French actor Dominique Pinon and Serbia’s Milos Bikovic have joined the cast of Roman Prygunov’s DuhLess 2, the sequel to his 2012 box-office success based on Sergey Minaev’s eponymous novel.

Veteran Pinon is known to international audiences for roles in such classics as Diva, Amelie From Montmartre and Delicatessen, while 26 year-old Bikovic appeared in the football films Montevideo - God Bless You! and its sequel as well as Nikita Mikhalkov’s forthcoming Bunin adaptation, Sunstroke.

The sequel by Art Pictures Studio and Kinoslovo is headlined again by Danila Kozlovsky, known popularly as ¨Russia’s answer to Brad Pitt¨ who has recently broken into the international film scene with his role in Vampire Academy.

Kozlovsky reprises his role as top manager Max Andreev who has left the hustle and bustle of Moscow behind for the quiet life on the Indonesian island of Bali until events back home lead him to head for Russia.

Seen by many as a Russian Wall Street, the first outing by Prygunov had the best weekend opening for a Russian film with $4.5m (RUB160m) on its release in 2012. Universal Pictures plans to open the new film on March 5, 2015.

Quotas back on the agenda

The Russian Federation’s Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky has indicated that the issue of quotas could be back on the agenda once the box office results for 2014 are in.

Medinsky argued that 50% would be the ideal market share for Russian films in their domestic market, but this seems wishful thinking given that Russian cinema currently has a 18% market share at the box office.

According to the minister, a 25% share would be the goal for 2017, and 30% for 2018.

Ukraine crisis hits two Russian films

The growing tension between Russia and Ukraine has led to a decision by Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture to refuse to issue distribution certificates to two new Russian productions because of their alleged negative portrayal of the Ukrainian language and people.

The films affected are the boxer biopic Poddubniy, produced by Mikhalkov’s Studio Trite, and the Sergey Snizhkin’s Bulgakov adaptation The White Guard (Belaya Gvardia), produced by Non Stop Production.