Russian producer says detoriating political relations between Russia and Ukraine hasn’t damaged production.
Russia and Ukraine may be at loggerheads following revolution and Russian military intervention earlier this year – but the two countries’ film industries are working more closely than ever before.
$5m Russian/Ukranian co-production Battle For Sevastopol is currently shooting in Kiev – and, speaking in Cannes this week at a Roskino reception, Russian producer Mila Rozanova says that the deteriorating political relations between the two countries have not damaged the production.
The aim is to have the film (pitched at the festival last year) ready for Cannes 2015, the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
Yulia Peresild stars as legendary Russian sniper Ludmila Pavlichenko, who killed around 360 Germans during the war and was lionised as a Soviet hero. She was a close friend of American First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt (Joan Blackham) after meeting her on a trip to the US in 1944.
Pavlichenko was originally from Kiev – one reason why the film has been put together as a Russian/Ukraine co-production.
New People (Russia), through Natalia Mokritska and Rozanova are producing alongside Kinorob (Ukraine), producer Egor Olesov.
The project was supported by the Ministry Of Culture in Russia and by the Ministry of Culture in Ukraine in its former shape (before the collapse earlier this year of the Ukranian government).
Part of the film, which is Russian language, has been shot in Sevastopol, where there has also been widespread political unrest. Now, shooting is underway in Kiev. The third part of the film will shoot in Vinnitsa in Ukraine.
Director Sergey Mokritskiy was born in Ukraine but is a Russian citizen and the crew is mixed between Russians and Ukranians.
“So far, there hasn’t been any trouble,” said Rozanova. “In this particular case, they [the crew] are shooting a film which they really like. They like the story, they like what they are doing. I think they are more into doing an interesting job than discussing politics.”