“The Artist” Director Secretly Filming Chechnya Child Search Drama
The Oscar-winning director of The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius, has been shooting his long-awaited follow-up for five weeks in secret.
“The Search” is a remake of the Fred Zinnemann 1948 postwar drama about a mother and son looking for each other in a Nazi concentration camp. Hazanavicius has transferred the story to present day Chechnya which is under Russian military occupation since 1999, casting The Artist’s Bérénice Bejo (his wife) in the lead. She will play an NGO official on assignment in the Russian occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.
“The Search” began shooting in August 2013 in Georgia, with production due to move to Paris in the near future. There are few details, but it is understood Hazanavicius is shooting in secret to avoid the publicity glare likely to be afforded to the new film.
Recall that about 20 thousand civilians are missing in Chechnya due to Russia’s brutal military occupation.
The Artist won five Oscars in 2012, including best picture, best director for Hazanavicius, and best actor for Jean Dujardin. Shot in the style of a black and white silent movie and centred on a star from Hollywood’s golden era who struggles to cope with the advent of the “talkies”, the film was the first French production ever to win best picture and the first silent movie to do so since 1927’s Wings.
The Artist’s producer, Thomas Langmann, and Oscar-nominated cinematographer Guillaume Schiffman will also return for the new drama. French site PurePeople has reported that Annette Bening is also among the cast.