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Medvedev visits new Russian studios

Facility will house Eastern Europe's biggest sound stage

MOSCOW — Glavkino, a $300 million studio under construction outside Moscow, lifted its curtain with a special screening of helmer Janik Fayziev’s patriotic movie, “August 8,” for president Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday.

The 108,000 sq.-ft. state-of-the-art studio will boast Eastern Europe’s biggest sound stage. At 9,800 sq.-ft., it is three times the size of the largest sound stage at Mosfilm, Russia’s busiest studios.

“Now we have our own Hollywood — it is Glavkino,” Medvedev said.

Filmmaker Fedor Bondarchuk said, “The main sound stage can accommodate a tank or an airplane. You can make any movie here.”

Phase one of the studio, which is being built by construction giant Tsentrstroy, is expected to fully open this year.

“We have finished construction and we’re now installing equipment and expect to be open by the early summer,” general director Ilya Bachurin told Variety.

Further facilities will be built in the coming year, he added.

With a presidential election just over a week away, which prime minister and former president Vladimir Putin is odds on to win, “August 8” was a politically correct choice of movie.

Unspooling on Defenders of the Fatherland Day, an annual holiday celebrating Russia’s military might, the pic concerns the five-day war fought over the destiny of Georgia’s break-away region of Southern Ossetia in 2008. The conflict ended with Russian troops advancing to within 50 miles of Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi.

Co-written by Fayziev and Michael A. Lerner, “August 8” portrays Georgia as the aggressor in a conflict that at the time drew sharp international criticism for Russia’s actions.

The blockbuster was produced by pubcaster Channel One with the backing of state film fund Kino Fond.

Medvedev praised the filmmakers for producing a movie that would enable Russians to feel proud of their military and their country.

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