The first general meeting of the "Sponsorship Association Friends of the German-Russian Film Academy" took place on Feb.17th, 2010 during the 60th Berlin International Film Festival, together with its new Russian members. The meeting was held at the embassy of the state of Brandenburg in Berlin on occasion of the East European Brunch of FilmFestival Cottbus and Connecting Cottbus.
Based in Cottbus, the society was founded in the summer of 2009 by German producers and representatives from the film industry with a view to promoting German-Russian film relations and to strengthening co-operation and exchange between German and Russian film-makers in the areas of training as well as producing and financing films. It is following the lead set by the success of the German-French Film Academy.
During the meeting in Berlin, the Russian board members were elected as well.
Alongside Simone Baumann, L.E. Vision Film- und Fernsehproduktion GmbH Leipzig and East European representative German Films (chairwoman), Professor Dr. Dieter Wiedemann, President of the HFF Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen "Konrad Wolf" Potsdam-Babelsberg, and Jörg Ackermann, pool production gmbh berlin Cottbus and organizer FilmFestival Cottbus/Connecting Cottbus, new members of the board now include Alexander Rodnyansky, Producer of AR-Films and Media Manager (chairman), Kira Saxsaganskaya, Producer Rock Film and Evgeny Gindilis, Producer TVIndie Filmproduction.
As a prominent guest at the gathering, Sergei Zernov, Head of Department at the Russian Ministry for Cultural Affairs and responsible for film promotion, guaranteed that everything would be done from the Russian side in order to finally sign the long awaited co-production treaty between Germany and Russia in 2010. Furthermore, he referred to the changes in Russian law concerning film-promotion that were adopted at the end of 2009 with a view to facilitating future co-productions with Russian partners (foreign authors, directors or composers will be acknowledged, the Russian stake of the production must not be more than 50%, etc.).
The meeting ended with the presentation of an interesting study by the European Audiovisual Observatory concerning the film industry of the Russian Federation. Further information can be found at www.obs.coe.int.
The society currently consists of almost 40 German and Russian members who will meet twice a year, once in Russia and once in Germany.
The society's next meeting will take place in June 2010 during the Moscow International Film Festival.
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