the Russian film industry has become a victim of sanctions and the departure of Hollywood giants

Ever since the five Hollywood giants (Disney, Universal, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and Paramount) decided to suspend the release of their films in Russia in response to the war unleashed by Moscow in Ukraine, the film industry has been dormant and Russian cinemas have ceased to be many more films. to show: more than half of the country’s cinemas may close soon.

Mila Grekova, a translator of American films, has been out of work since five Hollywood giants decided to withdraw their productions from the Russian calendar. She still doubts the purpose of the sanctions: “Today I hate the West, not (Vladimir) Putin, their goal“.”Bollywood can replace Hollywood here, but it’s too late for me to learn Hindisays this frustrated 56-year-old woman, reacting to the idea mentioned in Russia of replacing American titles with Indian films.

In addition to him, the entire Russian film industry is suffering from the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine, barely recovering from the pandemic. The fate of the film industry this time depends on sanctions, and Russia was the leading European film market last year with 145.7 million admissions, according to the European Audiovisual Observatory.

Prior to the suspension imposed by Hollywood, the Russian company Mosfilm-master provided voice-overs for ten foreign films per month. “Today we lost two thirds of orders“, – its director Yevgeny Belin laments. “During the pandemic, we had films, but the cinemas did not work. Today we have our cinemas, but no films“, he sums up.

The country may close half of its theaters because they are at risk.”loss of up to 80% of revenue“After leaving Hollywood, the Russian Association of Cinema Owners warned in early March.

To adapt and survive, Mosfilmmaster is preparing to hire Korean and Chinese translators, despite the fact that its director “doubts that Asian films work for Russians“because of cultural differences.”It’s not always obvious”considers this 70-year-old specialist, of which “30 in dub“.”Westerners are closer to us“.

Sound engineer Pavel Doreuli in his studio

Since the beginning of the offensive in Ukraine on February 24, the number of visits to its 35 theaters has fallen by 70%, and the average price of a seat (300 rubles, or about three euros) has not changed for five years. To deal with this, the state has already promised to double its financial support for film production and minimize the tax burden, as well as the cost of renting premises.

The departure of the Hollywood giants did not surprise 44-year-old Pavel Doreuli, whose Atmosphere studio creates soundscapes for about fifteen films a year. “World cinema has been hostage to big politics for years“, – says this sound engineer, a member since 2020 of the international organization Sound Editors for Cinema (MPSE).

Cannes or Berlin no longer reward films, but their position.”he argues, referring to the two international film festivals that have condemned Russia for its offensive against Ukraine. “Deprived of international festivals, Russians will give up auteur cinema, which offers a different vision of the world, so valuable today“, he predicts.

The situation is extremely difficult, but not catastrophic.“, however, wants to introduce 37-year-old Olga Zinyakova, president of one of the four largest Russian cinema chains “Karo”.Since the arrival of Hollywood in Russia 30 years ago, we have experienced many crises: political, economic, pandemics…“, she emphasizes.

Russians deprived of American blockbusters”,explore yourself deeper“, I want to believe her, referring to the success of the cult Russian film of the 1990s, Brother (Brother), returned to the poster. His network is also gearing up to release Asian and Latin American films. “When Hollywood returns here, the Russian market and the audience will not be the same” she predicts.

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