Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin has lifted a ban on film and TV shoots in the city, his office confirmed Wednesday. News of the resumption of filming emerged earlier this week during an online debate running as part of a virtual market for local films and series, the Key Buyers Event. Russia’s deputy minister of culture Maxim Ksenzov said the mayor had answered the ministry’s call to restart production.
The Moscow Film Commission is going to resume working with international film crews, the commission’s Svetlana Maximchenko said. Since it was founded in 2018, the commission has assisted more than 900 shoots, including Danny Boyle’s film “Yesterday” and HBO series “Chernobyl.”
“We always welcome both national and global producers to film in Moscow, and are ready to assist in organizing filming locations and arranging all the formalities. We are happy to get back to work before the end of June,” Maximchenko said.
Evgenia Markova, CEO of Russian film promotion agency Roskino, said the local industry was keen to return to business as usual as the past few years had seen a breakthrough for the national industry on the global stage.
“The content Russia offers now is different from that of several years ago. Production values are growing every year, which is proven by the figures. International box-office of Russian films tripled within the last four years, with over 90 titles theatrically released outside Russia in 2019,” Markova said. “National content travels to over 120 countries versus 23 a couple of years ago, with 25% year-on-year growth in international sales before the pandemic.”
Roskino, with financial backing from the ministry of culture, supports Russian sales delegations at the key global film markets, including Cannes Film Market.
Alexei Fursin, head of Moscow’s department of entrepreneurship and innovations, said the export of film and animation is one of the city’s key priorities. “Since 2019 we’ve been organizing the Created in Moscow program with five business delegations of Moscow-based companies to global film markets, including Annecy, Toronto, AFM, Berlin’s EFM and Kidscreen. As a result participants signed 60 export contracts worth over $7.1 million so far, and we still have more to come following EFM.”
Apart from having helped develop the federal rebates initiative, the Russian Export Center (EXIAR) offers bank guaranties for both sides in a contract, as well as providing loans to the foreign buyer. “Such financial tools and guaranties are crucial for both sides of the deal during these unstable times,” Nikita Gusakov, CEO at EXIAR, said.