Russia considers film quotas

Hollywood movies threaten Russia's home grown cinema, says minister.

by Jennie Kermode

Quotas could be set to ensure that Russian cinemas screen more Russian films, said junior Economic Development minister Stanislav Voskresensky in an approach to the Russian Culture Ministry today. Voskresensky, whose responsibilities include monitoring the balance of national imports and exports, has expressed his concern that Hollywood movies are overwhelming homegrown ones.

The minister's proposal of a quota requiring Russian cinemas to dedicate 24% of screening time to Russian films reflects longstanding concerns. Like many Russian leaders before him, President Vladimir Putin is himself a cinefile and has resisted previous attempts to restrict the import of films but he is thought to be more positive about the quota idea. Critics have warned however that it could make things tough for Russian fans of worldwide independent cinema, as foreign film screentime is likely to be given overwhelmingly to blockbusters. It could also negatively impact Russia's developing film festivals, damaging Russian cinema by restricting the industry networking that goes on at these events.

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