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Culture"Mosfilm" turns 100 years old

“Mosfilm” turns 100 years old

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The studio survived both the Soviet communist era and imposed censorship, as well as the severe economic downturn that followed the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

Mosfilm – the state-owned giant of Soviet and Russian cinema, which created classic films such as “Battleship Potemkin” and “Solaris”, celebrated its centenary at the end of January this year, Reuters reported.

According to General Director Karen Shahnazarov, who has been at the head of Mosfilm for more than 25 years, the studio is well prepared to prosper in the future.

Shakhnazarov also believes that the standoff between Moscow and the West over the conflict in Ukraine should benefit Russian filmmakers.

Although some Western films are still shown in Russian cinemas, often long after they have been released on the big screen in other countries, Russian productions are becoming increasingly important for box office receipts.

“This is a gift to us,” Karen Shakhnazarov told Reuters at the sprawling Mosfilm complex on the outskirts of Moscow, referring to the reduction in the number of Western films shown in Russian cinemas.

He was one of the leading cultural figures in Russia who publicly supported the so-called by the Kremlin “special military operation” in Ukraine soon after it began.

“There is another question – how can we use it? I hope it will have its effect”, he adds.

“It is clear that competition is essential for the film industry, but there are times when we need to raise the level of domestic film production. Now is a good time to do it,” says Shakhnazarov.

The figures suggest that the box office in Russia will exceed 40 billion rubles ($450 million) – revenues close to those before the pandemic, when Western films were shown more often.

Last year, Russian films accounted for 28 billion rubles of total box office receipts.

Mosfilm survived both the Soviet communist era, when films were subject to strict censorship, and the severe economic downturn that followed the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

The studio only makes a fraction of Russian films, but it remains a force, boasting impressive sets, state-of-the-art recording and editing studios, computer-generated imagery (CGI) facilities, and a large cinema complex.

“Mosfilm” is not inferior to any studio in the world, and even surpasses many of them,” says 71-year-old Karen Shahnazarov, who is also a film director.

He adds that he is proud of the studio as it approaches its 100th anniversary.

State television channel Rossiya 1 aired a gala on January 20 paying tribute to leading figures from the past, including Sergei Eisenstein, who directed and co-wrote the 1925 film Battleship Potemkin.

Other films produced by Mosfilm include Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 film Solaris.

According to the director general, war films are more popular than any other genre in Russia and beyond – something that surprises him.

Many of Mosfilm’s most successful productions take place during times of war and turmoil. “All our greatest hits, both Soviet and Russian, have far fewer viewers than our war films,” says Karen Shahnazarov.

Source: mosfilm.ru

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