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Russian Culture Ministry to Finance TV Series Based on Classic Novel

The decision to back an adaptation of Nobel Prize winner Mikhail Sholokhov's 1932 book “And Quiet Flows the Don” follows a recent pledge by Vladimir Putin to finance more projects based on Russian history.

MOSCOW -- Russia’s culture ministry will finance a TV series based on Nobel Prize-winning author Mikhail Shokokhov’s 1932 novel “And Quiet Flows the Don.”

The series, which is to be directed by Sergei Ursulyak, will be produced by the state-run TV channel Rossiya 1 and have 10 to 12 episodes.

STORY: Russia’s Culture Ministry to Fund Television Series

The filming of the series is to start next April in South Russia’s Rostov region. A tentative release has been scheduled for 2015, the year in which Sholokhov’s 110th birthday is to be celebrated.

The culture ministry’s decision to finance the series comes just two months after President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with filmmakers that the government should spend extra cash on funding TV series on Russian history. Later, the ministry said it would spend an additional 200 million rubles ($6 million) on “military/historical” TV series. The budget of the new TV adaptation of “And Quiet Flows the Don” has not been revealed.

STORY: Russian Film Body Denies Funds to WWII Movie, Fueling Claims of Ideological Bias

“And Quiet Flows the Don,” which chronicles the life and struggle of Don Cossacks in the early 20th century, covers such events as the First World War, the Bolshevik revolution and the Russian Civil War. It was adapted for the screen in Russia several times. In 1931, a silent move by Olga Preobrazhenskaya and Ivan Pyryev came out, and in 1958, a three-part film by Sergei Gerasimov was released.

In the early 1990s, Sergei Bondarchuk made an English-language TV adaptation of the novel, which was never released in his lifetime due to a financial conflict. In 2006, his son Fyodor completed the series, which was overdubbed into Russian and had a premiere on Russian television.