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Krzysztof Zanussi and Nikita Mikhalkov will begin work on a new joint project, "Persona Non Grata."
Polish film director Krzysztof Zanussi and Russian actor and film director Nikita Mikhalkov will begin work on a new joint project, "Persona Non Grata." Zanussi will assume his traditional role as director and Mikhalkov will act in the film and produce it. "It is a modern story about diplomats," Zanussi said. "The plot is about the relations of Western Europe, the Poles and the Russians, and their mutual suspicion, mistrust and inescapable admiration." However, in the film the peripeteia of international diplomacy are intertwined with love. Zanussi's movie is a psychological drama with a classic love triangle rather than a political mystery about international secrets and espionage. The two main characters, Victor, a Polish diplomat, and Oleg, Victor's childhood friend and Russia's deputy foreign minister, were rivals. In the past, Oleg was in love with Victor's wife. The recollections of the two diplomats are half affection and half animosity. As he has done before, Krzysztof Zanussi wrote the script. He has kept his distinct style of translating intricate emotions into clear language and subtle irony. "Any work of art should give us a insight into our world, stir emotions and reveal the meaning of out existence," he said. The director cast Zbigniew Zapasiewicz and Nikita Mikhalkov in the lead roles of the film. Russian actor, director and producer Mikhalkov said that working with Zanussi was extremely interesting and that he had planned to do so for a long time. Mikhalkov's production company, Tri Te, is involved in the production, and it is expected that the Russian-Polish film will receive state financial support, thanks to Mikhalkov. Mikhalkov, the charismatic Oscar-winning Russian film idol, the president of the Moscow International Film Festival and the president of the Russian Cinema Workers' Union, has never been refused state support. Krzysztof Zanussi's name is equally respectable in Russia. During his long film career, Zanussi has won numerous prestigious international awards. The movies he directed from the early 1970s to late 1980s - "Family Life," "Behind the Wall," "The Quarterly Balance," "Camouflage," "The Year of the Quiet Sun" and "Wherever You Are" - were widely acclaimed in the Soviet Union. In 2000, the director won Grand Prix at the Moscow International Film Festival for his film, "Life as a Fatal Sexually Transmitted Disease." Zanussi, a professor at the Polish High Film School and the artistic director at Poland's TOR studios, gives lectures and performs in many European countries, and frequently comes to Russia. Zanussi has made more than 30 feature and documentary films. His master classes and seminars are very popular in Russia. In an interview with Russian TV Channel One, Zanussi said he had not yet decided on the ending of the film, but added that some scenes would be set in Russia, while the majority of the film would be set in Uruguay.
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