Russian Film Riding High

The fall of Communism was a near-death sentence for the Russian film industry, as the federal funding that had always been a cornerstone of the USSR dried up in the capitalist world of post-Soviet reality. “By 1997, a miserable 12 home-grown films were released per year in Russia. By last year, however, that had shot up to 75, state sponsorship has risen by 14 per cent in 2004 to $70 million, and an average of 30 per cent of any film’s budget is now provided by the government. Add to this the fact that most urban Russians under 35 cite filmgoing as their favourite pastime, and the predicted rise this year in the number of screens in Russia from 550 to 700, and it seems that Stollywood has arrived.”