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International shoot about Russian dissident starts in Poland

2008-01-24

Within the Whirlwind, an international production directed by Oscar laureate Marleen Gorris, began shooting Jan. 24 in Poland. The movie's screenplay is based on the bestselling autobiography of famous Russian dissident Eugenia Ginsburg. More than half of the 200 million-zloty (€55-million) estimated budget will be spent in Poland.

The biopic presents the outspoken literature professor's life under Stalin's totalitarian regime and her unjust imprisonment in a concentration camp. The screenplay was written jointly by Nancy Larson and Wojciech Gajewicz. The part of Ginsburg will be played by two-time Oscar nominee Emily Watson.

Twenty-nine of the 44 production days will take place in Poland, at the military training field in Kozun, with shooting locations as well in Warsaw and Radziejowice.

The Polish co-producer, Yeti Films (www.yetifilms.com), says one of its strategic goals is to ensure substantial Polish participation in all its projects.

"The Polish contribution is about 20% of the total budget and during the negotiations we established that it will all be spent in Poland, along with 40% of foreign funds," Marcin Rutkiewicz from Yeti Films told FNE. "We managed to make it practically a Polish production, with a minor input from our country."

The movie already has an international distributor, Telepool (www.telepool.de) of Germany, one of the leading European distribution companies. The foreign co-producer is Germany's Tatfilm (www.tatfilm.de).