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Yakut Films Ready to Replace Hollywood Blockbusters in Russia

Head of Yakut film network says local industry ready to expand.

General Director of the Yakut film network Pyotr Chiryaev.

As Hollywood continues to cancel film premieres in Russia over the ongoing war in Ukraine, audiences may expect a surge of Yakut films in local cinemas. 

General Director of the Yakut film network Pyotr Chiryaev told Sakha’s news website YSIA that Yakut films are ready to take on the Russian film market, especially since they are tailored for wider Russian audiences. 

“Yakut cinema is confidently entering the all-Russian market,” Chiryaev stated. 

“Films that are well dubbed into Russian get wider distribution.” 

Chiryaev said that most of today’s Yakut art-house cinema is aimed at local audiences. They are made mostly in the national language and draw on local customs, heritage and culture. But he is confident that “high-quality” dubbing and more “understandable” and relatable plotlines can help the films reach mass audiences. 

The Yakut film industry has been rapidly growing over the past 10 years. 

The Republic of Sakha, also known as Yakutia, stretches over the Russian Far East and is home to Indigenous Sakha community. Famous for its vast, picturesque landscapes, huge lakes and freezing temperature, the region has developed a vibrant film industry, nicknamed “Sakhawood.” 

After Moscow and St. Petersburg, Yakutia has the third largest film production in the country.

Recent Yakutian films include Dmitry Davydov’s "Scarecrow," a critically acclaimed drama about a female healer, and Burnashev’s “Cursed Land,” a sequel to a 1990s’ Yakut horror film. 

Major Hollywood film studios began suspending film distribution in Russia on Tuesday over Russia’s invasion on Ukraine. Among them are Walt Disney, Sony Pictures and Warner Brothers. 

U.S. streaming giant Nextlix has also condemned Putin’s actions in its pro-Western neighboring nation by refusing to comply with a new Russian requirement to stream state-backed channels on its platform. 

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