Follows resignation of Sergei Tolstikov

MOSCOW

Russia’s national cinema fund has appointed a director following the resignation of Sergei Tolstikov, who had headed it since its launch three years ago.

The appointment of Anton Malyshev, a producer with close ties to the Kremlin, comes two months after the Ministry of Culture took control of the semi-autonomous body that distributes $170 million of taxpayers’ coin in cinema support each year.

Tolstikov will continue to advise the fund as a consultant.

Malyshev, whose AMA has produced films including “Worm” and “Clairvoyant,” is a former assistant presidential envoy to the Central Federal District, a large swathe of territory centered on Moscow.

He is close to deputy culture minister Ivan Demidov who in 2009 succeeded Malyshev as head of the presidential administration’s department of humanitarian policy.

Malyshev’s appointment signals a further tightening of control over the Cinema Fund, which distributes grants to major Russian production companies and co-productions.

Culture minister Vladimir Medinsky has made it clear he expects the fund to back more commercial projects. He also favors films that support Kremlin ideology.

The fund came under fire last year after figures were released showing the box office share of Russian films had dropped despite big increases in state funding.

Demidov welcomed Malyshev’s appointment, saying, “By supporting the candidacy of Anton Malyshev, the Ministry, as in all recent personnel decisions, has once again put a bet on a promising manager who can give impetus to the industry.”

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