Culver Studios assisting Russian plans

MOSCOW — Private investors in Ukraine are planning to build a 12-stage film studio over the next three years with collaboration from Hollywood’s Culver Studios.

Local investor the Kiev-Donbass group, which has interests in territory’s property and entertainment sectors, has pledged up to $100 million toward the facility.

Kiev-Donbass has secured a 124 acre plot, with 807,000 square feet for pavilions and supporting labs and other buildings, on the outskirts of capital Kiev. Construction looks set to begin by the end of 2006, with completion about two years later. Design firm is Gary Barstein & Associates.

Culver Studios, through parent company Pacifica Ventures, will be involved in a consulting role, following meetings between Kiev-Donbass and Pacifica managing director Dana Arnold in Kiev at the end of January. Culver will also work with local staff over a training period.

According to local press reports, Kiev-Donbass VP Alexander Konstantinovsky expects foreign productions to occupy some 60% of final capacity.

“Ukraine is a most interesting arena for major-scale film production,” Pacifica’s Arnold said, quoted in Kiev biz daily Kommersant. “Kiev is an energetic and varied city, a real metropolis, and to work here will be extremely interesting. For that there’s the need for a full-cycle studio production complex, and we will be working with Kiev-Donbass on that.”

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