Italy to join Canada as Russian partner

Many private deals also planned

MOSCOW — Russia is pushing ahead to develop co-production opportunities, hoping to draw foreign partners into local projects. To that end, it will sign a treaty with Italy during this year’s Venice Intl. Film Festival.

Back in the days of the Soviet Union, the two territories were long-term production partners, so much so that at one point, the Soviet KGB questioned the influence of Italian involvement in the home industry.

Those days are long gone, but Russia is now paying increasing attention to international partnerships, according to Alexander Golutva, the territory’s deputy minister of culture responsible for film.

Besides fruitful ventures with France, a more recent deal with Canada is already bringing results, and a number of private deals there are also planned. Typically in such pacts, production takes place in Russia and post-production occurs in Canadian facilities.

Treaty rate

In the absence of a treaty, films eligible for Russian state funding can have foreign investment of no more than 30% — though Golutva is aiming to get the Russian legislature to increase that figure. Where treaties exist, there are no limits on foreign funding.

Russia also is moving ahead to join European production fund Euroimages and could have government approval by as early as the beginning of next year, Golutva tells Variety.

Two publicly funding projects are being developed with Italian partners, while one, titled “The Canadian Alcoholic,” is already in pre-production with Canada.

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