The Russian film studio behind the greatest classics of Soviet cinema, Mosfilm, has made its best-known films freely available on YouTube, AFP reported. The agreement between Mosfilm and YouTube means that an initial batch of 50 films that still have legendary status in Russia but are little known outside has, for the first time, found a wide foreign audience. Mosfilm will add five films every week to its YouTube channel. By the end of the year, the studio aims to have more than 200 films on the channel. The unabridged films come with subtitles and in high definition. YouTube will sell advertising on the channel and share the revenue with Mosfilm. Mosfilm is one of the most popular YouTube channels in Russia. What does this unprecedented access mean for Mosfilm and film enthusiasts? One benefit is to show foreign audiences that Soviet cinema is more than Socialist Realism and classics. Mosfilm already streams 582 of its films on its website, so it is clearly embracing online technology, for a variety of reasons, The Wall Street Journal reported. “For us, the YouTube project is very important and interesting,” said Karen Shakhnazarov, director of Mosfilm, in a statement. “The aim is to give users the possibility to legally watch high-quality video material and prevent the illegal use of our films,” he said, adding this was made possible by YouTube’s capacity to block pirated content. Mosfilm traces its history back to the 1920s when Russian film production was nationalised into the Goskino company. The studio acquired its current name in 1935 and still uses the famous Soviet sculpture, “Worker and Peasant Woman,” as its symbol — as well-known in Russia as the fanfare and searchlight of 20th Century Fox. http://www.youtube.com/mosfilm
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