As much as 1.709 billion roubles (or about $60 million) will be appropriated from the federal coffers for the needs of the national movie industry next year. Of this sum, 428 million roubles will go to cover the film production and screening costs, Alexander Golutva, head of the Film Department at Russia's Culture Ministry, told a Moscow press conference Friday. Golutva predicted that the year 2002 would be a successful one for the Russian movies. To corroborate his prediction, he said that this next May would see the release of the latest productions by such prominent film directors as Andron Konchalovsky, Kira Muratova, Alexander Sokurov, and Alexander Mitta. According to Golutva, the Russian government's support in 2001 made possible the production of 30 features, 19 animation films, and 280 documentaries. All in all, the state contributed to the production of 329 motion pictures. It purchased 700,000 dollars' worth of film, which was then used to shoot 126 movies and to make 50 copies. At a ceremony today, some of the prominent Russian filmmakers received state awards for their achievement in the motion picture arts.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.