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  • Date of publication: 31 August 2020
  • 1820
  • "Yandex", Amazon and Netflix: how techno-giants invest in cinema


    The company "Yandex" decided to follow the world trends and, after Amazon and Microsoft, began to invest in the development of cinematography

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The company "Yandex" decided to follow the world trends and, after Amazon and Microsoft, began to invest in the development of cinematography


In 2017, the national cinema came to a new level: the year began with the "Attraction" directed by Fyodor Bondarchuk, then there was "The Time of the First" (directed by Dmitry Kiselev), Salyut-7, the record of "The Last Bogatyr", who collected $ 29 at the box office, 5 million and a new record of "Move Up", which earned $ 53 million a little more than a month. And this is just the top list of blockbusters, and there were also winners of European festivals "Tesnota", "Arrhythmia" and, of course, "Dislike", nominated for an Oscar in the category "Best Foreign Language Film".

Against this background, Russian cinematography is beginning to attract increasing attention not only as a form of art, but also as a business industry. For example, on February 9 "Yandex" announced that now it will be engaged in co-producing films and serials, not only in the form of funding, but also promotion and rental of paintings.

In January 2018, the company singled out the direction of media services (Yandex.Music, Film Search, Yandex.Afish and Yandex.TeleProgram) into a separate business unit, similar to the way Yandex.Taxi, which merged with Uber, and Yandex, were previously singled out into separate projects. Market.

"Media services of Yandex are trying to meet all the interests of moviegoers: we collect information about films, form their interest through news and reports, sell movie tickets, show movies online," said Olga Filipuk, director of media services development at Yandex. "Now we are moving even further - we are creating on the basis of media services our own production center, which will participate financially and expertly in film production, and using Yandex technologies to help promote films of different genres."

The first project, realized by Yandex in conjunction with Art Pictures Studio and Kinoslovo, was the movie "Selfie", which premiered on February 1. The creation of a psychological thriller was worked by director Nikolai Khomeriki ("Icebreaker" and "Dragon Syndrome") and editor-in-chief of Esquire magazine Sergei Minaev. Now the Yandex production center is preparing to release the film "Draft" based on the novel by Sergey Lukyanenko (the author of the novels "Night Watch" and "Day Watch"), which was co-financed by the Cinema Foundation. Prokat and promokampaniie planned to deal with the distributor Sony Pictures Center plans to deal with.

Movies Amazon, Netflix and Microsoft

"Yandex" is not the first technology company engaged in producing films: it has long been engaged in giants from Silicon Valley - Amazon and Microsoft, as well as streaming service Netflix.

Back in 2014, the created a division of Amazon Studios, which engaged in the production of ten episodes of the series "Obvious", which premiered on September 26, 2014. The project has become extremely successful and was nominated in three categories for the award of the Guild of the writers of the USA, as well as two on the "Golden Globe", taking two awards at the ceremony. Thus, the series became the first project of Amazon, which entered the company in the history of cinematography and was nominated for the main awards in the industry.

In 2017, the success of the "Obvious" was repeated by the movie "Manchester by the Sea", for which Casey Affleck received an Oscar, a Golden Globe and BAFTA in the nomination "Best Actor", and Kenneth Lonergan won an Oscar for Best Screenplay . Obviously, for Amazon this is a wonderful marketing move and an advertising campaign: even the Oscar nomination in the category "Best Film" adds fame to the reputation of the richest man in the world , Jeff Bezos.

Netflix streaming service also received two Oscar nominations with documentaries of Virunga (2015) directed by Orlando von Ainsidel, of the endangered mountain monkeys in the Congo, and the 13th (2016) Ava  Duverne on the slavish conditions of black men's imprisonment American prisons.

Microsoft is also engaged in film production, turning its computer game Halo into a full-fledged action movie. Microsoft paid Alexland Garland $ 1 million for the script of the film, and then sold the rights to film the Universal studio for $ 10 million already.

Reasons for the popularity of Russian cinema

On the Russian film market "Yandex" was the first, but given the rapid growth in the popularity of domestic cinema over the past year, it is quite possible that other technological corporations will join it.

"It's been known for a long time that Russian films are not less than Hollywood at the box office," says Elena Khlebnikova, director of content for the Internet cinema tvzavr. She explains this by the "neighbor effect" - the fame of Russian actors. However, one can not ignore the most powerful advertising campaigns launched on the occasion of the release of high-profile blockbusters, such as "Move Up"

Producer of the film company "Hydrogen" ("Attraction", "Ice") Mikhail Vrubel  explained Forbes the reasons for the breakthrough of Russian cinema on the market in 2017: "The achievements of Russian cinema, in my opinion, are obvious: the number of films that resonated with a wider audience has increased. From within the kitchen of the film industry, it seems to me, it was quite natural: we finally had a certain potential, and the viewer sees only the surface of this iceberg. "

According to him, since the cinema has a two-year film production cycle, this success was predictable: the year 2016 was officially announced the Year of Russian Cinema, in connection with which the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation  allocated a record 1.5 billion rubles from the state budget for film production, for which paintings were produced, which were released in 2017. According Vrubel, most likely the year 2018 will not be so rich in high-profile premieres, but in 2019 we will see a new round of development of domestic cinema.