From Hollywood to Ukrainian reality

13.02.2012 | By Yuriy Tsvyakh Komentari:

Ukraine created its Hollywood before it was founded in the U.S. and destroyed it at an at accelerated pace

Last year Ukraine celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first Ukrainian film studio in Yalta. However, it is still unclear when exactly it was founded. There are three variants.The first variant points to 1908, when the French film production company Pathe shot its scenery films in Yalta for the first time. In 1911 Aleksandr Khanzhonkov shot the historic war film Defense of Sevastopol in Yalta and many historians believe that was the year the studio was founded. In 1917 Khanzhonkov & Co opened a film studio in Yalta called the Selivanov & Buchstab Association

Crimea was a perfect shooting location for brillian comedy maker Leonid Gaidai PH: scene from the movie

Be that as it may, Russians claim Yalta to be the birthplace of the Russian film industry. They most likely have the right to such a claim as this is where such iconic films as Amphibian Man, A Man from Boulevard des Capuchines and Prisoner of the Caucasus or Shurik´s New Adventures (also known as Kidnapping, Caucasian Style) were shot.

By the way, the new Makeyevka dynasty of the Crimean government could have a valid argument with the Russians about the legal succession of the Yalta film studio. Khanzhonkov was born in Makeyevka, where a memorial was raised in his honor by the sculptor Zurab Tsereteli. It was Khanzhonkov that outstripped the Americans in Hollywood, because the first feature-length movie called The Squaw Man was filmed in Hollywood in 1914. While there were quite successful attempts to shoot films in Los Angeles, From Dusk till Dawn and The Sea Wolf were shot only two years after The Defense of Sevastopol.

Behind these gates, Khanzhonkov that outstripped the Americans in Hollywood PH:

The modern history of the film industry in Yalta is not all too pleasant. In November 1999 the Supreme Council of Crimea passed Resolution No. 801-2/99 On the Attraction of Investments for the Development of Crimean State Film Studios Yalta Film and assigned the Ministry of Culture of Crimea and the Crimean Property Fund (CPF) to join forces with Russian film organizations and studios to create a joint venture on the basis of Yalta Film Studios.

The Crimean Property Fund owned 50.0001% of the shares in Yalta Film Studios and a year later the Russian Polikom-Vest LLC became co-owner of the studio. In 2002 Polikom-Vest bought from the CPF another 25% of the shares for UAH 541,254 and in May 2003 it bought the remaining 25.001% of the shares for UAH 715,000. Summing it up, the entire studio was bought for US $440,000.

The deal was widely discussed in the Crimean press. It also mentioned that in 2004 the Yalta City Council sold a 1.43 hectare state-owned land plot in the center of Yalta to the film studios for UAH 7.262 mn. Later the studios bought another 12.8897 ha for UAH 6.4 mn.

Today, media sources say the Russians got the golden land for peanuts. While Ukrainian celebrities often shoot their music videos at the film studio in Yalta, it cannot even be compared to Hollywood. The bronze monument to Khanzhonkov was unveiled in Yalta last August.

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