Russo producers honored

MPA honors filmmakers with cash

MOSCOW — Russia’s private film producers received an unexpected gesture of support July 28 with the Motion Picture Assn.’s award of a Producer’s Prize, shared among four leading figures in the industry, presented during the Moscow Intl. Film Festival.

“Talented producers are the engine behind great films and great film industries. This award expresses the highest regard for their contribution to the international film scene,” commented MPA VP Jane Albrecht. In Russia, she added, the producer’s role did not exist until a decade ago, when economic freedoms allowed the first private film financing.

Drawing on the expertise of nine notables from the Russian and U.S. industries, the MPA honored Sergei Selyanov of leading St. Petersburg indie STV; Leonid Vereshchagin of Nikita Mikhalkov’s Tri-Te studio; Igor Tolstunov of NTV-Profit; and Alexander Litvinov of Mosfilm. Each received a $5,000 cash prize.

Simultaneously the MPA announced that it would continue to support the Hartley-Merrill Intl. Screenwriting Prize in Russia, where local competition procedure was relaunched at the Moscow fest. The competition, which is set to run in 22 territories worldwide in 1999-2000, was established in Moscow 10 years ago by RKO’s Ted Hartley and Dina Merrill, in cooperation with Russian helmer Mikhalkov and his long-term scriptwriter Rustam Ibragimbekov.

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