Russian films to seek investors through pitching
The Ministry of Culture of Russia has decided to implement a new method of investments spread among projects in the film industry. Directors will now have to reveal the essence of the film during a five-minute presentation. According to official information, with the current amount of funding and low level of return of the Russian movies, only one in six films presented this way will obtain the necessary funds to be turned into reality.
According to the Ministry of Culture, this procedure is called pitching and it is already being used successfully all over the world by filmmakers looking for investors. However, the leading Russian producers say that this is a very tough test and could often lead to unfair results, as the jury may choose not the best film idea, but the best presentation.
"I confessed to them that for me it's the first time of such presentation,” reported Russian film director Sergey Nikonenko. “I'm a little worried and do not know how to maneuver here and how to defend [my project]. But I said to them what I like in my film and what I like in movies in general."
Commenting on the new initiative, experts from the Ministry of Culture said that in many countries there are special courses that are teaching filmmakers how to ask for money with such presentations. In Russia there are no such courses, but the heads of the Ministry of Culture believe that such a system will improve the Russian cinema.
Film Directors Reject Same-sex Relationships
The Russian Union of Cinematographers, which includes almost all main film directors in the country, will fight against portrayals of same-sex relationships in the movies, calling it as negative phenomenon.
At a recent press conference, Union chairman Nikita Mikhalkov sharply criticized same-sex relationships in the movies, even as he claimed he does not have anything against single gays. "The world is connected, one thing to another, and cinema is changing together with other things. But when the world has changed with so completely unnatural things happening, what can we expect from the films? There cannot be a healthy and energy-charged movie in the world where legitimacy of same-sex marriage exists." Mikhalkov’s comments were recorded during a master class at the Movie Actor Theater in Moscow.
This month, the Russian Parliament adopted a new law prohibiting any propaganda of any type in support of same-sex couples—including in the movies. According to experts, the law means that film directors will have no right to include scenes of same-sex love or sympathetic protagonists with a different sexual orientation. Experts believe films that depict homosexual relationships will not be eligible for financial and organizational support of the Union of Cinematographers and the Ministry of Culture of Russia.
Russian Turns to Movies on Folk Heroes
The Russian film industry continue to focus on people's heroes. Following the hit movie about legendary hockey player Valery Kharlamov comes a new semi-biographical movie about the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin. Also there’s buzz that a team of Russian film directors is working on the film about the world-famous football goalkeeper Lev Yashin.
Russian directors note that films about folk heroes of the past have worked well. "Nostalgia for the great people that are hardly to be met now is widespread among the population,” said a spokesperson for the Russian Union of Cinematographers.
“Films about heroes like Vladimir Vysotsky and Valery Kharlamov are guaranteed good box office. With the success of these films in the context of the continuing depression of the industry in general, we can expect support for similar projects.”
Today in Russia, about 70% of films released do not recover their production and ad budgets. Experts have no doubt that biographical films will be the main direction of development of Russian cinema.
Vladislav Vorotnikov has also reported for BoxOffice.