SPIEF 2019. “The Main Roles of Filmmaking in Russia”
On June 7, in the framework of the XXIII International Economic Forum (June 6-8), St. Petersburg hosted a discussion entitled “The Main Roles of Filmmaking in Russia”, where experts discussed the main problems of creating a favorable film and television production ecosystem in the regions of Russia and suggested possible solutions.
As international experience shows, filmmaking delivered to the stream makes a tangible contribution to the budgets of small states, such as, for example, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Hungary or Malta. Attracting film crews for filming, the film commission helps the regions to create new jobs, develop local infrastructure, increase tourist attractiveness and improve the image.
During the stormy discussion of the issues of attracting film and television producing companies to the regions, three main problems in many respects related to each other were identified - financial, legislative, legal and infrastructural. Currently, only a few Russian regions reimburse the producers a part of the funds spent on the production of television and film products in their territory. Under the severe constraints of the Budget and Tax Code, the regional authorities of most constituent entities of the Russian Federation are cautious and are not in a hurry to introduce a system of financial incentives. In addition, even in regions of the Russian Federation where there is a system of rebates, often the amount allocated in regional budgets does not allow to satisfy all the requests of producers.
The issues of cooperation with foreign film teams were also discussed at the conference. Here, the problems largely repeat the regional ones: the lack of a rebate system at the federal level, poorly developed infrastructure (with the exception of Moscow and St. Petersburg), there are additional difficulties.
Vladimir Medinsky, the Minister of Culture, said that the department will do everything to ensure the conditions for filming: “We are ready to help as much as possible, both systematically and manually, so that we can film. To create conditions for our producers, because it’s completely wrong to make films in Hungary. In addition, it is necessary that foreigners were filming with us, because nowhere in the world there is
For any film company, the price is only one of the factors that is taken into account when making a decision about filming in a particular territory. The infrastructure, safety, availability of facilities, the ability to hire the necessary personnel on the site, the presence of bureaucratic obstacles are important.
Conference participants noted several positive developments towards integration into the global film industry. As an example of effective work on attracting cinematographers to Russia, Fedor Bondarchuk mentioned the Moscow Film Commission, which during the year of its existence had supported shooting at several large production studios. The representative of the REC Evgenia Danilchenko noted that since July 1, a VAT exemption is being introduced for foreign film companies that are shooting projects in Russia.
Integration into the global content production system and attracting Russian producers to the regions is a very difficult task. To solve them, a lot needs to be done: to develop the infrastructure (not only cinematographic, but also general economic), train personnel, create an understandable and transparent system of rebates and legislative base, remove bureaucratic obstacles. The path is not easy, long and thorny. An open and honest discussion of problematic issues that took place at PEMF is already a step in the right direction.