Angelina Jolie cuts Bosnia filming on permit woes

Actress Angelina Jolie gestures during the filming of her yet untitled directorial debut in Budapest November 8, 2010. Jolie is directing her first feature film about a Serbian man and Bosnian woman who meet on the eve of the 1992-95 Bosnian war. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

SARAJEVO (Reuters Life!) - Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has cut back on filming plans in Bosnia for her directorial debut after problems with permits, a local producer said on Wednesday.

The film crew had begun shooting exterior shots at a former military barracks in Sarajevo on Wednesday, but Jolie and the film’s actors were absent, Edin Sarkic of the Scout Film production told Reuters.

“The American producers have decided that scenes at 12 locations planned in Sarajevo should be shot in Budapest after the permit had been canceled and then reinstated,” Sarkic said.

A Bosnian minister in mid-October canceled the filming permit, citing incomplete paperwork after he met with female victims of the Bosnian war, who objected to what they said were details of the plot for the untitled film.

The filming of exterior shots for the movie, whose narrative takes place in wartime Bosnia, was set to end on Friday.

Jolie has said the film is a love story between a Serbian man and a Bosnian Muslim woman on the eve of the 1992-95 war in which 100,000 people died.

The Oscar-winning actress asked women war victims in a letter to hold judgment until they had seen the film in which “there are many twists in the plot that address the sensitive nature of the relationship between the main characters.”

Sarkic said that Jolie, who was already filming in Budapest, has said she would come to Sarajevo and speak to the Women Victims of War association, whose president Bakira Hasecic has been the most vocal opponent of Jolie’s film project.

Jolie first arrived in Bosnia in April with partner Brad Pitt to visit refugees in eastern parts of the country as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR. Her visit resulted in the construction of dozen new homes for returnees.

Editing by Adam Tanner