Will Indie Film Distribution in Russia Be Affected by Their Anti-Profanity Laws?

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Indie film distribution is still a major challenge after dealing with funding, and international markets are just as important as domestic ones. While Russia has had a thriving film industry in the years after Communism fell, much of that may be threatened now with the Putin regime ordering a new ban on profanity. No matter how you feel about profanity in movies, there could be a real threat to independent film there, as well as American indies being distributed in Russia.

If you don’t think that American indies can’t do well overseas, just ask Woody Allen who used to get his biggest box office from overseas markets. Even if he’s getting bigger returns here in America lately, many American indies do well in foreign markets. It’s being noted that with the advent of more censorship in Russia, independent film could essentially be irreparably crushed.

While this might harm indie film in Russia, how will it affect American indies that are likely distributed there? It isn’t known exactly which American indie genre goes over the best there, though it’s clear they’ve developed a freedom over the last 20 years not unlike America’s art world. They’ve even developed a Constitution that’s helped provide the freedom to create films with language or mature themes. This led to a Russian ratings system giving people the freedom to decide for themselves what they should or shouldn’t see.

Now with new rules setting in, anyone making a film in Russia will have to get state approval in order to have any hope of distribution. American films coming in will also be heavily scrutinized, and you have to wonder if any will get in any more considering nearly all our films have more than a few curse words in their scripts.

Will the Law Really Be Upheld?

There seems to be some in the Russian government who aren’t exactly for this type of censorship, so it may be a law only on paper and loosely implemented. Then again, you never know what President Putin is going to do, and it could turn into Soviet Russia overnight if he wanted it to.

The tragedy is cutting off American indie films that still shape a lot of influence on films overseas. Especially with America going through a renaissance in indie films this year, the Russian people having no access to them is a concerning situation for international relations. Conversely, not seeing the usually great indie films that come out of Russia here in America would be a major loss to us.

In the meantime, these new developments shouldn’t stop you from developing your indie film and gaining funding. With crowd funding continuing to be the best way to fund an indie movie, we can help you with all of that and guide you through distribution here at indieFilmFunding.com.

Contact us so we can help you keep your artistic vision intact without any censorship whatsoever. We can only hope your film will still be seen in Russia someday, no matter if censorship gets fully enacted there for a while.


Thank you,


Edward Panos