"Protagonists" and Patriotic Films Subsidized for Russians? Minister of Culture Seems to Think So
The TV program «Protagonists» by Nailya Asker-Zade, which is broadcast tonight on the Rossiya TV channel, is dedicated to our national culture. The guest of the program is the Minister of Culture, Vladimir Medinsky. We'll show you a fragment about the cinema right now.
Vladimir Medinsky: It's a pity that the camera doesn’t transmit the smell. Can you smell popcorn?
— Don’t you like popcorn?
— I hate popcorn, but I can tell you where it came from. In the 30s, during the Great Depression, people went to the cinemas to eat because it was the only entertainment available in America, and they consoled the unemployed this way. And popcorn was the cheapest and the emptiest food that almost didn’t cost anything.
It's obviously not for popcorn that Russians go to the movies. The domestic cinematography is on the rise today. Last year was record-breaking, the best in box office sales for the entire recent history. The Ministry of Culture expects that in 2017, there’ll be a new record.
— By what principle is the money allocated for the movies? For political reasons? If they’re patriots, yes, if they’re not patriots, no?
— Oh, please. It’d have been too simple and inefficient. No, money is allocated based on competition. We create internal competition. And the work is done by the public expertise, which decides which projects to support.
It’s a fact that our movies are gaining popularity in the Russian cinema. But it’s also a fact that for now, they’re inferior Hollywood both in their budget and box office sales. So, shall we introduce a protective barrier? The Ministry of Culture’s proposal is to oblige all cinemas to pay 3% of the fees to the Cinema Fund for national cinematography financing. In France, for example, this fee is 12%.
— And why do you think this won’t affect the price of the ticket?
— Because it won’t, because the ticket price is formed independently. First, for your understanding, with an average ticket price, 3% is 7 rubles. 7 rubles 40 kopecks. The price isn’t determined by the tax, the ticket price is determined solely by the market and the population solvency, the film production quality, the citizens’ desire to watch it for their 220, 230 or 240 rubles or not.
In November, four Russian films were in the top slots, including those filmed with the support of the Rossiya 1 channel, Salyut-7 and Furious.
— In general, we annually produce from 100 to 150 Russian movies. If we talk about the films that will be released during the winter holidays in January, these are the two traditionally successful cartoons, Three Bogatyrs and the Princess of Egypt, that’s first, and Whangdoodle, that’s second. And third, and we attach great hopes to this film, this is a film about the clash of superpowers in sport, the USSR and the USA, Going Vertical.
In Moscow, tickets can cost 500 rubles in some cinemas, but in the regions, you can watch a movie for 150. The Ministry of Culture subsidized and will continue to subsidize the municipal cinemas. As Vladimir Medinsky says, it’s very important for the state that people go to the movies and watch good films.
Nailya Asker-Zade, Sergei Gorensky, Oleg Zlobin, Vesti News of the Week, Moscow, St. Petersburg