Russian co-productions ahead

European Producers Club, cinema fund partner

In a move signalling the growing trend in the Russian film industry towards international co-operation, the European Producers Club has signed a partnership agreement with the Russian Cinema Fund.

The partnership, announced Tuesday, will support films by finding financing and co-production partners.

The two bodies will jointly select between three and five Euro projects seeking Russian partners and the Cinema Fund will match projects with local partners or sources of coin.

The EPC will follow up and provide assistance right up until production.

The Cinema Fund may also present the same number of Russian projects seeking Euro partners. The EPC plans to invite a Russian delegation to the Berlinale in 2012 to represent these projects.

The agreement comes at a time of growing enthusiasm for co-productions in Russia. The country joined Eurimages, the EU co-production fund, earlier this year and last week’s industry event, Moscow Business Square, held during the Moscow Film Festival, was widely seen as the most successful to date.

Chris Curling, EPC president and head of Zephyr Film — who produced “The Last Station,” starring Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer, about the final years of writer Leo Tolstoy – said, “Russia’s return to international and European film industry relations confirms its desire to count as a real partner for European nations.”

Curling was among producers and film finance specialists at the Winston-Baker Film Finance Forum presented in association with Variety in Moscow on June 24.

“This new partnership between EPC and the Russian Cinema Fund is the first building block in what is sure to be a longterm and promising co-operation between nations,” Curling added.

The Russian Cinema Fund is a government initiative aimed at strengthening its film industry. The European Producers Club represents Euro film producers, promoting international relations in the film industry globally.

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