Kremlin to fund patriotic ‘anti-extremist’ films



Russia’s Ministry of Culture is looking to produce films to spread Russian values, celebrate the country’s history and tackle “crime, terrorism and extremism,” Newsweek’s Damien Sharkov writes:

The Ministry of Culture, which oversees the government’s involvement in many creative projects, has now published a list of priority topics that film productions should aim to cover if they hope to get state funding in 2016. Of the eight topics, only two do not focus on politics, calling attention instead to films that tell the story of discoveries, creations or feats that were the first of their kind or the story of the struggle of the human will in dealing with life problems.

The other points note that a film will likely get state funding if it provides characters of exemplary labor, military or academic qualities. Films celebrating “traditional values,” “the constructive actions of civil society” or “heroes, fighting crime, terrorism and extremism.”

The Kremlin was critical of the most recent internationally successful Russian films, the 2014 Oscar-nominated Leviathan, directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev (above), which highlighted the country’s endemic corruption.

The former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev this week criticized the Kremlin’s authoritarian crackdown on dissent.

“For them to carry on along the path of tightening the screws, passing laws to restrict people’s rights and freedoms, attacking the media and civil society organizations is destructive and will ultimately lead nowhere,” he argued.

“The present Russian regime need have no delusions that conservatism is a panacea for our problems, lulling themselves with the belief that for the sake of peace and quiet people will agree to put up with stagnation,” he added.

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