Disney has started production on its first Russian-produced feature film, Vadim Sokolovsky's family fantasyThe Book Of Masters.

Walt Disney Company CIS, founded in 2006, is working with Nikita Mikhalkov's production companyThree T Studio on the project, which has begun shooting in the Belarus capital Minsk before it moves to Moscow'sMosfilm Studio stages.

The Book of Masters stars some of Russia's best-known actors, including Leonid Kuravlyov, Valentin Gaft, Irina Apeksimova, Olga Arosjeva, Mikhail Efremov, Gosha Kutsenko andArtur Smolyaninov.

The film is due to be released in Autumn 2009.

Mikhalkov has been an international festival favourite for decades with award-winning films of his own, including 1994's Oscar-winningBurnt By The Sun.