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Last Updated: Friday, 30 January, 2004, 02:12 GMT
UN allows Hollywood into its HQ
Actress Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman will play an interpreter in the film
The United Nations has granted rare permission for a film starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn to be made at its headquarters in New York.

The United Nations said there was no record of a feature film ever being shot in the building before.

In the film, Nicole Kidman will play a UN interpreter who overhears a discussion about a deadly plot.

The film will be directed by Sydney Pollack, whose films include Out of Africa and Tootsie.

The UN receives many requests to be used as a location but so far Hollywood has failed to get inside.

The organisation turned down Alfred Hitchcock's request to film part of his 1959 film North by Northwest in the UN building.

Kidman starred in the 1997 film The Peacemaker about a bomb plot against the UN. But she and co-star George Clooney were only able to film on the avenue outside the building.

A UN spokeswoman said Secretary General Kofi Annan and his advisors decided it was in the organisation's interest to bring its work to the attention of ordinary cinema viewers.

She added that she did not know if Mr Annan or any other UN staff would feature in the film, saying a number of practical arrangements still needed to be worked out.

Shooting for the film, called The Interpreter, will begin in March.

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