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Kazakh Film battles with ‘Mongol’

Pic to follow conquerer's early years, rolls in May 2005

First Alexander, now Genghis Khan.

Sergei Bodrov (“Prisoner of the Mountains”) is prepping the $10 million “Mongol” for emerging film force Kazakh Film.

“Mongol” will shoot in Kazakhstan and Mongolia, with Mongolian dialogue and be cast locally. Pic, slated to roll in May 2005, portrays the early years of the Mongol warlord. Bodrov is also writing the script.

Another film backed by the Kazakhstan state is “Nomad.” Kazakh Film put up some 80% of the finance on the $35 million period epic, which Wild Bunch is selling at Cannes.

Currently shooting, “Nomad” is co-directed by Czech Ivan Passer (“Cutter’s Way”) and Kazakh helmer Talgat Temenov, written by Rustam Ibragimbekov (“Burnt by the Sun”), and toplines Kuno Becker (“La hija del canibal”), Jay Hernandez (“Torque”), Mark Dacascos (“Brotherhood of the Wolf”), and Jason Scott Lee (“Soldier”).

Set in 18th century Mongolia, “Nomad” is co-produced by Pavel Douvidzon and exec produced by Milos Forman, Serik Zhybandykov and Ram Bergman. “Nomad” depicts a warrior’s attempts to unite the warring Mongol tribes.

Wild Bunch won a reportedly tough face-off to snare the film.

The “Nomad” shoot will last 18 weeks, involve an 800-person crew and 500 horses, Bergman said at Cannes.

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