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MOSCOW, September 18 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev held a fourth meeting of the governmental council for the development of the domestic film industry. The proposals were made at the meeting to support the domestic filmmaking. The state authorities may cancel the zero VAT rate for the tickets on foreign movies. It is not ruled out that the quotas on domestic films at the movie theatres will be introduced. “But it is an open secret that the degradation is mainly taking place. Russian films are being ousted from the movie theatres under the pressure of the US film products,” the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily quoted Dmitry Medvedev as saying. The Russian Culture Ministry has many options for decisions. Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky intends to oblige the recipients of the state financial resources for the films to spend them only for filmmaking on the territory of Russia. The exceptions are possible only with a permission of the contractors, or if the making of a film abroad makes integral part of a scenario of the author. The ministry finds it reasonable to reduce the number of the recipients of the state financial support. Today more than 400 films are being shot on state funds. Not all films are issued. Medinsky also finds the funding of the television series reasonable, as the latter have a broad audience now. But this should be linked with the participation of the television channels, as those should co-finance the film shooting and secure the issue of a film.
The participants on the market believe that such novelties may just hamper the Russian film industry, the RBC daily reported. “Actually the share of Russian films at the movie theatres now can make about 15%. The films are getting the time for screening in proportion to the Hollywood films. If the film is not interesting, a longer period of distribution of the film will not make a spectator to go to the cinema. The number of the sold tickets will not grow, even if a Russian film has some quota. The film distributors and the movie theatres will just show a film in empty halls. This will result in excessive expenses and will not bring any profits to Russian film producers,” general director of the network of the movie theatres Cinema Park Sergei Kitin said.
Russian films can be made more competitive, for instance, thanks to subsidizing the ticket price and introducing the quotas, Kronverk Cinema general director Andrei Tereshok believes. “The cancellation of the VAT tax benefit will only slow down the growth of the cinema networks, reducing a potential cinema audience,” the Kommersant daily quoted the businessman as saying. The foresaid measures will not result in a growing interest of spectators, head of the cinema company Profit Igor Tolstunov believes. “The development of a full-fledged state policy for the support to the cinema will help to the film industry, rather than emergency measures,” he underlined.