Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich has invested $100 million into his new company Kinoprime, private film fund set up to invest in Russian arthouse cinema.

Anton Malyshev, the Kinoprime’s new CEO who was headhunted by Abramovich, announced at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival the specifics behind the project.

“The Russian cinema fund has just one aim: to make Russian films more box office in Russia. It’s about blockbusters,” said Malyshev in an interview with Variety. “We need quality movies—not only blockbusters. Very good art projects are good for us.”

Abramovich’s $100m investment will be spent over the next three years, with a $2 million cap per project. According to Malyshev, the fund is able to invest 50% of a film’s production budget.

Malyshev has been hired by Abramovich to manage the project.

Malyshev explained that Chelsea owner Abramovich is a passionate supporter of Russian cinema, adding that he “has a very good nose” for arthouse Russian cinema.

When asked for specifics on potential projects, Malyshev answered: “Maybe Russian talents, maybe a Russian book or a Russian producer,” but left the door open to potential international options too: “English language is OK for us,” he added.

Berlinale prize winner Anna Melikyan has been chosen as the first subject for Kinoprime’s first investment, taking on her new project Fairy which is currently in post-production and will be given a Russian premiere next year.

“A hundred million dollars for three years is not so much. It’s like a boutique,” he said while suggesting that Kinoprime is likely to invest in 10-15 projects in the first year. “We are good now for a start,” he added.

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