Russia sets up new film body

New funding system to be introduced

MOSCOW — The Russian ministry of culture has established a new national film body following the sudden closure in May of the Federal Agency for Cinema and Culture.

A new department of cinematography within the ministry of culture will perform most of the functions of the previous agency, deputy culture minister Alexander Golutva said Friday.

Golutva, who was deputy head of the old cinema agency, said that a new analytical department, headed by Russian producer Sergey Zernov, would also be created to advise top government officials on the development of cinema and the film industry in Russia.

A new system of state financial support will be introduced from 2009, culture minister Alexander Avdeev said late Thursday. The system will replace that operated by the old cinema agency.

“We shall invite outstanding film directors, cameramen, the best film-making teams” to bid for funding, Avdeev said.

The sudden closure of the old cinema agency — news of which emerged when many Russian filmmakers were at the Cannes festival in May — initially caused consternation among producers of films already pledged funds under the old system, although it was soon confirmed that existing agreements would be honored.

The shake-up — ordered soon after Avdeev was appointed minister of culture — ousted the head of the cinema agency, Mikhail Shvydkoi, and a number of other senior officials.

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