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Oldest Film Studio to Transform

In August, the country's oldest film studio, Soyuzmultfilm, will relocate from the premises it has occupied since 1945.

"The room which we're in belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church, and it must be returned to its historical owner," first deputy director Hamid Akhmedov told Izvestia. While there is no conflict between the coexistence of the two on the premises, the room is no longer appropriate for the requirements of Soyuzmultfilm, he said.

"Everything must be decided within a year," artistic director Michael Aldashin told Moskovsky Komsomolets. "There are too many technical and bureaucratic problems, but we are clearly moving," he said, adding that it was impossible to optimize their potential in an older, more cramped space.

The film studio will change location and explore new entertainment territories.

The studio will relocate to FGUP's Moskovskoye Konstruktorskoye Buro Kinoapparatury (Moscow Design Bureau of Film Equipment), which is deemed considerably more suitable for the creation of animated projects of the kind Soyuzmultfilm was most renowned for in the early 20th century.

Soyuzmultfilm is planning to retain the production of animations in the old styles that saw it to popularity, and the creations of which are still held lovingly in the hearts of many Russians to date. The Russian adaptation of "Winnie the Pooh," Yury Norshtein's "Hedgehog in the Fog" and "Crocodile Gena" were all among its creations.

However, Akhmedov continued to tell the paper that the studio has plans to explore 3D animated movies and to produce some films for educational centers.  Managers are also contemplating the development of computer games.

"We believe that when we have a sufficient number of writers and animators, we will also be producing computer games," Aldashin told Izvestia. "This is a natural process," he added.

One issue is still posing a problem for the studio: A ban on advertising in children's films means that television has decreased interest in backing animated productions. The studio executives are in talks to improve the direction of the studio in this way. The next big project premiering will be the highly anticipated stop-motion "Gofmaniada," by Stanislav Sokolov and Mikhail Shemyakin, who have been working for 10 years on the film and are set to release it in 2015.

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