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Russian film industry finds trump card to compete with Hollywood

The audience would like to watch "honest" movies "about themselves and their country, their problems, responsibilities and triumphs," the Russian culture minister said

MOSCOW, January 16. /TASS/. Russian film industry has found its trump card to compete with foreign movies, Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said in his column on the TASS website.

According to him, "moviegoers aren’t surprised anymore to see Russian titles on movie posters, still dominated by Hollywood flicks, they have grown used to them and are anticipating to watch ‘our’ pictures." Medinsky added that the audience would like to watch "honest" movies "about themselves and their country, their problems, responsibilities and triumphs." The minister pointed out that it was "our trump card in competing with movies about the adventures of good-looking foreign guys living in the fantasy land of Marvel (Comics) and Spider-Man."

Medinsky pointed to "a social call to promote pride in our country, in our ancestors and contemporaries," saying that the Culture Ministry "supports projects dedicated to such matters." However, he went on to say that such a policy "does not damage other genres, which have also been successful lately." As an example of hit movies, he pointed to several motion pictures released over the past few years, such as Viking, Prityazheniye (or Attraction), Vremya Pervykh (or The Spacewalker), Salyut 7, Posledny Bogatyr (or The Last Warrior), Legenda o Kolovrate (or The Legend of Kolovrat), Bolshoi, Solnechny Udar (or Sunstroke), 28 Panfilovtsev (or Panfilov's 28 Men) and Ekipazh (or Flight Crew).

The culture minister added that the achievements made by the Russian film industry in 2016 and 2017 "are more than just a box office success or a lucky streak." The Russian culture minister said, "it is a quality achievement," because the Russian movie industry "has claimed to be able to produce films for a wide audience on a regular rather than on a case-by-case basis." He also highlighted the strong positions of Russian cartoons, as well as of those who make "social and independent films," which "not only gather an impressive collection of awards at international festivals but also have success at the box office."

In 2017, Russian cinema box office gains doubled compared to 2012, Medinsky noted.

"The results of 2017 are the following: Russian flicks attracted 55 mln moviegoers and raked in 13 bln rubles ($228 mln) in sales at the box office. Both these numbers have doubled compared to 2012. The industry’s GDP has actually doubled in just five years," he stressed.

The minister said that the Russian film industry’s success was rooted in the diversification of the state support system, the restoration of movie theaters in small towns, and the creation of a rebate system (to pay back the money to filmmakers who shoot their movies in the country’s regions). In addition, the promotion of Russian movies on foreign markets, the restoration of state film studios and the support of private ones, the creation of a single movie ticket control system and the consistent fight against movie piracy on the Internet also contributed to this success.