Best Movie 3-Dee is reuniting the producers with Kirill Kuzin, who had directed the first The Very Best Movie in 2007, and a cast featuring comedians Garic Kharmalov and Mikhail Galustyan, among others.
The first two outings of the Very Best Movie franchise took over $45m at the Russian box office, and Walt Disney Studios Sony Pictures Releasing (WDSSPR) will open the film in Russian cinemas on January 20, 2011.
In addition, Monumental Pictures is working on a biopic – entitled Vysotsky. Spasibo, Shto Zhivoy - dedicated to the legendary Russian bard Vladimir Vysotsky who died of heart failure at the age of only 42 in 1980.
Meanwhile, WDSSPR had a special screening at the Moscow International Film Festival of its crime action film Close Enemy (Blizkiy Vrag) starring Dmitry Dyuzhev and Evgenia Trofimova and directed by Aleksandr Atanesyan. The production by Angel Anima and Monumental Pictures will be released theatrically on October 14.