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Sakha Filmmakers Ask Shamans to Disperse Clouds Over Mikhalkov's Set

Filmmakers from the Sakha republic have turned to the most powerful shamans from their homeland with a plea to disperse clouds disrupting the shooting of Nikita Mikhalkov's new movie, Sakha officials said Thursday.

The Sakha filmmakers are especially keen to see Mikhalkov, president of Russia's Union of Cinematographers, finish filming and return to Moscow, since he is meant to sign an agreement with the republic's government in the capital on Friday, Sakha culture officials said in a statement.

The signing is scheduled to take place at a conference dedicated to the development of regional cinematography in Moscow's Gostiny Dvor, the statement said.

But Mikhalkov is still in Switzerland, where adverse weather conditions have delayed the shooting of his latest movie, "Solnechny Udar" (Sunstroke) — a movie based on a story of the same name by Nobel Prize-winning author Ivan Bunin.

With Mikhalkov's return to Moscow in doubt, the Sakha cinematographers have placed their faith in local shamans to "banish the clouds over Switzerland to the other end of the earth" and speed the celebrated director's homecoming.

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