×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich’s $100 Million Film Fund Launches

CANNES  —  Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s $100 million private film fund Kinoprime is ready for business, the fund’s CEO, Anton Malyshev, said in Cannes this week.

Financed to the tune of $100 million over the next three years, the fund can provide up to 50% of a film’s production budget, with a $2 million cap per project. Its first investment, “Fairy,” the new feature from Berlinale prize winner Anna Melikyan (“Mars”), is currently in post-production and will be released in Russia later this year.

The former managing director of the Russian State Film Fund, Malyshev said Kinoprime would meet a need currently unaddressed by the state funding mechanism. “The Russian cinema fund has just one aim: to make Russian films more box office in Russia. It’s about blockbusters,” said Malyshev. “We need quality movies—not only blockbusters. Very good art projects are good for us.”

He added that for an industry still largely bolstered by support from the Ministry of Culture, an applicant that arrived at Kinoprime with state funding secured would be “good for investment, because it’s low risk.”

The Croisette served as a fitting backdrop for Malyshev’s comments this week, with director Kantemir Balagov returning to Cannes with “Beanpole,” the follow-up to his Fipresci prize-winning “Closeness,” and writer-director Larisa Sadilova appearing with “Once in Trubchevsk.” Both films are screening in Un Certain Regard.

Malyshev said Kinoprime would cast a wide net for films to be considered by its 10-person selection committee, including projects from festival regulars, commercial directors, or up-and-coming prospects. “Kirill Serebrennikov has talent. And maybe a young prospective director has talent, too. Or maybe it’s Fedor Bondarchuk. He’s a star in Russia, and maybe an international star,” he said.

Malyshev added that the fund would also consider international projects, provided they had a “Russian flavor,” such as director or topline talent.

For its first year, Kinoprime is likely to invest in 10-15 projects, said Malyshev, although he expects that number to soon grow. The fund’s potential has hardly been scratched. “A hundred million dollars for three years is not so much. It’s like a boutique,” he said. “We are good now for a start.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Jamie Bell Without Remorse

    Jamie Bell Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jamie Bell is in final negotiations to join Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of the Tom Clancy novel “Without Remorse.” Stefano Sollima, who most recently helmed “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” is directing from a script by “Sicaro” screenwriter Taylor Sheridan. As previously announced, Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known [...]

  • Elizabeth McGovern, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter,

    'Downton Abbey' Movie Sequel? Producers Tease That They Have 'Some Ideas'

    “Downton Abbey” holds the record as the most-nominated international show at the Emmy Awards with 69 nominations and 15 wins — and now, it stands a chance to nab an Oscar. More than three years after the beloved series signed off the air following six critically-acclaimed seasons, “Downton Abbey” is making its big-screen debut. “It [...]

  • Todd Phillips Joaquin Phoenix Joker Movie

    What's Woker Than 'Joker'? Film Critics Made Everything Political at Fall Festivals

    “Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?” asks Joaquin Phoenix, playing a deranged incel version of the DC supervillain in “Joker,” the unconventional comic book movie that’s sucked up much of the air from the fall festival circuit. Like an aggro caricature of the “involuntary celibates” who troll message boards online, [...]

  • Running Against the Wind

    Young Africans' Dreams Are Focus of Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda Oscar Picks

    Films about young Africans trying to fulfill their dreams in the face of war, poverty, tradition and other forms of adversity have been submitted for Oscar consideration by three East African nations. The selections by Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda to compete in the international feature film category reflect the relative youth of filmmaking in the [...]

  • Bob Bakish Viacom CEO

    ViacomCBS Leaders Talk NFL Negotiations, Streaming Wars and Merger Focus

    Viacom and CBS aim to prosper in the streaming arena by covering both ends of the marketplace, blending Viacom’s focus on ad-supported platforms with CBS’ strong head start on subscribers for CBS All Access and Showtime. ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish and incoming ViacomCBS chief financial officer Christina Spade outlined the combined company’s vision for how [...]

  • Steven Poster ICG National President

    DP Steven Poster to Receive SOC Lifetime Achievement Award

    Stephen Poster, cinematographer on such classics as “Donnie Darko” and Madonna’s “Like a Prayer,” will receive the Lifetime Achievement Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Camera Operators at a ceremony on Jan. 18, 2020. SOC grants the award to an Individual who has served the community at large and/or the Society through outstanding service [...]

  • RUTH HANDLER Barbie doll creator Ruth

    'Dream Doll' Biopic on Barbie Doll Inventor in Development (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Dream Doll,” a biopic based on Barbie Doll inventor Ruth Handler, is in development with Bron Studios, Rita Wilson and Rare Bird Films, Variety has learned exclusively. The film will chronicle the life of Handler as she founded Mattel in 1945 and created the now-iconic Barbie doll, named after her daughter Barbara, in 1959. Handler [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content