A major Russian film distributor has announced that it has developed an alternative to the wide-format, high-definition IMAX cinema, Vedomosti daily reports. reported Thursday.

IMAX Corporation, a Canadian company that makes entertainment technology, left Russia in June as part of a backlash against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by Western firms. The company since then prohibited screenings of their films in Russia.

Central Partnership, Russia’s leading film producer and distributor, which is part of the Gazprom-Media holding company, is now seeking to patent its own IMAX alternative called Kosmax, according to the company’s CEO, Vadim Verashchagin.

“We are seeking serious competition with IMAX,” Verashchagin told Vedomosti. “Although in the current environment, it would be correct to say ‘an alternative to IMAX.’

The Cosmax provides “the cleanest and richest image with deep and detailed sound,” Verashchagin said, and apparently cost less than 5 million rubles ($65,000) to develop.

The first film shown using Cosmax technology will be the Russian film “Challenge”. the first film in history shot into space.

The story of a surgeon sent to the ISS to save an astronaut, The Challenge was shot over 12 days aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in October 2021.

If the film is released on schedule, it will be released before the corresponding Hollywood film, also shot in space, which has support Mission: Impossible star Tom Cruise, NASA and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Verashchagin told “Vedomosti” that in order to show Cosmax films, cinemas must be equipped with high-quality digital film projectors and sound equipment. He added that Cosmax also supports movies shot in “any open format” and “originally shot in high definition at a specific frame rate.”

On March 22, 2023, a court in Moscow ordered IMAX to resume operations in Russia in a decision that the Canadian company will have to challenge within a month, Vedomosti reports.

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