Two-Time Cannes Winner Emir Kusturica to Make WWII Film in Belarus

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The Serbian director's film will be based on the novel 'Se non ora, quando? (If Not Now, When?)'

Two-time Cannes winner Emir Kusturica will make a film in Belarus about WWII resistance fighters.

The film will be based on Italian author Primo Levi's 1982 novel Se non ora, quando? (If Not Now, When?) and will be made as a co-production between France's Cinema Solei and Belarus' state-run film company Belarusfilm, Mikhail Katyushenko, head of Belarusfilm's marketing department, was quoted as saying by the wire service Interfax.

According to Katyushenko, filming is to take place in 2015, with 60 shooting days in Belarus and another 20 in Italy.

Levi's novel is centered on a story of Jewish and Belarusian resistance fighters during the Second World War as they struggle to survive and sabotage the Nazis, with the plot taking them all the way from Western Belarus to Milan.

Kusturica co-penned the film's script with his longtime collaborator Gordan Mihic.

The Serbian director was an honorary guest at the Belarusian film festival Listapad in 2010 and collected a lifetime achievement award from the country's authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the output of Belarusfilm — the only major film company in Belarus — has declined dramatically, with the company hardly producing more than one feature a year.

However, Belarusfilm's studio facilities have been actively used by foreign film crews, mostly those coming from Russia.