EXCLUSIVE: Poland and Ukrainian funds also join the new production from the director of The Parade.
Stealth Media World Sales has boarded Srdjan Dragojevic’s The Porcupine, produced by F&ME and Delirium.
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Stealth will be discussing the project with buyers in Toronto and at the American Film Market.
The adaptation of Julian Barnes’ 1992 novel will shoot in the Ukraine, Bulgaria and Macedonia in February 2014, with post production and music composition taking place in Poland.
In addition to Stealth coming on board for sales, additional finance has come from the Polish Film Institute via Andrzej Jakimowski’s ZaiR company; and from the Ukrainian State Film Agency via Olga Zhurzhenko’s Ukr Kino.
Karl Markovics and Rade Serbedzija lead the cast and the latest addition is German actress Franziska Petri.
“With the support of the Polish Film Institute (PISF) and Ukrainian fund, we are now in a position to greenlight the film,” said F&ME producer Mike Downey.
“We do have a couple of applications outstanding but, we have take the decision to proceed into an early prep, with full prep getting underway in late November 2013. We have had an extraordinary amount of support from both West and East Europe for this English language adaptation of Julian Barnes’ key novel.”
Set in a fictional post-communist country, The Porcupine is about the trial of a former communist leader who has a surprisingly formidable defense.
The novel has been adapted by Dragojevic and will be produced by Delirium’s Biljana Prvanovic along with Dragojevic and Film and Music Entertainment’s Mike Downey and Sam Taylor.
Dragojevic [pictured], who previously directed box office and festival hit The Parade, added: “Barnes’ The Porcupine examines a recent phenomenon in Eastern Europe: nostalgia for socialism…
“The script treats this nostalgia as a screen, a strategy to cover up the twin traumas shared by all East European societies: the trauma of socialism and the trauma of transition.
“Add to this the failure of capitalism since Barnes wrote the book – and we have a very contemporary tale of two systems.”
Co-producers are Departures Film from Germany with funding from MDM, Camera Ltd from Bulgaria with investment from the Bulgarian State Fund, Drugi Plan from Croatia with backing from Croatian Audiovisual Centre; Macedonia’s Sektor Film, Romania’s Elefant Films, and the Premier tax fund in the UK.