France, Russia ink film pact

Countries to form joint movie academy

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — A new French-Russian film academy that will promote co-productions between the two countries was launched Monday.

The latest in a series of moves by Russia to support more international movie cooperation, the academy — which has an initial budget of Euros 371,000 ($528,000) shared equally between the two countries — will begin working in the fall with two projects expected to receive development backing by early next year.

Eric Garandeau, prexy of France’s CNC national cinema fund, in St. Petersburg for the city’s international film festival Kino Forum, told Variety that joint Russian-French film projects could be eligible for accessing money from the new World Fund that CNC will launch January 2012.

With an annual budget of $8.5 million, the World Fund will be open to international projects with French partners.

Pavel Lungin, the Paris-based Russian director, said the new academy would facilitate co-productions between Russian and French filmmakers.

“Projects will receive backing on a case by case basis; there will also be scholarships for students and joint masterclasses,” he said.

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