Russian-European films to receive state support
“Foreigners do not watch Russian films”. There is a hope that soon this popular opinion will be changed. Russian filmmakers are to receive grants from the state, which has promised to support co-production projects with European filmmakers.
The Russian Cinema Fund has already signed co-production agreements with cinema funds in Italy, France and Germany. “Our goal is not only to make films but also to ensure their distribution”, the executive director of the Russian Cinema Fund Sergey Tolstikov said in an interview with the “Voice of Russia”. He said that on the early stage the goal is to ensure distribution at least in two European countries but later to expand distribution all over Europe taking into account integration processes on the continent. But to make Russian films interesting for foreigners Russian filmmakers should also revise some aspects of their work, Tolstikov notes:
"Foreigners don’t see our films mainly because the stories they tell are purely Russian. But if Russian stories are put into an international, European context, they will become interesting for foreign audience as well and vice versa."
One of the future projects is “The Stroll”, a Russian-Italian remake of the film made by Russian director Alexei Uchitel in 2003. A film lasts 90 minutes and takes place in the summer streets of St. Petersburg. A young girl and her two male companions are walking the streets of St Petersburg and on the first sight nothing happens between them – flirting, quarrelling laughter and tears amid the noise of a big city. But viewers feel some kind of mystery, implications before they finally realized that they have just witnessed a love drama. In the remake the action will be set in one of the cities in the north of Italy and the characters will be played by young Italian actors. The film will be made by an Italian director. The co-production is financed 70% by the Italian Film Fund and 30% by the Russian Film Fund.
Another Russian-Italian project “Elementary love” will be about relations between teenagers friendship, first love with inevitable love triangles. Most of the shooting will be made in Italy but there will be a couple of characters in this film who come from Russia.
Alexei Popogrebsky has become the first Russian director who received a grant of the French-Russian Cinema academy, which has been recently established. His new international project is an English speaking film called “Lost Rooms”. The film is to be shot in 3D and French and Russian film funds are to split expenses for the production. We hear from Alexei Popogrebsky:
"I have ideas of some effects no one has done before. They are to be calculated, tested and made. My film is at the turn of drama and fantasy. It is about a girl, who has a unique gift to see parallel worlds and who happens to find herself in one of them for awhile. She will have to live though many adventures, to learn about the mystery of her birth and to find the key to it."
A co-chairman of the Russian-French Academy, a famous director Pavel Lungin is now also working on a co-production. His future film is called “The Queen of Spades” and is a free interpretation of a short story by the Great Russian poet and writer Alexander Pushkin. “The Girl and Death”, a new film by a renowned Dutch filmmaker Jos Stelling starring famous Russian actors will also receive a financial support from the Russian Cinema Fund this year.