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Mosfilm Celebrates its 100th Birthday

The history of Mosfilm begins on January 30, 1924 with the release of the silent film “Up on Wings” that tells the story of Russian aviation, directed by Boris Mikhin. At the time, Mosfilm was on Zhitnaya Ulitsa in the former studio of Alexander Khanzhonkov, a director and entrepreneur who founded the first cinema factory in Russia in 1906. In 1912 he built the Zhitnaya studio, which was taken over by Mosfilm after the 1917 Revolution.

By 1927 it was clear the space in central Moscow was insufficient for the new company’s needs, and work began on a large studio in the Sparrow Hills, then at the very edge of the city. The first film shoot took place in 1931, and by the end of the Soviet era the studio had produced more than 3,000 films, which included award-winners such as “War and Peace,” “The Irony of Fate,” “Ivan Vasilievich Changes Professions,” and “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears.”

The company logo of the monument "Worker and Kolkhoz Woman" by Vera Mukhina and the Kremlin Spassky Tower was introduced in 1947.

Since the dissolution of the USSR, Mosfilm has been a half-state/half-private company that includes almost a dozen production companies. It has 13 sound stages on more than three acres, with several streets and squares that stand in for parts of pre-Revolutionary Moscow and St. Petersburg. The film company also has a collection of functioning vehicles including almost 200 tanks and 50 vintage cars. Its museum is filled with costumes and sets from every decade of its history.