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AFCI Cineposium in St. Petersburg

September 13 - 16 the 43rd Cineposium AFCI (The Association of Film Commissioners International) was held in St. Petersburg. At the «Focus on Russia» session, the Primorye Film Commission presented opportunities for filming in Primorye.

The Cineposium is an annual global professional forum for a comprehensive discussion of the development of creative industries, the production of film content, the activities of film commissions, the development of film tourism, as well as new forms of interaction with the audience.

This year the forum was attended by representatives of 32 countries, including Russia, the USA, South Korea, Austria, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Great Britain, India, Spain, France and others. Russia was represented by 3 regions: Primorsky Region, Moscow and St. Petersburg. For the first time, managers of the world's largest film companies - Netflix, HBO, Universal, Sony PlayStation Productions, Blumhouse Productions, Ukie, as well as independent producers from the USA, Europe and Asia met at one site in Russia.

One of the most important events of the forum was the «Focus on Russia» panel session. The leading Russian filming regions were represented on session: Primorye, Moscow and St. Petersburg. Primorsky Region presented to the foreign filmmakers the unique locations of the region, stimulating support measures, the organizational capabilities of the film commission, which, one of the few in Russia, works according to international standards. An important resource in the Primorsky Territory is administrative support at all levels of government. Primorye is becoming an increasingly «Film friendly» region, thanks to the work of the film commission in it. The presence of a film commission in the region guarantees a foreign film company the readiness of the city and the region to professionally accept film crews on its territory.

Dmitry Shevtsov, head of the Film Commission of the Primorsky Territory: «It is very important that the film commissions in Russia work according to the international standard. Сomштп here, the studios knew exactly what service they would receive. Nowadays, many perceive film commissions as a regional authority distributing subsidies. This is wrong and will not be understood by foreigners. The film commission is a city or regional organization, which is primarily the link between filmmakers and local authorities, it takes on the organizational support of filming in the region, and to some extent co-produces the film». 

On the final day of the Cineposium, representatives of the Primorye Film Commission took part in a round table with the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Vladimir Medinsky, senior vice president of Universal Studios Cristen Carr Strubbe and the head of the actual production at Blumhouse Productions Jeanette Volturno. The main agenda of the round table was the introduction of a rebate system for foreign film companies in Russia.

Vladimir Medinsky, Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation: «We deliberately set a low threshold for entry, even a company that wants to make a documentary or animation with a relatively small budget will be able to come here and receive support and reimbursement of some of the costs. This will be a minimally bureaucratic system and, therefore, I’m sure that if this decision is adopted, then in a competitive sense we will significantly outperform those countries that have already introduced a rebate system, and this is almost all of Europe, as well as our neighbors - Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Baltic countries». 

For Primorsky Region, the introduction of a federal rebate may be a decisive impetus in the development of the film industry, due to its territorial proximity to Asian countries. Now it will become even more profitable for Asian film companies to make films in Primorye. Now attractive for Asian filmmakers are the landscapes and urban exteriors of Primorye, as well as prices in Russia. With the introduction of federal rebate, foreigners will also have the opportunity to return up to 40% of the budget spent in Russia. In 2019, 70 million rubles were allocated for a refund for foreign film companies, in 2020 it was already 800 million, and in 2021 - 1.5 billion rubles.

Valery Kupeev, co-organizer of Cineposium in Russia: «Top speakers and guests from film commissions from around the world were completely delighted with what they saw in Russia. I am sure that of the many meetings between the Russian film industry and foreign studios that we managed to organize within the framework of the Cineposium, cooperation will be born. This is a long work step by step, but we have definitely destroyed many stereotypes about Russia and the level of trust to our country has significantly increased». 



Photo provided of - AFCI