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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

a'Schindler's List' Russian Premiere Postponeda'Schindler's List' Russian Premiere Postponeda'Schindler's List' Russian Premiere Postponed

Director Steven Spielberg has postponed his visit to Russia until September, delaying the premiere of his Oscar-winning film "Schindler's List" here for three months, the film's Russian distributor announced Wednesday. Spielberg blamed business commitments for the change in plans, said Nicolette Kirk, general manager for East-West Creative Association. "I think he is working on about three projects right now, and they have all blown up at once," Kirk said. Spielberg and starring actor Ben Kingsley were to have attended the Moscow premiere on June 22, and then travel to St. Petersburg to launch a film festival there on June 23. The new premiere is tentatively planned for Sept. 14 in Moscow, Kirk said, while the St. Petersburg appearance is cancelled. Organizers of the "International Festival of Festivals" in St. Petersburg said they were stunned by the news. Spielberg's appearance was to have launched a huge week-long festival of 80 foreign and Russian films. "We were shocked when we learned about the cancellation," said festival spokeswoman Irina Pavlova in a telephone interview from St. Petersburg. "We are trying to do our best to find something to replace 'Schindler's List,' but just a week before the festival it is extremely difficult." "Schindler's List" is based on Thomas Keneally's book, Schindler's Ark, a fictionalized account of the efforts of the German industrialist Oskar Schindler to save Jews from the Holocaust by employing them as laborers in his factory during World War II. Pavlova said that Spielberg sent a fax to the film committee Tuesday "with his apologies that he cannot come, saying that he cannot make it due to a number of personal circumstances." Tickets were to have gone on sale Wednesday for the Moscow premiere in the Kremlin Palace of Congresses, said Natalya Osipova, East-West's press spokeswoman. Although no one had yet paid for the 10,000- and 15,000-ruble tickets, about 1,000 had been ordered, she said. Those orders will be carried over to the September showing, she said. Neither Pavlova nor Kirk would estimate the amount of their losses. Kirk said East-West Creative Association -- a joint venture between Gosfilm, Ogonyok and the British company Central Television -- was negotiating with Spielberg's company to determine which party would have to pick up the expenses. "We've had to delay premieres before for technical reasons, but never anything this big," she said.