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Kinostudiya LenFilm
Industry Film industry
Founded1914 [1]
HeadquartersSt. Petersburg, Russia
Key people
Eduard Pichugin (Director-General)
ProductsMotion pictures
television programs
Owner Federal Agency for State Property Management [2]
Website www.lenfilm.ru

Lenfilm (Russian: Ленфильм) is a Russian production company with its own film studio located in Saint Petersburg (the city was called Leningrad from 1924 to 1991, thus the name). It is a corporation with its stakes shared between private owners and several private film studios which operate on the premises. Since October 2012, the Chairman of the board of directors is Fyodor Bondarchuk. [3]



Before Lenfilm

St. Petersburg was home to several Russian and French film studios since the early 1900s. In 1908, St. Petersburg businessman Vladislav Karpinsky opened his film factory Ominum Film, which produced documentaries and feature films for local theatres. During the 1910s, one of the most active private film studios was Neptun in St. Petersburg, where such figures as Vladimir Mayakovsky and Lilya Brik made their first silent films, released in 1917 and 1918.

Lenfilm's property was originally under the private ownership of the Aquarium garden, which belonged to the merchant Georgy Alexandrov, who operated a restaurant, a public garden and a theatre on the same site. Composer Peter Tchaikovsky came to what was then the Aquarium theatre (and is now Stage # 4 of Lenfilm) as a guest to the 1893 performance of the overture to his ballet The Nutcracker . Famous Russian bass singer Feodor Chaliapin performed there in the 1910s and the early 1920s. Stars of the Soviet era also gave performances there, such as Isaak Dunaevsky, and Leonid Utyosov with his jazz band during the 1920s and 1930s. [4]

Petrograd and Leningrad film industry

The facilities and land of the Leningrad film studio were nationalized in 1918 and it was established as a Soviet state-funded film industry. Within just a few years it bore several different names, such as Petrograd Cinema Committee and SevZapKino, among various others. In 1923 the nationalized Aquarium garden was merged with SevZapKino and several smaller studios to form the Soviet state-controlled film industry in St. Petersburg. [5] During 1924–1926 it was temporarily named Leningrad Film Factory Goskino and eventually changed its name several times during the 1920s and 1930s.

At that time many notable filmmakers, writers, and actors were active at the studio, such as Yevgeni Zamyatin, Grigori Kozintsev, Iosif Kheifets, Sergei Eisenstein, Sergei Yutkevich, Dmitri Shostakovich, Nikolai Akimov, Yuri Tynyanov, Veniamin Kaverin, Viktor Shklovsky, and the writers of Serapion Brothers, as well as many other figures of Russian and Soviet culture.


The black-and-white version of the Lenfilm logo as it appears in Twenty Days Without War (1976) Lenfilm 20 days.jpg
The black-and-white version of the Lenfilm logo as it appears in Twenty Days Without War (1976)

Since 1934 the studio has been named Lenfilm.

During the Soviet era, Lenfilm was the second-largest (after Mosfilm) production branch of the Soviet film industry, which incorporated more than 30 film studios located across the former Soviet Union.

During World War II and the Siege of Leningrad, very few cinematographers remained active in the besieged Leningrad and made film documentaries about the heroic fight against the Nazis. At the same time, most personnel and production units of the Lenfilm studio were evacuated to cities in Central Asia, such as Alma-Ata (1942) and Samarkand. There Lenfilm temporarily merged with other Soviet film studios into the Central United Film Studio (TsOKS). Lenfilm returned to Leningrad in 1944.

Today in the Aquarium Theater there is a stage where many famous Lenfilm pictures were shot and many film stars played their roles. In 1975 George Cukor made a film there called The Blue Bird . Elizabeth Taylor was there, playing Queen of light in that film. Jane Fonda and Ava Gardner also worked there, at Stage # 4, the prior Aquarium Theatre. Orlando was partly filmed there with Tilda Swinton. Afghan Breakdown was shot there by Vladimir Bortko, with Michele Placido, who plays a Russian colonel. In the beginning of the 1990s there were about a dozen famous American scriptwriters and Oscar-winning actors and actresses who worked with Lenfilm.

By the end of the Soviet Union era, Lenfilm had produced about 1,500 films. Many film classics were produced at Lenfilm throughout its history and some of these were granted international awards at various film festivals.


After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Lenfilm became a quasi-private film production company of Russia, retaining its name in spite of renaming of the city of Leningrad to St. Petersburg.

Lenfilm is tightly connected with world celebrities, such as those mentioned as well as Jane Fonda, Maximilian Schell, Marina Vlady, Julia Ormond, Michael Caine, William Hurt, Sophie Marceau, Sean Bean, Sandrine Bonnaire, Gérard Philipe, and with many great Russians, such as Vladimir Mayakovsky, Dmitri Shostakovich, Alexander Ney, Kirill Lavrov, Daniil Granin, Pavel Kadochnikov, Aleksandr Demyanenko, and Sergey Kuryokhin.

In 2004 Kinostudiya Lenfilm was re-organized into a privately owned company.

In 2007 Kinostudiya Lenfilm, together with Apple IMC, opened the Apple post-production training centre for filmmakers, where Apple computers are used for editing and special effects, as well as for training and certification of film editors in Final Cut Pro 5.1 and other Apple programs.

Timeline and selected filmography

See Category:Lenfilm films

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  2. "Раскрытие информации в сети Интернет". disclosure.ru. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  3. Федор Бондарчук возглавил «Ленфильм»
  4. "История". www.lenfilm.ru. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  5. "Компания Киностудия "Ленфильм". Контакты, описание, вакансии и отзывы о компании Киностудия "Ленфильм"". whoiswho.dp.ru. Retrieved 2 September 2016.