Russian lawmakers decide to shelve bill on film distribution quotas
LONDON — The Motion Picture Assn. of America, which represents the interests of the Hollywood studios, has welcomed President Vladimir Putin’s opposition to the introduction of movie quotas as Russia lawmakers shelved a plan to bring in the measure Thursday.
Members of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the Duma, had been due to debate a bill that would have imposed a 50% limit on foreign films, but lawmakers have decided to park the proposal.
This follows a recent speech made by President Putin in which he said he opposed such a policy.
“It would be wrong to deny our consumers those goods they would like to have. It is applicable to the motion picture industry too. It would be unwise to turn down what is profitable,” President Putin told a forum of the All-Russia Popular Front last week, the TASS news agency reported.
He added: “The Americans are talented and successful people and there is a lot we can learn from them.”
Chris Marcich, MPAA’s president and managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, told Variety Thursday: “We welcome the remarks by President Putin. We have long enjoyed close relations with Russian filmmakers and have a shared interest in a healthy local market.”
Leading Russian film industry players have frequently made clear that they do not want restrictions placed on the distribution of films, and several of them restated this point of view at the St. Petersburg Intl. Media Forum last month, including filmmaker Fyodor Bondarchuk.