Director Mikhalkov says the "best" will survive

Though the global financial meltdown is slashing and burning businesses and creative projects the world over, Russian helmer Nikita Mikhalkov was in characteristic ebullient form as the Russian Filmmakers Union celebrated 100 years of Russian cinema.

“The financial crisis will have a healthy influence on Russian cinema, washing away all that is unnecessary,” opined Mikhalkov, who is winding up filming on the sequel to his 1994 Oscar winner “Burnt by the Sun.”

Good actors and directors need not fear the recession, he said. “If there are fewer (TV) serials, nothing terrible will happen.

“The best and most capable in the business will survive.”

Mikhalkov, who combines directing with heading the Moscow Intl. film fest and running the Filmmakers Union, has little to worry about in terms of his own work.

A close friend of former (and possible next, according to the Moscow rumor mill) president Vladimir Putin, Mikhalkov’s new film has state film fund backing and is due for release in 2010 .

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