Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s Luxembourg now fully funded
by Martin Kudláč
- The sophomore feature by the director of The Tribe is ready to go
Ukrainian filmmaker Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s feature debut, The Tribe [+see also:
film profile], turned out to be an international sensation, and while he was reaping the awards, he also started working on his next feature-length project, Luxembourg. “When I first saw The Tribe, it was a true revelation, as the film struck me with its strong directorial vision and talent. It is always a great moment for a producer to discover a director with whom you share the same artistic passions and, in our case, also a common ‘Soviet’ past and cultural views,” Luxembourg’s producer, Anna Katchko, told Cineuropa.
Much like The Tribe had its roots in Slaboshpytskiy’s short film Deafness, Luxembourg will stem from the formally more rigorous Nuclear Waste, for which he won a Silver Leopard at Locarno in 2012, and the project’s DoP, producer Valentyn Vasyanovych (read the interview), has half-jokingly called it Luxembourg's “trailer”.
Katchko confirmed that the project is now fully funded, after it won the Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Award and the ARTE International Prize in 2015, and participated in the 2015 Rotterdam-Berlinale Express initiative, CineMart and the Berlinale Co-Production Market. Luxembourg is being produced by Vasyanovych with his company Garmata Film for Ukraine, with Katchko representing German outfit Tandem Production; it is being co-produced by Virginie Devesa for France’s Alpha Violet Production, and by Norwegian company DuoFilm, with Ingrid Hogtun, Linda Bolstad and Marie Fuglestein acting as co-producers. The movie is being funded by the Ukrainian State Film Agency, the Hubert Bals Development Fund and HBF+Europe, the CNC’s world cinema support and Norway’s Sørfund, boasting a budget of €1.1 million.
“When Myroslav presented me with a treatment for his new film Luxembourg, which takes place in Chernobyl, I was convinced right away about its strength and uniqueness. In the late 1990s, Myroslav was working as a journalist in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, and he knows it inside out. Different from other films made in and about Chernobyl, Luxembourg is not about the 1986 nuclear catastrophe, but rather about the lives of people living in the exclusion zone today. These are people trying to live a normal life in a place where the risk of contamination and the fear of this risk are constantly in the air,” Katchko explained, justifying her decision to get on board the project. For now, it is not known whether or not the film will premiere this year.