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Friday, July 24, 2015

Russia $500m studio fund seeks to challenge Hollywood

British and American media are largely hostile to or dismissive of Russia, keeping the Cold War antagonism very much alive. We don't hear so much about the film-making from a country that has provided major elements of the media language of film.

Challenging the Hollywood hegemony is a colossal task, and I doubt $500m will go far ... perhaps of equal significance is the talk of setting limits on the amount of non-Russian film in Russian cinemas. America has invaded small nations in the past for such quota systems, seeing Hollywood as key to soft power globally.

In Russia's pseudo democracy (you can judge whether the UK or US polities are much healthier), its not surprising that the interests of the state are so explicitly linked to this new lush, which came about after Putin asked for private finance to build up Russia's film industry:

The Russian state has become increasingly interested in the film industry in recent years. In 2014, the culture minister called for a cap on foreign movies, and in March his ministry released a list of movie themes which it would support. These included family values, military glory and “Crimea and Ukraine in the 1,000 year history of the Russian state”. It’s also a big business – Stalingrad, a war film, earned over $50m worldwide last year.

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