You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Berlin: Russian Biz Looks to Bond with International Industry

As Roskino, the government-backed organization that promotes Russian cinema around the world, celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, Katya Mtsitouridze, Roskino’s CEO, and Variety Russia’s Denis Ruzaev explain what the prospects are for international producers looking to work with Russian partners.

More and more Russian producers are looking to get involved in co-production, Mtsitouridze and Ruzaev agree. One of the most active is Georgy Malkov’s Enjoy Movies, whose Russia-U.S. pics include action-thriller “American Heist,” starring Hayden Christensen. Pic’s production partner is Glacier Films.

There is plenty of scope for more international co-production activity in Russia. Of the 167 Russian movies that were in production as of November, only 22 were co-productions.

However, international producers looking to co-produce in Russia should be realistic about the chances of accessing state funding, which is primarily focused on benefiting Russian films, Mtsitouridze and Ruzaev said. Projects that are submitted for funding can expect to be carefully scrutinized before they get the status of a “national movie,” which allows them to qualify for state funding.

Alexander Mindadze, whose Chernobyl-set drama “Innocent Saturday” preemed in Berlin’s main program, struggled to get Russian state funding for his Russian-German co-production set during WWII, “Sweet Hans, Dear Pyotr.” The Ministry of Culture was said to be unhappy with the screenplay’s approach to Russian history, but after a public outcry the film got some funding from the Russian Cinema Fund.

Production costs in Russia, and Moscow especially, are high, but if the budget is in place, and the foreign producer is basically needed to help just with production abroad and getting the international cast, then co-production with Russia can be lucrative, Mtsitouridze and Ruzaev say.

The Russian box office is steadily growing and for medium-scale projects if they are successful in Russia that on its own can be enough to deliver a return on investment.

Another plus point in Russia’s favor is its membership in co-production organization Eurimages. Since Russia joined Eurimages in 2011, co-production has become much more of a viable option for Russian producers. Russian projects to receive Eurimages funding recently have included Vera Glagoleva’s “Two Women” and Alexander Sokurov’s “ “Francofonia: The Louvre Under German Occupation.”

More Film

  • Alita Battle Angel

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel,' 'Lego Movie 2' to Lead President's Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” is holding a slim lead ahead of “Lego Movie 2’s” second frame with an estimated four-day take of $29.1 million from 3,790 North American locations. “Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” meanwhile, is heading for about $25 million for a domestic tally of around $66 million. The two films lead the pack [...]

  • Marianne Rendon, Matt Smith, Ondi Timoner

    Robert Mapplethorpe Biopic Teams Talks about 'Fast and Furious' Filming

    Thursday night’s New York premiere of the Matt Smith-led biopic “Mapplethorpe” took place at Cinépolis Chelsea, just steps from the Chelsea Hotel where the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once lived — but director Ondi Timoner had no sense of that legacy when she first encountered him in a very different context. “When I was ten [...]

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, Star of 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire,' Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor best known for dramatizing Adolf Hitler’s final days in 2004’s “Downfall,” has died. He was 77. Ganz died at his home in Zurich on Friday, his representatives told media outlets. The cause of death was reportedly colon cancer. In addition to delivering one of the definitive cinematic portrayals of Hitler, [...]

  • Steve Bannon appears in The Brink

    Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in 'The Brink'

    Stephen K. Bannon drinks Kombucha (who knew?), the fermented tea beverage for health fanatics that tastes like…well, if they ever invented a soft drink called Germs, that’s what Kombucha tastes like. In “The Brink,” Alison Klayman’s fly-on-the-wall, rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-a-white-nationalist documentary, Bannon explains that he likes Kombucha because it gives him a lift; he drinks it for [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Cinematographers Praise Academy Reversal: 'We Thank You for Your Show of Respect'

    Cinematographers who fought the decision to curtail four Oscar presentations have praised the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for reversing the exclusions. “We thank you for your show of respect for the hard-working members of the film community, whose dedication and exceptional talents deserve the public recognition this reversal now allows them to enjoy,” [...]

  • Peter Parker and Miles Morales in

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse' Colored Outside the Lines

    The well-worn superhero genre and one of its best-known icons are unlikely vehicles for creating a visually fresh animated feature. But Sony Pictures Animation’s work on the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” shows throwing out the rule book and letting everyone play in the creative sandbox can pay off big. “I think we [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content