Nashe Kino is move away from Intercinema Art partnership

MOSCOW — Russia’s top independent production company, CTB, whose slate includes some of the most profitable local films of the last decade, is launching distrib outfit Nashe Kino.

CTB topper and helmer Sergei Selyanov announced the news Tuesday to exhibs at national confab Kino-Expo in Moscow.

The company’s latest success is crime/road movie “Bimmer,” a co-production with Pygmalion Films, which has earned more than $1 million since its August release even though it wasn’t picked up by a major distrib.

Pavel Lungin’s “The Oligarch” and Alexei Balabanov’s “Brother 2″ also broke the million-dollar mark at the B.O.

Selyanov’s announcement — described as a matter of life and death for ensuring future production income — marks a move away from a previous partnership with local arthouse distrib Intercinema Art.

CTB’s new partner on Nashe Kino will be Neva Film, one of Russia’s largest dubbing and post-production facilities. Both are based in St. Petersburg, which has a thriving serial and feature production scene.

Selyanov is acclaimed as the producer who almost single-handedly kept Russian production going through the down years of the 1990s. He is also a fierce defender of intellectual property rights, battling St Petersburg’s pirate video market.

The CTB offshoot Melnitsa studio’s foray into animation has been successful. Its full-length “Longnose the Dwarf” was the second-highest-grossing Russian film of the first half of the year.

CTB’s upcoming slate includes Balabanov’s “The American” and a sequel to cult crime pic “Mummy Don’t Cry,” by Maxim Pezhemsky. Another animation feature, “Alyesha Popovich and Tugarin the Snake,” is also in the pipeline.

Nashe Kino isn’t the only new distrib coming into the market. Affiliated with Russia’s Culture Ministry, RosKinoProkat is stepping up its activity, and Sept. 25 will launch Moscow fest opener “The Stroll,” by Alexei Uchitel.

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