Russian Movie Production Suspended in Crimea

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

Since shooting was stopped due to political turmoil, the future of Andrei Proshkin's 'Orlean' is now uncertain.

MOSCOW -- The shooting of a new feature by prize-winning Russian director Andrei Proshkin has been suspended in Crimea due to the political turmoil in Ukraine's Black Sea peninsular region, which intends to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.

Filming of Orlean, written by Yuri Arabov, the winner of the best screenplay award at Cannes, was scheduled to start this month but was suspended indefinitely, producer Igor Mishin said on his Facebook account.

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"Six months of preproduction, selection of locations, preliminary work on location in February, when there were still no signs that the current events in Crimea could occur -- all that went down the drain," he wrote, adding that the film crew has already returned to Moscow.

Mishin complained that the current turmoil in Crimea doesn't legally qualify as "force majeure" and the producers will be financially liable, as they will inevitably be behind schedule and above budget due to the suspension of production, violating the terms on which the cinema fund provided financing for the movie.

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According to Mishin, the future of the film is now uncertain, as, in addition to financial problems, there would be complications with the main actors' schedules.

Proshkin is the winner of the Moscow film festival's best director's award for his previous film, Orda (The Horde), which also brought him the best director's statuette at the Russian Golden Eagles movie awards.

Incidentally, he belongs to the group of filmmakers who oppose the Kremlin's policy in Crimea and he recently signed an address in which some Russian filmmakers expressed solidarity with their Ukrainian colleagues against the background of a possible Russian invasion.