Siberian hotspot picked for Hollywood ‘Master’ piece

­Hollywood-based Stone Village Production company is considering filming a feature adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s timeless masterpiece “The Master and Margarita” in the city of Perm, which has emerged as one of Russia’s cultural hotspot in recent years.

­Stone Village announced their plans for a film version of The Master and Margarita in 2008 but since then there has been no further news about developments in the project. The only thing known was that filming was scheduled to start in fall 2011.

The answer to the mystery of why Hollywood had chosen to film in Siberia came in a recent article published in The New York Times under the headline, “A Bilbao on Siberia’s Edge?”

It rediscovers “the gateway to Siberia” – previously dubbed “the last stop to nowhere” – as a thriving center for culture and contemporary art in Russia.

According to Interfax, quoting Perm Region’s Culture Minister Nikolay Novichkov, Stone Village wants the project to be partially funded from the regional budget. The producers and the authorities have recently started talks about how to make this work.

The Master and Margarita by the novelist and playwright Mikhail Bulgakov, one of the finest writers to come out of Soviet Russia, has been adapted for the big screen many times over, by both Russian and foreign directors. Among the most versions are creations by Hungarian director Ibolya Fekete (2005) and by Italian Giovanni Brancale (2008).

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