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Russian fund backs ‘Two Women’

Ralph Fiennes stars in 'Month in the Country' adaptation

MOSCOW

An international adaptation of Ivan Turgenev’s 19th-century classic “A Month in the Country,” starring Ralph Fiennes, is among eight films to share in co-production support from the Russian Cinema Fund, worth a total of $6.5 million.

The film, whose English-language title is “The Two Women,” is directed by actress-turned-director and producer Vera Glagoleva and produced by Russia’s Horosho Prods., Film Base in Germany and Fluid in France.

Story centers on a woman and her step-daughter who both love the same man. It will shoot in the historic Russian city of Smolensk for release in 2014.

International sales are being handled by Rezo Film in Paris.

Horosho topper Natalia Ivanova said 70% of the budget for the $3.6 million project was being put up by the Russian side, with money from both the fund and her company.

Other films that have won Russian government coin include “WWI,” a multi-country collection of 10 shorts about the war.

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An English-language remake of 1962 cult Soviet sci-fi film “Chelovek-amfibiya” (Amphibian Man), produced by Russia’s Trikita Entertainment, Italy’s Lumiq Studios and Germany’s Bavaria Film Partners, with a script from director Sergei Bodrov, also shares in the grants.

Other projects are Russian-Italian co-productions “Crazy Regatta” and “Players,” and French-Russian project “Spikelets,” which includes Polish, Slovak and Dutch partners, and Russian-Kazakh movie “Polizioner.”

Although no specific figures were provided for each project, it is the first time the Cinema Fund has given overall cash amounts for co-productions it is supporting.

The fund also told Variety that $30 million had gone to supporting socially important movies in 2012, a total of $10.3 million for full-length animation and cartoon series, and $5.4 million on promoting Russian film at international festivals and markets.

Details are beginning to emerge of how the Cinema Fund will operate under a new system, fully controlled by the Ministry of Culture, that was suddenly announced Nov. 22.

The fund’s international activities will now be subject to project-by-project approval by the Ministry of Culture, sources close to the fund told Variety.

Established activities, such as the Moscow Co-production Forum in July, Red Square Screenings in October and recently established bilateral film academies with France, Germany and Italy will continue to be backed.

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