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Georgia: Hollywood’s undiscovered movie set

19 June 2017 · Tbilisi · Georgia
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Image: Still from Tangerines, dir. Zaza Urushadze (2013)

Hollywood is turning to Georgia, following the government's plan to offer subsidies to foreign production companies, in a move to boost the country’s moviemaking industry. In a statement from the country’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the initiative’s main aims were defined as contributing “to the development of cinematography as an industry and as a business,” as well as establishing Georgia as “Eastern Europe’s most attractive filming location”. 

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Soviet actor and director Aleksey Batalov dies aged 88

19 June 2017 · Moscow · Russia
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A post shared by Elena (@elenar2401) on

In the early hours of 15 June, the great Soviet actor and director Aleksey Batalov passed away in a hospital in Moscow. 

Named as People’s Artist of the USSR in 1976, and Hero of Socialist Labour in 1989, Batalov was revered across the Soviet Union, having starred in over thirty films as well as directing three of his own, including a 1959 adaption of Nikolai Gogol’s short story, “The Overcoat” (1842). He was also known for his role as the narrator, on the much celebrated Soviet animation Hedgehog in the Fog (1975)

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Premiere: Siberian band The Jack Wood mix desire and danger in new video

16 June 2017 · Russia
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  • The Calvert Journal premieres Coal, a new video from The Jack Wood

Siberian garage rock trio The Jack Wood have released a fiery new video for their song Coal

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Sex on trains: the new way to travel in Ukraine

16 June 2017 · Ukraine
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Train carriage in snow. Image: Samuel Seller under a CC licence

Having sex on train rides is key to getting the most out of your journey says the Ukrainian state railway’s official magazine Mahistral. The new issue of the magazine, available only on first class intercity trains, has gone viral after appearing to promote the potential delights of having sex on train journeys, provoking comments that the railway company has “upgraded it services” and become “very client-oriented”.    

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Meet the Romanian-born innovator bringing crumb-free bread to space

16 June 2017 · Romania
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Astronauts are currently denied the simple pleasure of a sandwich, but that's about to change: Romanian-born German scientist Sebastian Marcu has set up Bake in Space, a company working to make bread a possibility in space.

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Serbian MPs praise journalist attacks

15 June 2017 · Serbia
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Protesters on the day of Aleksandar Vučić‘s inauguration as President of Serbia. Image: Insajder / Facebook

A number of MPs from Serbia's ruling Progressive Party have spoken out in support of attacks on reporters during the presidential swearing in of Aleksandar Vučić on 31 May.

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Statue of singer-turned-politician Iosif Kobzon to be installed in Siberia

15 June 2017 · Russia
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Statue of Iosif Kobzon in Donetsk erected in 2003. Image: Dmitriy Nushtaev under a CC licence

A bronze statue of controversial Russian singer-turned-politician Iosif Kobzon is to be erected in Siberia, following an announcement that $57,430 (3.3 million rubles) will be allocated for three monuments to “contemporary Russian heroes”.

The district head of eastern Siberia’s Agin-Buryat, Bato Dorzhiev, said that the statues will be erected to mark the commemoration of several of the region’s historic dates to be celebrated this September.

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Croatian startup unveils world’s first mobile hostel

15 June 2017 · Croatia
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  • Video: Nearby - The World’s First Mobile Hostel / Nearby Hostel / Youtube

Following a crowdfunding campaign, Croatian startup Nearby Hostel unveiled the first ever mobile hostel last weekend at the Pannonian Challenge extreme sports event in Osijek.

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Shirting: share Slovenian fashion in London

15 June 2017 · Ljubljana · Slovenia
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Shirt by Urška Hvalica / London. Image: shirting / Facebook

I shirt, you shirt, he shirts, she shirts… “to shirt” isn't used enough as a verb. At least that's what the team behind Slovenian fashion-sharing initiative Shirting thinks.

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Armenian state film studio up for privatisation

15 June 2017 · Armenia
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Still from The Soldier and the Elephant, 1977, dir. Dmitry Kesayants, shot at ArmenFilm

Less than two years after being returned to the state, Armenia's government-owned ArmenFilm studio is on sale once again.

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