Russian Porn King Sues Over Film Ban

Jan 13, 2011 8:00 AM PST
MOSCOW — A major Russian porn producer is suing the culture ministry for banning the content of his films after they had already approved the titles.

In a hearing held this week, producer Sergei Pryanishnikov has asked the Moscow Arbitration Court to lift the ban on the 146 movies that include the titles "Anal Supremacy” and “Brave Female Masturbators.”

Pryanishnikov’s company, Klubnichka, is one of Russia’s top porn studios producing more than 25 movies a month with budgets of only $1,000 each. The company reportedly distributed more than 100,000 films in 2008 alone.

In December the ministry acted on orders from the prosecutor general's office that said the titles “breached decency” and contained vulgar language. But a culture ministry group of experts approved distribution licenses for the films last year.

The producer’s lawyer, Alexei Nachinkin said that instead of banning the films, the ministry could have asked Pryanishnikov to change the titles. “If they don't like the names, why should they ban the films?”

“All of our films are intended for private use only. We also have a taboo on making films involving necrophilia or zoophilia,” Nachinkin said.

The lawyer also intends to file additional suits against the ministry maintaining that the fight is more about free speech than actual content.

Culture minister Alexander Avdeyev however is supporting the decision and said that the action “helps the ministry to deal with a sad situation” where officials have no legal grounds to ban adult content because Russian legislation provides no definition of porn.

Russian porn producers reportedly often present edited versions of their films to ministry experts and then distribute the hardcore material after securing approval, the official said.

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