Russian culture minister calls for tax on Hollywood films
Vladimir Medinsky, the Russian culture minister, is pushing for changes to the domestic film industry that he believes is benefiting Hollywood, but not his homeland.
According to , he wants to introduce a sales tax that will be used to increase funds for local productions. “I cannot understand why our tax system is subsidising Hollywood,” he said.
The proposal arrives at the same time as a push for films promoting a more patriotic view of and its government. Dmitry Medvedev, the prime minister, has also proposed a sales tax on cinema tickets, but this may not include domestic productions. The plan may add 100 roubles ($1.80/£1.15) to the price of admission.
Medinsky said this is an “exceptionally right decision”.
The problem for the culture ministry is that American films still earn 80% of total box office takings in Russia. Last year, Transformers: Age of Extinction was the year’s biggest hit, making over $45m (£28.6m). The biggest Russian film of the year was , which made $34m (£21.6m).
Subsidies for homegrown films have increased in recent years, but only for works that show the country in a positive light. Medinsky for “a spirit of despair and the pointlessness of our existence”. Earlier in 2015, the government released a list of criteria for films applying for state funding, including themes of inspirational success .
This year the by the Russian government for being “historically inaccurate”.