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Alexander Rodnyansky, the Russian producer whose films — including Leviathan and Beanpole – have landed four Oscar nominations, has unveiled a new slate of features set for production in 2021 and 2022.
Announced in Cannes, where Rodnyansky’s films Where Is Anne Frank from Ari Folman and Kira Kovalenko’s Unclenching the Fists are getting their world premieres, the three-film strong slate includes the next movie from Kantemir Balagov (Beanpole), the first English-language film from Andrey Zvyagintsev (Leviathan, Loveless), and a documentary by Godfrey Reggio, which Rodnyansky will co-produce alongside Academy Award winner Steven Soderbergh.
Balagov — who won the Cannes International Critics Prize with Closeness and the Un Certain Regard best director award and the FIPRESCI Prize for best film with Beanpole — will direct his third feature film Monica after he wraps on HBO’s Last of Us for showrunner Craig Mazin. Monica tells the story of a complex relationship between father and son, in which the son imbues his father with qualities he doesn’t actually possess. The script is co-written by Balagov and Russian best-selling author Marina Stepnova.
What Happens is Zvyagintsev’s first English-language film and will be shot in the U.S. Written by Oleg Negin, What Happens is the director’s contemplation on the nature of human relationships, the state of modern man and the fragility of human life. Rodnyansky and Zvyagintsev collaborated on Leviathan and Loveless, both of which were nominated for an Academy Award for best international feature film.
“After Andrey finished working on Loveless, which I always thought was the final film of our Russian trilogy, we took a break,” said Rodnyansky. “Only [since] last year have we been discussing our potential future plans and finally decided that our next film would be in English. It has always been my belief that Andrey’s work, in its incredible analysis of human nature, is absolutely universal in its core and transitioning to English – the universal language of today’s global society – will help him reach a broader audience.”
Told in Godfrey Reggio’s signature impressionistic style of documentary art, the upcoming Neooonowww is described as a fairy tale for the young and young at heart, focused on the forging of a new culture in a world threatened by ecological collapse and unprecedented technological transformation. The film will be directed by Reggio with music by Philip Glass and co-produced by Soderbergh and Rodnyansky.
“When Steven reached out to me and told me about Godfrey Reggio’s new film, I never doubted for a second that this is a chance that I absolutely cannot miss,” said Rodnyansky. “I have always been a passionate admirer of Godfrey’s films and it is an honor for me to collaborate with him and Steven on this project.”
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