17 July 1979*, St 167/18

Secretariat gives go-ahead for talks with director Francis Ford Coppola about making a joint Soviet-American feature film about disarmament (5 pp). [R 17 July 1979, St 167-18]

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[page one of five]

Workers of all Lands, Unite!

COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE SOVIET UNION. CENTRAL COMMITTEE

[Text along left-hand margin]
Return to the CPSU Central Committee
(General Department, sector 1) within 15 days of receipt
(Central Committee Resolution of 17 June 1976, St 12/4)

TOP SECRET

No St 167/18, 17 July 1979

Excerpt from item 18 of Minutes No. 167 of the Central Committee Secretariat

About conducting negotiations concerning the making of a Soviet-American feature film on the subject of disarmament

Accept the proposal of the USSR State Film Committee to conduct preliminary negotiations with the American producer and film director F. Coppola about making a joint Soviet-American feature film [1] about issues of disarmament.

SECRETARY OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE


[page two]

No. St 167/18, 17 July 1979

Top Secret

RESOLUTION
of the Secretariat of the CPSU Central Committee

About conducting negotiations concerning the making of a Soviet-American feature film on the subject of disarmament

Accept the proposal of the USSR State Film Committee to conduct preliminary negotiations with the American producer and film director F. Coppola about making a Soviet-American feature film about issues of disarmament.

[handwritten signatures, illegible]

Results of voting:

Adopted at the meeting of the CPSU Central Committee, 17 July 1979

Central Committee Secretaries:

Comrade A.P. Kirilenko – For
Comrade I.V. Kapitonov – For
Comrade M.V. Zimyanin – For
Comrade K.V. Rusakov – For
Comrade M.S. Gorbachev – For

[by hand] Yermash

Excerpts to: Comrades Ponomaryov, Yermash, Shauro


[page three]

Secret

To the CPSU Central Committee

About conducting negotiations concerning the making of a Soviet-American feature film on the subject of disarmament

The USSR State Film Committee (Comrade Yermash) has put forward a proposal to hold talks and sign a preliminary agreement with the noted American producer and film director F. Coppola about making a Soviet-American feature film on the issues of disarmament.

The initiator was Coppola who, with reference to a conversation with US President J. Carter, expressed his interest in making a film that would serve the purpose of strengthening friendship between the American and Soviet people. In putting forward this proposal the USSR State Film Committee will have the right to oversee the ideological and artistic shaping of the film at every stage in its creation.

The Central Commitee Culture and International Departments think it possible to agree with the proposal of the USSR State Film Committee to hold preliminary talks on this subject. If they bring a positive result, including the financial terms, USSR Goskino will present the relevant proposals for concluding an agreement with F. Coppolla to the CPSU Central Committee.

Deputy head of the Culture Department
[signed]
(V. Shauro)

Department head of the International Departyment
[signed]
(V. Shaposhnikov)

12 July 1979


[page four]

Secret

To the CPSU Central Committee

During the visit of the USSR Goskino delegation to the 32nd International Film Festival at Cannes (France) in May this year, there was a meeting with the prominent American film producer and director Francis Ford Coppola.

Coppola told the chairman of Goskino that he had talked with the President of the United States, J. Carter, who expressed an interest in making a joint Soviet-American film about disarmament. According to Coppola, the president linked this project with the forthcoming summit in Vienna and the signature and ratification of the strategic arms limitation treaty (SALT-2). The American side feels that such a film would promote the growth of mutual trust between the Soviet and American people, the formation of a positive international attitude to the treaty, and serve the further development of Soviet-American cultural cooperation.

Speaking on behalf of his own company, Zoetrope Films, Coppola said he was ready to take on the financial and organizational aspects of the project for the American side. Since Coppola is acknowledged to be one of the most influential American cinematographers in both business and creative circles, his participation could ensure a definite guarantee of high artistic merit and the subsequent widespread distribution of the film.

If agreement is reached, the Soviet side will reserve the right to exercise control over the ideological and artistic content of the film at all stages of production.


[page five]

The most outstanding Soviet and American film-makers could be assigned to write the scenario and shoot the film. Under such conditions, it would seem expedient to agree to the Soviet-American production of such a film.

In order to advance the implementation of the film at this stage, there must be negotiations with Coppola and the signing of a preliminary agreement. This could be achieved when he comes to the 9th International Film Festival in Moscow in August this year.

I request your consideration

Chairman of USSR Goskino

[signed] F.T. Yermash

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NOTES
[1] Part of the impact sought by Soviet policy-makers in pursuing this project can be illustrated by the 1983 TV film, “The Day After”. Broadcast on the ABC network in the USA, it was watched by an estimated 100 million Americans.
General
1. Notes and additions by translator and editor are bracketed, thus [ ];
2. Text added by hand is indicated in italic script;
3. when a handwritten phrase, figure or word has been added
to a previously typed document it is indicated by underlined italic script.
Translation, John Crowfoot
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About editors (JC)

translator, researcher, editor
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