EXCLUSIVE: Two-time BAFTA nominee Maxine Peake (The Village) is set to star as renowned Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya in the timely Cannes market package Mother Russia.
The film will tell the story of world-renowned journalist and human rights activist Politkovskaya, who went from being a local print journalist to braving the Chechen killing fields and exposing Russian state corruption under Vladimir Putin. She refused to give up reporting on the war in Chechnya despite numerous acts of intimidation and violence, including being poisoned. She was ultimately murdered in the elevator of her block of flats and it remains unclear who paid for the contract killing.
Oscar nominee Ciaran Hinds (Belfast) will play Nobel Prize-winning newspaper editor Dmitry Muratov and BAFTA nominee Jason Isaacs (The Death Of Stalin) will play Politkovskaya’s husband Sacha.
Luminosity Entertainment is launching worldwide sales on the project at the Cannes market.
Pic is being produced by Good Films Collective’s (The Infiltrator) Miriam Segal and Paul Brennan in collaboration with K. Jam Media and its principal Kia Jam (Lucky Number Slevin), and Richard Alan Reid of BuzzFeed Studios.
Broadchurch and Vigil director James Strong will direct from a screenplay by Eric Poppen. Production is slated for late summer 2022 in the UK and Latvia.
Segal told us: “Three years ago, when we started developing this screenplay about this quite extraordinary woman, never did we imagine how prescient it would become. To have assembled this incredible cast and team, to be filming in both London and Latvia (with Forma Pro Films and its principals Yulia Zayceva and Dean Altit), working with partners like Daniel Diamond and Luminosity, is a phenomenal opportunity.”
“Anna Politkovskaya’s story is one of unbelievable determination and courage in the face of unimaginable circumstances. I am so thrilled to be working with Miriam and Paul on this extraordinary film,” said Luminosity’s Daniel Diamond.
As we first revealed, Luminosity is the company launched by Elie Samaha, Daniel Diamond, Geno Taylor, and Missy Valdez. The firm’s most recent film Back on The Strip starring Wesley Snipes and Tiffany Haddish is scheduled for release later this year.
Maxine Peake is represented by Maison 2. Ciaran Hinds is repped by Dalzell and Beresford and CAA. Jason Isaacs is repped by Independent Talent Group, Gersh, and Silver Lining Entertainment. James Strong is repped by United Agents, CAA, and Grandview. Eric Poppen is repped by BayShore Films & Management.