Mosfilm is a film studio, which is often described as the largest and oldest in Russia and in Europe. Its output includes most of the more widely-acclaimed Soviet films, ranging from works by Tarkovsky and Eisenstein (commonly considered the greatest Soviet directors), to Red Westerns, to the Akira Kurosawa co-production (Дерсу Узала / Dersu Uzala) and the epic Война и Мир / War and Peace.
The Moscow film production unit with studio facilities was established in November 1923 by the motion picture mogul Aleksandr Khanzhonkov (“first film factory”) and I. Ermolev (“third film factory”) as a unit of the Goskino works. The first movie filmed by Mosfilm was On the Wings Skyward (directed by Boris Mikhin).
In 1927 a new film studio complex was started to be built on Mosfilmovskaya Street in Sparrow Hills of Moscow. This film studio was named after Moscow amalgamated factory Soyuzkino the Tenth Anniversary of the October. In 1934 the film
studio was renamed to Moskinokombinat, and in 1936 – to Mosfilm. During the World War II the film studio personnel were evacuated to Alma-Ata (August 1941) and merged with other Soviet production units into the Central United Film Studio (TsOKS). The Mosfilm personnel returned to Moscow at the end of 1943.
The famous Mosfilm logo, representing the monument “Worker and Kolkhoz Woman” by Vera Mukhina and Spasskaya Tower of the Kremlin, was introduced in 1947 in the musical comedy, Spring directed by Grigori Aleksandrov and starring Lyubov Orlova and Nikolai Cherkasov.
By the end of the Soviet Union, Mosfilm had produced more than 3,000 films. Many film classics were shot at Mosfilm throughout its history and some of these were granted international awards at various film festivals.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Mosfilm continued operations as a quasi-private production company, led by the film director Karen Shakhnazarov. As of 2005, the company embraced ten independent studios, located within thirteen pavilions occupying the area of 13,000 sq. meters. Tours through this “Russian Hollywood” become increasingly popular, as they allow to view Mosfilm’s enormous depot with 170 tanks and 50 vintage cars. The main pavilion is leased annually to hold the Golden Eagle Awards.