Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby will start shooting next week in Malta on Ridley Scott’s film “Kitbag,” about Napoleon’s rise to power. Polish cinematographer Dariusz Adam Wolski is lensing, according to Film New Europe.

Phoenix, who plays the French emperor, and Kirby, who plays his wife Josephine, arrive in Malta this week, according to Times of Malta, quoting sources in the local film industry. The cast includes Tahar Rahim, Youssef Kerkour, John Hollingworth, Edouard Philipponnat and Alfredo Tavares. David Scarpa penned the script.

The Apple Studios production will use several locations in Malta including Attard, Senglea, Valletta, Mellieħa, Siġġiewi, Mdina, Fort Ricasoli and the Malta Film Studios, according to Times of Malta.

Filming in Malta will wrap in mid-May. Kitbag is also shooting in France and the U.K.

Scott previously used Malta as a location for “White Squall” (1996) and “Gladiator” (2000).

Macedonian Director Agim Abdula in Post With ‘Koma’

Macedonian director Agim Abdula is in postproduction with his debut feature “Koma,” which is set to premiere by the autumn.

In the film, Afrim and Kenan meet after many years apart and share childhood memories. Afrim experiences a calamity that puts Kenan in a very difficult situation. Is Kenan willing to sacrifice everything to stay close to his childhood friend?

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Courtesy of FNE

The screenplay is written by Bunjamin Kurtishi with Iranian filmmaker Shahram Mokri acting as a creative consultant. The cast includes popular actors like Naser Rafuna, Xhevdet Jashari and Refet Abazi.

Bunjamin Kurtishi and Fidush Kjamilio are producing through Galaktika Pictures, partnering with Vardar Film. Almost the whole of the Euros 373,984 budget comes from production support from the North Macedonia Film Agency.

The film was shot at several locations in Skopje from Jan. 24 to Feb. 15, 2022.

Slovak 2021 Admissions Lowest Since 1993

Total admissions in Slovakia reached 2,037,942 in 2021, with a decrease of 13.82% compared with 2020. It is the lowest number of admissions since 1993. The total gross was Euros 12,351,764, with a decrease of 11.56% compared with 2020.

Despite the fact that the number of Slovak premieres in cinemas increased by 50%, the attendance for Slovak titles fell by as much as 73.8% to 203,452 admissions, compared with 775,487 in 2020, according to the Union of Slovak Film Distributors.

A total of 30 local films (16 documentaries, 13 feature films and one animated film) were distributed in Slovakia in 2021, an increase of 50% compared with 2020. Six of them were 100% Slovak productions, 10 were majority coproductions, and there were 14 minority coproductions.

The cinema screenings dropped only by 0.76% from 98,714 in 2020 to 97,962 in 2021, but the average admissions dropped by 13.16% from 23.96 visitors per screeening in 2020 to 20.8 visitors in 2021.

In total, cinemas had to be closed for 173 days in 2021, compared to 116 days in 2020.

This article is published in partnership with online news service Film New Europe, which covers film and TV industry news from across Central and Eastern Europe.