Eastern European countries compete for lucrative Hollywood movie productions

Ducking beneath a shower of bullets, three unshaven men in filthy overcoats jump out of a concealed forest dugout, dragging a heavy machine-gun and shouting commands to fellow rebels.A brutal battle ensues between Nazi soldiers and resistance fighters under the leaden sky, and in the din - replete with explosions - the cattle in a neighbouring village trample away in fright.

But it's all an illusion on the site of "Defiance," a Second World War action flick recounting the story of a Jewish resistance movement in the Polish-Belarussian forests.

The $50-million production, set for 2008 release, was a major victory for Lithuania, a country of 3.4 million, which beat out bigger Poland and Romania as potential shooting sites. Eastern European movie sites are fighting for Hollywood cash with nearly as much ferocity as the fake battles in the movies.

As producers Ed Zwick and Pieter Jan Brugge explained, while searching for ideal sites, they looked for a setting that had thick forests and an urban landscape nearby.

(Source: The Canadian Press)


Film Business, Filmmaking, International Cinema


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