Co-pros Under Threat In Russian Funding Shake-up


THE future of international co-productions with Russia are in question following a shake-up that put the Russian Cinema Fund under the direct control of the Ministry Of Culture.

The fund was set up in 2009 with an annual budget of $170 million. The aim was to help provide government support to production companies, and to encourage co-production, as well as promote Russian films abroad. The change puts the previously semi- autonomous fund fully under the control of Russia’s minister of culture Vladimir Medinsky, at a time when it was just beginning to find favour with European producers,

Further details are expected to be released in December but the changes call into question the future of production and co-development deals and agreements already established between Russia, France, Germany and Italy over the past two years. “The fund as it functioned in the past two years will no longer exist. It is all really bad," one Moscow-based producer who had been involved in a range of European co-productions told Variety’s Nick Holdsworth.

The shake-up was announced late last week following a meeting with deputy prime minister Vladislav Surkov, a former chief of staff of president Vladimir Putin and widely considered to be the Kremlin’s main ideologue, according to Variety.  Medinsky, who was appointed by Putin in May, has said that Russian funds should go to ministry approved projects and that the money should be spent in Russia.