Timur Bekmambetov left the Russian business

Timur Bekmambetov finally left the Russian business. The film studio Bazelevs, which he founded in 1994, was bought by top management. It is going to be renamed soon.

The new owners of Bazelevs are the general producer and commercial director of the studio Lala Rustamova and Timur Asadov. The cost of the transaction is not disclosed, but it is known that it was held on market terms. 

The transaction affected only the Russian legal entity Bazelevs LLC, which was not legally connected with its American division. As a result, Rustamova and Asadov will each receive 50% of the company’s shares, RBC  reports .

According to Rustamova, the deal was closed at the expense of proceeds for the entire 2022. First of all, these are fees from the film distribution of the film “Yolki-9” and other films, as well as the sale of rights to content on VOD platforms and television rights, she added.

According to top managers of Bazelevs, the founder of the film studio has long planned to go out of business, and many projects have been released in recent years without his participation. Bekmambetov wanted to move away from operational management and concentrate on directing and screenwriting, Rustamova explained.

According to the publication, earlier other market participants were already interested in buying Bazelevs. Among them are Sberbank, MTS and Gazprom-Media.

How Bazelevs will develop

According to RBC, after the deal, Asadov will take the post of CEO of Bazelevs and will be responsible for the operational management of the company. Rustamova, in turn, will retain the position of general producer. She will manage the studio’s project strategy, recruiting new teams, and strategic decisions.

The Russian Bazelevs plans to concentrate on the markets of the Russian Federation and the CIS countries. In particular, the film studio wants to develop in Turkic-speaking countries and is already running a joint project with partners from Turkey, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

In addition, Bazelevs will continue to develop the direction of launching remakes of its films in other states. For example, in 2019 the painting “Birthday!” re-shot in South Korea, and the comedy “Bitter!” – in Mexico.

Bazelevs also continues to cooperate with Bekmambetov. He is the director and scriptwriter of the film “Khoja Nasreddin”. In the future, he will only be responsible for the American production studio in Los Angeles. 

It is assumed that in 2023 the Russian Bazelevs or its American division will change their name so as not to be associated with each other, Rustamova said. Including the disclaimer “Timur Bekmambetov’s Studio” will soon disappear from the Bazelevs website .

Why Vazelevs is known

Timur Bekmambetov founded Bazelevs in 1994. During its existence, the film studio has released such films as Night Watch, Christmas Trees, Bitter! and others.

Vazelevs often became the leader of Russian film production, therefore it had priority financial support, RBC notes. In particular, the studio received 200 million rubles from the Cinema Fund to shoot the film “Devyatayev”. At the same time, the total budget of the film amounted to 625 million rubles. 

At the end of 2021, the revenue of the Russian Vazelevs amounted to 239 million rubles according to RAS. The company’s net profit is 10.8 million rubles.

In 2006, she opened a representative office in the United States. Due to the presence of a studio in Los Angeles, Vazelevs could participate in the production of films for Hollywood. For example, the company, together with Universal, released the film Wanted with Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie. The film grossed over $342 million at the box office on a budget of $75 million.

Also, with the participation of the American studio, the paintings “President Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”, “Hardcore” and others were created. In 2021, Fast Company magazine included Bekmambetov’s film studio in the top 10 most innovative companies in the world.


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