UK production company Firefly Films is developing a feature film about the2004 Beslan School tragedy. The tentative budget is planned at about $9.4m (£5m) and alate 2007 or early 2008 shoot is planned in Europe.

Screenwriter Richard Lasser is developing the script and a director will bebrought onto the project in the near future. The story will follow the familiesand teachers impacted by the school siege that killed more than 330 people. Thefilm, entitled Beslan,will also reconstruct the back-story of surviving Chechen hostage-taker Nurpashi Kulayev.

'The film will focus onthe families' lives leading up to the tragic siege, and the trial of Kulayev - a 25-year-old who was driven to murder,'said Firefly Films head Matthew Hobbs. 'Richard is perfect to pen thisfilm. He is an accomplished screenwriter, who has spent many years in Russia, and knows its people and culture intimately,'he added.

The producers plan to donatea percentage of the film's profits to a charity that supports victims ofterrorism.

In other news, Firefly'sMatthew Hobbs and Alexander Faleev will work with Mohy Quandour and hisMoscow-based Sindika Productions to produce Ivan & Maria.

The project is set in 16thcentury Russia during the reign of Ivan IV (Ivan TheTerrible) and the romance and drama of his marriage to Maria.

Based on the poem by Russianpoet Luba Balagova, thescreenplay will be written by Quandour and Lasser. Directors are being considered now for an early tomid-2007 shoot. The budget will be about $15m.

Firefly is also working withMalta-based Drunken Angel Entertainment and producer Dennis Mahoney to produceGuido Chiesa's TheVillage. The producers hope for a late 2006 start for the story of a groupof British soldiers who change the lives of a small island community duringWWII.