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Russian productions head for Estonia

Martin Aadamsoo 2009-06-15
Shooting has begun on the reportedly $4 million budgeted Russian fantasy-thriller Quarantine in Tallinn -- the latest in a spate of Russian films being produced in Estonia.

The film is directed by Yekaterina Grohovskaja and features the Russian star actress Renata Litvinova. Co-produced in Estonia by Kris Taska of Taska Productions (www.taska.ee) and Juhan Saul Gross, the film is already the third Russian production shooting in Estonia this year.

The film set was built entirely within a former Sovet military factory hangar with 6,500 sq.m floor space and 26 meters of height, adjusted ad hoc for the shoot. Taska estimates that a quarter of the film's budget is being spent in Estonia.

The same producer duo had previously helped service two other Russian productions in Tallinn, the horror pic Phobos (www.phobosfilm.ru) by Oleg Asadulin and a popular slapstick comedy set in Amsterdam. The recent wave of incoming Russian productions to Estonia is variously attributed to personal connections (Gross graduated from the All-Russian State University of Cinematograhpy, VGIK, in Moscow), Estonia's proximity to Russia, locals' command of Russian language and transparent business environment.