Valdai Club to Discuss Import Substitution in Cinematography
Valdai Club Conference Hall, Tsvetnoy Boulevard 16/1, Moscow, Russia
List of speakers

On April 21 at 12:00 noon Moscow time, the Valdai Club will host an expert discussion on cultural import substitution with respect to cinema.

In recent years, the influence of foreign film companies has reached its peak - global and domestic distribution have been flooded with movies from abroad, mainly those produced in Europe and America. In 2021, the largest Western companies provided box office receipts totalling $500 billion (of which $400 billion were foreign box office receipts) and in total produced about 1,300 films, becoming monopolists in the global film market.

After the start of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, Western sanctions were applied to the film industry. American film studios refused to distribute movies on the territory of the Russian Federation and froze existing cooperation projects with domestic filmmakers. Some services and online streaming platforms, including Netflix and Megogo, have left the Russian market, while Disney, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures and Universal Pictures have stopped distributing their films in Russia. The sanctions affected the participation of Russian delegations in European film festivals, such as the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals, as well as Russian films funded by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. While a “window of opportunity” remains for independent filmmakers, there is no guarantee that they will not be affected by the restrictions imposed unilaterally by Europe and the United States on a daily basis.

In connection with the sanctions pressure, domestic cinema and the distribution sector are getting room for manoeuvre to attract more viewers. There is a high probability that in the current situation, Russian films will gain popularity, and the absence of a foreign movie monopoly will ensure healthy competition in the domestic market. The departure of foreign streaming platforms will allow Russia’s own platforms to occupy this niche and provide users with high-quality content. The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation traditionally finances some of the projects in the field of cinema, including conferences, classes and festivals. Nevertheless, the film industry may face certain problems, including a lack of post-production specialists (especially regarding visual effects), low returns on domestic films, limited state support, and the lack of a long-term strategy for the development of the film industry.

What is the potential of Russian cinema? Will the sanctions imposed by global film companies provide an impetus to domestic cinema? Will domestic streaming platforms be able to meet demand and compensate for the lack of foreign films? What kind of future do movie theatres have? Participants of the discussion will answer these and other questions.


  • Aleksander Akopov, Russian film and television producer, TV presenter, President of the Russian Television Academy Foundation
  • Alena Kremer, producer, managing video production partner, Peak Media
  • Vadim Sokolovsky, director of IVI  production department
  • Svetlana Sonina, Deputy General Producer, Okko
  • Alexey Goreslavsky, Director General, Internet Development Institute


  • Andrey Bystritskiy, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for  Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club

Working languages: Russian, English.

Information for the media: In order to get accredited for the event, please fill out the form on our website or call +79269307763.