Russia to privatize Mosfilm studio

Film archive remains under government control

MOSCOW — Russia’s top film studio Mosfilm is to be privatized as part of ongoing reforms of the local industry.

The studio is being divided into two distinct units.

The lucrative archive of movies made before 1992 will continue to belong to a newly-established state-owned body. All its other property, including its central Moscow facilities, will become a limited company with plans for privatization.

In a surprise move, current Mosfilm director Karen Shakhnazarov — who was appointed head of the archive Aug. 25 — will for the time being remain in control of general operations at the studio.

Helmer Shakhnazarov, whose most recent pic was Karlovy Vary-competitor “Poisons,” had been one of the principle opponents of splitting the studio, proposing instead a national levy on exhibition sales to fund the local industry.