U.S. actor John Malkovich is backing a plan to build Stonebridge Studios, a film, music and media production facility in Skopje, North Macedonia. The studio will be the largest of its kind in the Balkans, he said, Film New Europe reports.
The actor, who is presently in the Serbian city of Zaječar, will work with fellow actors D.W. Moffett and Matt Dillon on the creation of the studio, which is part of the Skopje Technology Park project.
In a video shared with Macedonian Radio and Television, Malkovich – whose father is of Croatian descent – said that the project is especially important to him as a “son of the Balkans.” He said he strongly believes that it will be crucial for the country and the region, and will amplify the already ascended Balkan film, music and art communities in every way possible.
The Skopje Technology Park is an initiative of STP Capital Partners Holding, a Macedonian company founded by a group of companies and partners based mainly in the U.S. According to their business plan, the direct investment of 170 million Euros to 240 million Euros will lead to 1.6 billion Euros for Macedonian GDP.
The project has yet to be granted the status of a strategic investment, which would trigger government funding.
Ádám Breier Shoots Bittersweet Dramedy ‘The Lefkovices Are Mourning’
Hungarian director Ádám Breier is shooting his debut feature, the bittersweet dramedy “The Lefkovices are Mourning,” made as part of the Incubator Program of Hungary’s National Film Institute.
Tamás Lefkovics, the big-hearted but stubborn boxing trainer (Zoltán Bezerédi), has had such a bad relationship with his son Iván (Tamás Szabó Kimmel) that they haven’t spoken to each other in years. However, on the unexpected death of Tamás’s wife (Ágnes Máhr), Iván, who had become religious in Israel in the meantime, decides to move into Tamás’s apartment and, in accordance with Jewish traditions, spend a week of mourning and shiva.
“For me, it is extremely important to talk about family matters with humor and acceptance, and to show that there is indeed hope,” said Breier, who in writing the film together with Bálint Csaba, who was inspired by the conflicts of his own family’s identity.
“The Lefkovices Are Mourning” is produced by ULab and coproduced by Proton Cinema with the support of the National Film Institute – Hungary. The producers are Miklós Kázmér, Ádám Felszeghy and Andrea Ausztrics, and Breier is the coproducer. Claudia Sümeghy is the executive producer.
The shoot is expected to wrap by the end of August. The theatrical release is set for the autumn of 2023.
Vlad Petri in Postproduction with Romanian/Croatian Documentary ‘Between Revolutions’
Romanian director Vlad Petri is in postproduction with his feature documentary “Between Revolutions.”
The Romanian/Croatian coproduction is among the nine Central and Eastern European projects showcased in Docu Talents From the East, part of the CineLink Industry Days in Sarajevo.
The film, made entirely from archival footage from Romania and Iran, follows two women from both countries who become friends during their medical studies in Bucharest, but are separated by the Iranian Revolution of 1979.
“We think that this is an important film for nowadays because it focuses on the stories of women in two patriarchal societies, living between two of the most important revolutions of the 20th century. It is a film about hopes and utopias, about dreams and freedoms,” Vlad Petri told FNE.
“Between Revolutions” is produced by Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan through Romania’s Activ Docs Production, in coproduction with Oliver Sertic through Croatia’s Restart, with support from the Romanian Film Center (CNC), the Croatian Audiovisual Center (HAVC), Romanian Television (TVR), and the Doha Film Institute.
“The toughest thing in the production of the film was finding the right archives for the story,” Petri said.
The project was pitched at FIPADOC Biarritz in France, and participated in the workshops Dok.incubator and First Cut Lab at Transilvania Film Festival.
The estimated date of premiere is February 2023.
Interested in political and social subjects, Petri has won three Romanian Gopo Awards: for best debut in 2015 with “Bucharest, Where Are You Bucharest?,” and twice for best short documentary with “The Deer Passed in Front of Me” in 2021, and “The Same Dream” in 2021. He also won the Jury’s Special Mention in Sarajevo with “The Same Dream” in 2021.
Patryk Vega in Postproduction with ‘Invisible War’
The latest autobiographical film written and directed by Patryk Vega, entitled “Invisible War,” will be released in Polish theaters on Sept. 30, with Rafał Zawierucha in the lead. The film is in postproduction.
“Invisible War,” produced by Vega’s own company Vega Investments, is the answer to the questions: what shaped Vega as a man and as a director, where he came from, and how ideas for his films were born?
“This is not a documentary, a monument or glorification. It is a fast-paced story about myself, filled with truth, emotions and characteristic humor, revealing the backstage of the life and career of the most controversial director,” Vega said in a statement.
The cast will include Rafał Zawierucha, Anna Mucha, Piotr Cyrwus, Ignacy Klim and Justyna Karłowska.
The local distributor is Kino Świat.
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.