Production: Russian Faust starts shooting in Prague

By Irena Zemanová

    The Russian-German-Austrian-Czech coproduction Faust started shooting on August 17 at Točník castle in central Bohemia and in Prague's Barrandov ateliers, Barrandov Studios (www.barrandov.cz) announced.

    The big-budget coproduction by Russian director Alexander Sokurov is based on the 1806 masterpiece of German poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe. According to the director, the story about an arrangement between a wise man and the Devil will use the historical scenery of several other Bohemian castles, including Lipnice nad Sazavou and Ledeč in Central Bohemia, as well as the Gothic city of Kutná Hora.

    Austrian actor Stefan Weber plays the part of Mephistopheles, and German actor Bernhard Paumann plays Dr. Faust.

    According to the Czech press agency ČTK, Sokurov, who has not yet announced the budget, will spend over two months filming Faust in the Czech Republic, with shooting is planned to last through October 20. French cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel, who shot Amelie of Montmarte, is also cooperating on the Russian coproduction. The world release is planned for the second half of 2010.