NMG and RDIF will create a commercial fund for the development of cinema and animation

NMG and RDIF will create a commercial fund for the development of cinema and animation


A commercial fund for the development of cinema and animation will appear in Russia, its creators are the National Media Group (NMG) and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). The volume of investment will be up to 8 billion rubles, of which more than 50% will fall on NMG. Now the main investors in film production are the Ministry of Culture, the Cinema Fund and the Internet Development Institute. Market participants believe that the initiative will reduce the “content hunger” in the market.

The National Media Group and the Russian Direct Investment Fund are creating a joint commercial fund for the development of cinema and animation, a representative of NMG told Kommersant. It is clarified that it will provide systematic financing for the production of feature films for further distribution on a commercial basis. The volume of investments will amount to up to 8 billion rubles, with more than half of the funds contributed by NMG, the company says: “It is expected that investments in the first projects will take place soon after the completion of all legal procedures for creating the fund.”

The first stage of project selection will be carried out by NMG, the final decision will be made by the fund’s content committee, which will include representatives of NMG and RDIF. The content committee itself will be headed by the general producer of NMG Studio and founder of Art Pictures Studio Fyodor Bondarchuk. The organizations expect to reduce the time project creators spend searching for investors and increase the number of films in the Russian Federation for their further export to the countries of Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. You can send applications to the fund now, they say at NMG.

The key challenge for the industry is a multiple increase in the production of high-quality media content in all viewing environments in a short time, says NMG CEO Svetlana Balanova.

In her opinion, the fund should increase the competitiveness of the industry, as well as provide high returns for investors: “Including through the portfolio principle of investment.”

The largest investor in Russian cinema is now the state, says a top manager of one of the film production studios. Thus, the Ministry of Culture and the Cinema Fund are responsible for state support of the cinema industry: in the budget for 2024, the ministry allocated 16.2 billion rubles for financing cinematography, 9.4 billion rubles. of which – through the fund. Last year these figures amounted to 11.76 billion rubles. and 5.6 billion rubles. respectively. Another investor, the Internet Development Institute (IRI), will allocate 18.2 billion rubles in 2024 to support projects (TV series, games, blogosphere). against 20.7 billion rubles. in 2023.

According to the National Research University Higher School of Economics, approximately 100–120 films for distribution, 120–150 television feature films and mini-series (up to four episodes), and from 150 to 200 TV series (from five episodes) are produced annually in the Russian Federation. At the same time, the “content hunger” still persists, Kommersant’s interlocutors in the cinema market are confident: “Russian TV series and films cannot completely replace all genre niches in the industry, and this has been voiced more than once. Plus we’re still ten steps behind Hollywood production.” Representatives of the creative industries also pointed this out. Thus, the ANO “Center for the Development of Creative Industries” and the Union of Shopping Centers (unites Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan) proposed that the Ministry of Economic Development launch a federal project to produce an additional 550 Russian films by 2030 with a total budget of 200 billion rubles. (see “Kommersant” dated March 27). The organizations clarified that so far domestic films cannot replace foreign ones in both quality and quantity, and cinemas, which often act as anchor tenants of shopping centers, continue to close.

At the same time, the big question is what kind of agreements the newly minted investors will require, says Kommersant’s interlocutor on the media market: “For example, for the IRI you must provide a huge number of documents, reporting on the project budget, this requires a separate team for document management. As a result, some project creators simply refuse funding.”

Yulia Yurasova


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