Moscow film fest canceled

After proposed delay, lack of funding closes event

MOSCOW — Moscow’s Intl. Film Festival, scheduled for July, won’t be taking place this year, Armen Medvedev, head of Russia’s official film body, Goskino, announced Tuesday.

Main reason for cancellation of the event — which after 1997 was to go annual, a change from its traditional biennial basis — was lack of funding.

Medvedev advocated directing the funds allocated from the territory’s film budget toward increased production and improvements to regional distribution networks.

The decision — debated throughout February as organizers struggled to put together a viable budget — followed a call from Russia’s filmmakers’ union to postpone the event.

In December, favorite local helmer Nikita Mikhalkov was elected prexy of the filmmakers’ union, replacing Sergei Solovyev, who had been a strong supporter of holding the Moscow fest annually.

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