Russian filmmakers continue to enjoy strong support from the Ministry of Culture, which distributed funds totalling $130 million in 2011 for a wide range of activities, including education, development, documentary film and projects defined as being of a cultural or national character.
A further $170 million, including $56 million in direct subsidies to movie production, was channelled through the Russian Cinema Fund, which was set up two years ago.
The fund channels money through seven leading production companies and has also earmarked coin worth about $8 million a year to support international co-productions.
The funding system could face a shakeup under the government of Vladimir Putin, although nothing has been determined yet.
A new wave of young, well-educated and English-speaking Russian producers is driving a trend toward more international co-productions.
In 2011, Russia signed a co-production agreement with Italy’s Cinecitta Luce, a co-production treaty with Germany and co-development agreement with the Cinema Fund and three top German funds — the federal fund, Berlin-Brandenberg and Leipzig-based MDM.
Mosfilm, the central Moscow filmmaking complex, remains the country’s major production hub.
Glavkino boasts Eastern Europe’s biggest sound stage — a 32,000-sq.-ft. studio that is three times the area of the largest at Mosfilm.
Timur Bekmambetov’s company Bazelevs and Direktsya Kino both have strong reputations for post-production although most producers do post in Europe and the United States.