Russian-born actress Ksenia Rappoport, who was nominated for European Actress 2007 at last weekend's European Film Awards for her performance in Giuseppe Tornatore's The Unknown, has taken the lead in Kirill Serebrennikov's new feature Yuriev Den which has now begun shooting on location in the Russian town of Yuriev near Suzdal.
The $1.47m (Euros 1m) Russian-German co-production between St. Petersburg-based New People Film Company and Germany's Rohfilm was written by Yuri Arabov and had been pitched at the B2B co-production meeting in Belgrade under the working title of Diva last March.
Yuriev Den, about a mother looking for her disappeared son in a small provincial town, will bethe director'sfourth feature. Serebrennikov also has another project The Swan Prince about the composer Pjotr Ilitch Tchaikovsky being pitched at this week's Baltic Event in Tallinn.
Last year, his Playing The Victim - which was New People Film Company's debut project as a production company - won the Grand Prix at the Kinotavr Open Russian Film Festival in Sochi and at the inaugural edition of the Rome Filmfest.
Rappoport was awarded the David di Donatello Prize for Best Actress for her role in The Unknown which won the People's Choice Award for Best European Film in Berlin on Saturday.
Speaking exclusively to ScreenDaily.com at the Baltic Event, Rohfilm's Karsten Stoeter explained that the project had been supported as part of a slate funding package by the Leipzig-based fund MDM as well as by Russia's Federal Agency for Culture and Cinematography.
Stoeter, who had first met Serebrennikov when he was second AD for the Vienna shoot of the director's 2004 film Ragin, also has another project with him in development for shooting in 2009: a biopic on the life of the famous Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky during his time in Germany.
Yuriev Den is Rohfilm's fifth project to go into production this year following Marat Sarulu's epic comedy Songs From The Southern Seas; Peter Doerfler's documentary Achterbahn, shooting in Germany and Peru; Sarajevo-based fimmaker Aida Begic Zubcevic's post-war drama Snow as a co-production between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, France and Iran; and Pablo Aguero's mother-son drama Salamandra which was shooting in Patagonia with music legend John Cale and Argentinean actress Dolores Fonzi in the cast.