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Russian Hollywood to Appear Near Moscow

Kolomna's kremlin and historic center

Enterprising residents of the Moscow region city of Kolomna are planning to give the Russian film industry a boost by opening a film center meant to resemble Hollywood, media reports said Tuesday.

The project, called "Kollywood," is set to open in 2013 and will cost upward of 100 million rubles ($3 million), Anton Gubankov, the Moscow region's top official for culture, told Izvestia.

In part, costs will go toward turning a 3.5-hectare former silk factory into film sets, offices and warehouses suitable for storing props.

Project organizers are targeting federal investment programs and noncommercial funds to raise money to purchase the necessary photographic equipment and buy costumes. Organizers hope to break even within a year of the project's start date, Izvestia reported.

Kollywood's opening coincides with the 2013 launch of the International Summer School for Young Cinematographers, also in the Moscow region, and organizers hope to attract young cinematographers to work full-time at the new film studio that same year.

According to Viktor Matizen, a cinema critic, Kollywood can become a successful center of Russian cinema, but only "if government officials and prejudiced cinematographers don't start poking their noses [into the project]."

Matizen told Izvestia that such interference is the reason why many Russian films don't grab viewers' attention.

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