MOSCOW, August 27 (Itar-Tass) – Russian moviemakers and audiences are marking Cinema Day on Monday, August 27.
It was precisely on that day in 1919 that the leader of Soviet Russia, Vladimir Lenin, signed a decree on nationalizing the country’s cinematic studios.
August 27 thus became a professional holiday of the industry in the USSR and then in Russia.
The brothers Auguste and Louis Lumiere put their show of motion picture on show in Paris in 1895. In Russia, the first movie titled ‘Stenka Razin’ and depicting scenes from the life of the leader of a 17th century uprising was produced in 1908. Its running time was slightly more than seven minutes.
The first Russian color film, ‘The Battleship Potyomkin’, came out in 1925. It was produced by Sergei Eisenstein.
The movie industry has made a giant leap worldwide since then. Its latest achievements include a transition to digital technologies, film director Karen Shakhnazarov, the director general of Mosfilm Studios corporation told reporters on the eve of Cinema Day.
“For instance, France has fully changed over to digital movies and Germany has switched 70% of its moviemaking over to the technology,” he said.
“For the movie industry, this is a greater revolution than even the advent of the soundtrack,” he said. “Film as the main carrier is receding into the past.”
Shakhnazarov warned, however, that far from all the segments of the industry will benefit from digital technologies, which may call into question the future of large filming studios.
“Big studios in Europe are going through major problems at this moment,” he said.
As for the Russian moviemaking, it is faced with the problem of financing. All the finances have been coming to the studios via two organizations since 2009 – the Federal Fund for Social and Economic Support of the Russian Cinematic Industry and the Ministry of Culture, but Sakhanarov believes this dual system has major flaws.
“It simply doesn’t work,” he said. “I think an analogue of the Soviet-era State Committee for Cinematography should be set up in one way or another for supporting precisely targeted projects rather than separate studios and companies.”
“We’d make a correct move by returning to a unified center of financing,” Shakhnazarov said. “The name it will be given is another story. It might be an agency reporting to the Ministry of Culture or a foundation of some kind.”
“Whatever it is, it’ll be expected to supervise the solution of all problems of the movie industry from the allocation of monies to the production of pictures to distribution,” he said.
Shakhnazarov also mentioned the problem of Russian movies promotion to the West. He believes special bidding contests should be held on a biennial basis to select a company that will take charge of the promotion efforts.
“It’ll have a package of fifty to sixty Russian movies and will be offering them to foreign producers,” Shakhnazarov said.
Official functions and public actions on the occasion of Cinema Day will be held all across Russia. In Moscow, the main focus is given to the Moskovskaya Premiera /Moscow Opening Night/ festival of Russian movies.
Apart from new films, the Moskovskaya Premiera program features the best works produced in recent years.
All in all, the festival program includes fourteen movies.