Politician to chair Russian cinema council

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is taking personal charge of progress in the development of the country’s film industry as chairman of the government council on the progress of domestic cinematography, unveiled Monday.

Putin will “personally supervise” government initiatives to support the film industry, according to the Russian federal press service.

The new body — which emerged following a meeting of film industry chiefs chaired by Putin at St. Petersburg’s Russian World Studios in early October — will coordinate the work of government bodies, film industry professionals and companies.

The council will not allocate funding but will look at ways to improve efficiency of state support for production, distribution and promotion of Russian films domestically and internationally.

Supporting the introduction of “innovative cinema technologies” and measures to maintain a market share for Russian films on domestic release will also be part of the brief, the government press service said.

At October’s meeting of cinema chiefs in St. Petersburg — held to commemorate 100 years of Russian film — Putin noted the “potential of cinema to be a major educational tool and valuable point of reference for society.”

He said including the development of the domestic film industry in a long-term government plan of social and economic development was essential.

Russian reaction to the new council was muted.

One experienced Russian film industryite told Daily Variety, “As usual, nothing good will come of it.”

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