Film will focus on Russian journalist and TV presenter Vladislav Listyev; Oliver Stone eyed as director.

Russian producers Alexander Kulikov (Marins Group Entertainment) and Oleg Teterin (Teterin Film) are planning to make a feature film, Listyev – Hope is The Last To Die, about the prominent Russian journalist and TV presenter Vladislav Listyev who was murdered by unknown assassins on March 1, 1995.

According to Teterin, they are considering Oliver Stone along with Russian film-makers as a possible candidate to serve as the film’s director.

“We hope that the participation in a project of such significance for Russia as a film about Vladislav Listyev will be a natural way for Oliver Stone to continue strengthening his cinematic ties with Russia,” said Teterin whose company last year acquired the rights to Stone’s The Untold Story Of The United States which was later broadcast on Russia’s First Channel.

Established screenwriters and debutants are now invited to enter a competition and submit screenplays either based on the TV presenter’s life from 1987-1995, the murder investigation, or the last 24 hours in the journalist’s life.

A selection of the best scripts would be made by a group of experts from the two production companies headed by Alexander Karpov, the screenwriter of the adventure fantasy film Viy 3D, and the finalists would then be submitted to Listyev’s family for its approval.

The producers – who previously collaborated on the $23m Viy 3D starring Jason Flemyng and Charles Dance with a Russian cast - intend to release the film on March 1, 2017 – the 22nd anniversary of the journalist’s death.

The film’s subtitle Hope is The Last To Die is not chosen by coincidence as these were the opening words uttered by Listyev on his last programme on March 1, 1995.

However, there was a bitter irony to the timing of the project’s announcement given that it came just a matter of days after the opposition leader Boris Nemtsov had been gunned down in cold blood near the Kremlin on February 27.

Leviathian leads NIKA noms

Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Golden Globe-winning Leviathian, which was Russia’s Oscar candidate in the Foreign Language Film category, has picked up 11 nominations for the NIKA national film awards.

The film was nominated for, among others, Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, and Best Production Design.

Leviathan was released by A Company Russia in cooperation with 20th Century Fox Russia on 638 screens on February 5. It had taken over $ 1.48m (RUB 90m) at the Russian box office by the end of last week.

The late Alexey German’s Hard To Be A God was hot on Leviathan’s heels with 10 nominations, followed by Yuri Bykov’s Locarno winner The Fool (5) and Alexander Kott’s Test (4).

Nominations in the category of films from CIS and the Baltic states include such festival favourites as Ukrainian Miroslav Slaboshpitsky’s The Tribe and Georgian George Ovashvili’s Corn Island.

In addition, the NIKA’s Honorary Award will go to Naum Kleiman, the esteemed film historian and former head of the Cinema Museum in Moscow, who received one of the Berlinale Cameras at the Berlin festival last month.