Ralph Fiennes is in talks to star in another adaptation of 19th Russian literature – Ivan Turgenev’s 1872 play A Month In The Country.

He previously played Evgeny Onegin in his younger sister Martha Fiennes’ 1999 film Onegin which was based on Alexander Pushkin’s epic verse novel.

Speaking at a pitching forum during this year’s VOICES festival in the Russian city of Vologda, producer Natalia Ivanova of Horosho Production said that she had met with the UK actor to speak about the possibility of him playing Rakitin, the devoted, but resentful admirer of a rich landowner’s wife, in the film to be directed by Vera Glagoleva. Ivanova has previously produced Glagoleva’s feature films One War (2009)and Contract (2005).

Ivanova told ScreenDaily that Fiennes has said that he would even be prepared to learn Russian for the part. She is currently seeking to identify partners in the UK and France to make the project a European co-production in what would be the play’s first adaptation for the cinema.

Projects with the potential for an Italian-Russian co-production included Roberto and Marco Marchionni’s 1960s-set romantic comedy Echo Hotel about a young Italian’s love for a woman Cosmonaut missing in space. The feature debut had previously been pitched at the Sofia Meetings co-production market in March.

In addition, Paolo Spina of Revolver Film was presenting the dramedy Russian Dolls which is budgeted at between €1-1.2m and scheduled to have 4-5 weeks of shooting in Russia. While the director, DoP and main actor would be Italian, the rest of the crew could all be Russian, Spina explained, adding that he was looking to bring a Russian scriptwriter onboard to collaborate on the screenplay.

Meanwhile, Anatoly Sivushov’s Avatar-Film had two projects looking for Italian partners at the pitching forum. Feature debutant Daria Shumakova’s €3m Actress (working title) about a woman who falls in love with an Italian actor and tries to win his love all of her life, plans to shoot in Moscow, St Petersburg and throughout Italy in Russian, English and Italian. Russian actress Kseniya Rappaport is on the filmmakers’ wish-list to play the female lead.

Avatar-Film is also behind Nikolay Drejden and Maxim Didenko’s Chiniselli about Gaetano Chiniselli, the founder of the first stationary circus in Russia, which already has the support from  the Circus Museum and State Circus of St Petersburg.

The €5m project is planned to shoot in St Petersburg and Italy in 2013, and the famous Italian circus actor Leo Bassi and actress Kseniya Rappaport are to be approached to take roles.

Meanwhile, producer Uliana Kovaleva spoke about her experiences on the shooting of the first treaty co-production between Italy and Russia, Valerio Mieli’s debut Ten Winters (Dieci Inverni), which premiered in Venice in 2009.

She revealed that filming of her second Italian-Russian co-production had wrapped in Turin this week for Matteo Pellegrini’s Day & Night (working title), starring Alexey Guskov and Anita Kravos.

During a roundtable on co-producing between Russia and the rest of Europe, German Films’ Eastern European representative Simone Baumann indicated that the long-anticipated German-Russian co-production treaty could finally be signed before the end of this year.

In addition, Russian filmmaker Pavel Lungin and CNC’s Nicolas Chibaeff announced plans for the signing of an agreement for a French-Russian Film Academy at St Petersburg’s Kinoforum this week.

It is understood that this new initiative will receive financial support from France’s CNC and the Russian Cinema Fund.