It happens mostly because the governmental financial support is received either by a certain circle of proven directors or by those who are ready to make films performing precise socio-political functions. Simply put, only patriotic movies can be made at state expense. And those who are left behind have to choose either to make commercially successful but pointless movies, or to invest a lot of money in independent cinema, which won't be able to get in wide film distribution and, as a result, is unlikely to pay off.
The picture is dramatic. But, as you know, difficulties only harden. Therefore, new independent directors who are ready to create high-quality films regularly appear in Russia. And our movies are not uncommon at foreign film festivals. If you still don't believe in the possibilities of Russian cinema, I suggest you get acquainted with the significant, though a not so large layer of Russian cinema — arthouse.
Russian arthouse is accused of one-sidedness and being too noir. It really has freed itself from the function of only bringing pleasure and shows a critical image of reality, which exposes the painful sides of society. If you decide to watch Russian arthouse, most likely you will see a film with social implications and grim pictures of Russian life. But this is a high point of Russian independent cinema. It can be rightfully called intellectual. Of course, it often leaves behind a weird and sad aftertaste, though also a lot of thoughts and reflections. So, the profundity of social problems covered is the thing that distinguishes Russian arthouse.
Arthouse unites many different types of cinema. First, let's have a look at auteur cinema. Kirill Serebrennikov, Alexander Sokurov, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Boris Khlebnikov, Kantemir Balagov are just the beginning of the list of reputable Russian auteur cinema directors. It's difficult to speak about auteur cinema just in a couple of pages, but let's try to do this from a personal angle. I am sure that many people have watched at least one art film or even have their favourite movie or the one which they could recommend. So do I.