Helmer turns to ‘Dust’

Balkan oater to star Fiennes, Wenham

LONDON — Five years after winning the Golden Lion at Venice for his first film “Before the Rain,” maverick helmer Milcho Manchevski is back behind the camera with his second movie “Dust.”

The pic is a Balkan Western set across three different time periods and locations: the American Midwest at the turn of the 20th century; the dying days of the Ottoman Empire in 1913; and contemporary New York.

It stars Joseph Fiennes (“Shakespeare in Love”), David Wenham (“The Boys”), Adrian Lester (“Love’s Labour’s Lost”) and Anne Brochet (“Cyrano de Bergerac”).

The story, penned by Manchevski, follows two brothers who fall in love with, and fall out over, the same girl. Their dispute takes them to the Balkans just before World War I, where ethnic cleansing is in full swing.

Meanwhile, in the modern time frame, a would-be mugger is about to discover the secret of a hoard of Balkan gold.

The film is being financed by the Film Consortium, one of the U.K.’s three lotto franchises, in a complex Euro structure involving the Euro Co-Production Fund, BSkyB, NRW Filmstiftung, Medusa Films, Highlight Communications, the Macedonian Ministry of Culture, Shadow Dooel and Southfork Pictures.

The producers are Chris Auty, Vesna Jovanoska and Domenico Procacci. International sales are being handled by the Sales Co.

Shooting started Tuesday in New York for two weeks, to be followed by location filming in Macedonia. There will be a studio shoot in Cologne, Germany, in late July, with post-production in London.

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