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Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Mariya Knyazher
Production, Distribution and Screening of Documentary Films in Russia: Problems and Prospects
Faculty of Media Communications
Master’s programme
10
2014
Based on newsreel shots, documentaries are in demand in today`s Russia as never before. However, audience has no access to creative documentary films, produced by Russian directors.The overall aim of the study is to identify the patterns and rules of successful producing of documentary films within Russian realities. To achieve this aim the author performs a number of research tasks:To clarify the genre features of contemporary documentaries;To conduct a historical analysis of the development of documentary films in Russia;To study the world system of producing documentaries;To describe the features of the production of documentary films;To determine prospects of documentary distribution in Russia;To reveal the level of documentary films demand in Russia.The author summarizes accumulated knowledge of the documentary community and identifies systemic problems of functioning of Russian documentary film industry.The empirical base includes legal documents, conferences` materials, a video version of thematic discussions and 25 expert interviews with representatives of the industry: documentary filmmakers, critics, producers, distributors, festival program directors, film buyers and others.The research is conducted by using the following qualitative methods: the method of historical and genetic analysis; the method of expert interviews; qualitative content analysis of documents, reports and other materials; the comparative analysis; case studies; secondary analysis of polls and statistical data.The structure of the thesis includes the introduction, four chapters, the conclusion, bibliography and appendices.In the first chapter the author presents complex research approaches to the definition of "documentary" and "non-fiction" films and conducts a historical analysis of trends in the development of documentaries in Russia and in the world in general.The second chapter describes the features of documentary film production in Russia. The author examines three main ways of documentary project financing - public financing, production in co-production and independent production. This chapter describes the opportunities and difficulties which the producer is faced with in this stage of filmmaking.The third chapter of the study presents the results of a detailed analysis of documentary film distribution channels in Russia: the role of the documentary festivals, problems of theatrical and TV-releases, principles of DVD and VOD-market functioning.In the fourth chapter the author researches the target audience of non-fiction films and examines marketing and advertising schemes for documentary promotion.The author creates the algorithm for producing a documentary film in Russia, which contains recommendations for the production of non-fiction project, fundraising, development and distributional marketing strategies. The algorithm can be used by all participants of Russian documentary industry for the successful creation and promotion of non-fiction projects.In the Appendices there are the transcripts of interviews with experts of documentary industry.

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