September 15, 2008

Disney Filming First Project in Russia

The Walt Disney Company CIS has announced it is joining forces with some of Russia's top filmmaking talents for its first Russian-produced feature.

"The Book of Masters" started shooting this month outside Minsk. It is expected to be released in Russian theaters next year.

After the first stage of shooting is done, production is to move to the Mosfilm Studio stages.

Nikita Mikhalkov's Three T Studio -- known for movies such as "12,""Barber of Siberia,""Burnt by the Sun" and "Urga" -- is the production company working on "Masters," Disney said.

The movie is being directed by Vadim Sokolovsky, who is known for such television projects as "An Occasional Fellow-traveler,""The Ticket to the Harem" and "Ambulance 2." He is also the local production and acquisitions director for The Walt Disney Company CIS.

"We are very happy that the first Russian Disney movie starring famous Russian actors will be adapted from Russian fairy tales we all know from childhood," Marina Jigalova-Ozkan, managing director of The Walt Disney Company CIS, Disney's Russian division, said in a statement Monday. "'The Book of Masters' is targeted to a family audience. This is a light-hearted comedy adventure told with love and self-deprecating humor, continuing the Disney spirit and traditions. ... We're honored and thrilled to be working with Three T Studio and their talented team to create an exceptional movie in the Russian language that is culturally relevant for the avid movie-going audiences in Russia."