From dream factory

14.12.2012 | By Yuriy Tsvyakh

Ukraine created its own Hollywood much earlier than the U.S. - and destroyed it pretty soon

Ukraine created its own Hollywood much earlier than the U.S. - and destroyed it pretty soon. At the end of this year Ukraine celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first national film studio - Yalta-Film. However, officials in Yalta still cannot decide which year shall be regarded as the year of its creation. There are three variants

The first is 1908, when the French company Pathe started shooting sceneries in Yalta for the first time. Then there is 1911, when Aleksandr Khanzhonkov produced The Defense of Sevastopol (and many experts believe this was the year the studio was born). Finally, there is 1917, when the Khanzhonkov&Co. opened a film studio in Yalta.

The long and short of it, nowadays Russians easily call Yalta the home of Russian cinema and it appears they are correct, because the most popular and famous films of the Soviet era were shot at the Yalta Studio.

By the way, the new Makiyivka dynasty in the Crimean leadership could contend with the Russians for the legal succession of the Yalta dream factory. Khanzhonkov was born in Makiyivka and there is even a monument to him in the town designed by Zurab Tsereteli. There is also the village of Khanzhonkovo in the Donetsk oblast. Khanzhonkov preceded the Americans and Hollywood, because the first feature film made in Hollywood was in 1914 called The Squaw Man. Filmmakers in LA also attempted to shoot films, but From Dusk till Dawn and Sea Wolf were filmed much later than The Defense of Sevastopol.

The modern history of filmmaking in Yalta is rather grim. In November 1999 the Crimean Supreme Council passed Decree No. 801-2/99 For the Attraction of Investments for the Development of the Yalta-Film Crimean State Film Studio and entrusted the Ministry of Culture of Crimea and the Crimean Property Fund (CPF) to create a joint venture with Russian film companies on the basis of Yalta-Film.

The CPF rapidly became the owner of 50.001% of the shares in the Yalta Film Studio and within a year the Russian company Polikom Vest LLC became the owner of the studio. In 2002 Polikom Vest bought another 25% of the shares from the CPF Fund for UAH 541,254 and in May 2003 it bought the remaining 25.001% of shares for UAH 715,000. This means the entire studio was bought for US $440,000.

hard to compare the place to the Hollywood. Bronze bust to Khanzhonkov was erected in Yalta this August.

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