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Films about war lead to financial losses

Films about war lead to financial losses

Russian cinematographic circles all discuss two burning topics concerned with the last meeting between the President Putin and Mosfilm representatives. One topic is the absence of Nikita Mikhalkov. Another is whether the government will provide adequate financial support for the military and patriotic films being created for the 60th Anniversary of Victory.

Both topics are somewhat intertwined, because Mikhalkov is going to launch a relatively big project called "Burnt by the Sun-2", aiming to create a movie worth the heroic deeds of the Russian nations.
 
It is impossible to explain why Mikhalkov, a president of Russian Filmmakers Union, was absent at the meeting between remarkable moviemakers and the president, where the financial support was one of the topics. Mikhalkov does not give any comments, what may mean that he has already asked the president for special financing, and received a delicate but firm decline.

Most daring financial requests from "Mosfilm" were limited to US$3mln for a patriotic picture. Sergey Lazarchuk, a functioner-in-charge at the Ministry of Culture, explained to "Izvestia" that the State gives about US$600,000 for a film usually. Nearly the same amount is gathered by producers from TV or other investors. Classics receive somewhat more, debutants a little less funds.

12 full length motion pictures about war and 3 documentary series are being filmed this year. Data on revenues from modern films about the Second World War is very rough. The best of what was screened: "Cuckoo", "August 1944" and "The Star" received US$200,000-500,000 each. Compare to other Russian movies about so-called "peaceful" life: "Oligarch", "Antikiller" and "Boomer", each of which gathered at least US$1mln.

At the meeting, say the participants, a question of Mikhalkov's budget for "Siberian Barber" rose, and the number named was US$30 to 40mln. This may give a clue about the budget of his new film.

Sergey Lazarchuk in a talk with the author, informed that the Ministry of Culture has not received a screenplay of "Burnt by the Sun-2", neither there was any request for financial support.

Yuri MOLIBOGA