War, peace and blockbusters

  • 2006-07-19
  • From wire reports
VILNIUS - The Lithuanian Film Studio has begun shooting preparations for the Baltics' most expensive film project ever 's "War and Peace."

The film, which is based on the famous novel by Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, will be shot in various places throughout Lithuania starting this August.
In the words of studio director Ramunas Skikas, "War and Peace" will not only be the biggest, but also the most expensive movie ever made in Lithuania.

The film will be a joint project of Italian, German, Russian, Lithuanian and several other European companies. It is not so much the film's length, but its extent of footage and the number of people involved that distinguishes it from other movies shot in Lithuania.
Four-fifths of the project will be shot in Lithuania's picturesque Semeliskes, Trakai, Traku Voke, and Rumsiskes.
Following the 11-week shooting, actors will leave for St. Petersburg, and should return to Lithuania in December.

The project will give the Lithuanian Film Studio a well-needed financial boost, although Skikas could not clarify specific numbers.
Asked why the studio had been chosen for the project, Skikas noted the price-quality ratio.
"A film about clergymen, which the Italians shot in Lithuania several years ago, was a great success. The world of movies is not that big. One studio's success prompts others to come," Skikas told the Baltic News Service.
With a month left until the start of shooting, actors are being selected for the project. Lithuanians will not perform in the film's main roles.

The Russian version of "War and Peace," shot in the '60s, ran over six hours after its final cuts. The film won the Academy Award for best foreign film.