Italian actress Monica Bellucci , during a meeting with the President of the Republic of Srpska Milorad Dodik , during a visit to Bosnian town of Banja Luka, 240 kms northwest of Sarajevo, Bosnia, on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Radivoje Pavicic )
Italian actress Monica Bellucci , during a meeting with the President of the Republic of Srpska Milorad Dodik , during a visit to Bosnian town of Banja Luka, 240 kms northwest of Sarajevo, Bosnia. — AP Photo

SARAJEVO: Italian actress Monica Bellucci is to play the main role in Emir Kusturica's new movie “Love and War” set in Bosnia, the Serbian director said Saturday.

“The movie 'Love and War' will be filmed from May until the end of June in Trebinje” in southeastern Bosnia, the Sarajevo-born Kusturica, two-time winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes, told journalists.

The 48-year-old Italian star is to play the main female role, he said after the two arrived in the northern town Bosnian town of Banja Luka earlier Saturday.

“Love and War” is planned as a three-part love story about a woman and a man at war, with the latter eventually becoming a monk. Bosnian Serb President Milorad Dodik, who is Kusturica's friend, welcomed Belluci.

But she made a gaffe as she told journalists: “It's my first time in Serbia,” local media reported.

Kusturica immediately corrected her, stressing that they were actually in the Bosnian Serb entity of Republika Srpska and not in neighbouring Serbia. The highly autonomous entity, along with the Muslim-Croat Federation, has made up Bosnia since its 1990s inter-ethnic war.

Bosnian Serbs perceive Serbia rather than Bosnia as their homeland, which is the cause of constant political wrangling with Muslims and Croats since the 1992-95 war.

Bellucci, who immediately corrected her statement, was later to head to Serbia to be a guest of honour at the sixth Kuestendorf film and music festival, organised by Kusturica.

The festival is to be held in Drvengrad, a wooden village he built as a movie set some 250 kilometres (150 miles) southwest of Belgrade. Kusturica, who won the Palme d'Or at Cannes for “When Father Was Away on Business” and “Underground”, said earlier that he would play the main male role in his new movie.

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