Gabriele Salvatores to direct Urka mafia tale

BERLIN — John Malkovich is set to star in “Siberian Education,” the new film by Italian helmer Gabriele Salvatores (“I’m Not Scared”).

Based on a screenplay by Stefano Rulli, Sandro Petraglia and Salvatores, pic is an adaptation of Nicolai Lilin’s autobiographical book “Siberian Education,” about growing up as a member of the Mafia-like Urka community in the small republic of Transnistria, between Moldova and Ukraine.

Malkovich plays the role of Grandfather Kuzja, who teaches his grandson Kolyma (played by Lithuanian actor Arnas Fedaravicius) the morals of “honest criminals.”

Set in Southern Russia between 1985 and 1995, the international production is set to begin filming at the end of August. The film will shoot nearly entirely in Lithuania, with some shooting set for Italy, during summer and winter.

Rome-based Cattleya is producing “Siberian Education.”

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