Movie star Liev Schreiber had a special reason for setting his directorial debut in the Ukraine - it gave him the chance to find out more about his late grandfather, who grew up there.

The MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE star shot road scenes for EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED in eastern Europe and found the job gave him the opportunity to research his roots.

He says, "My grandfather died in 1993. He was an eastern European immigrant, a Ukrainian Jew and every choice I made as an actor or a writer was, in one way or another, inspired by him.

"When we were scouting the movie, my plan was to fly to Kiev and rent a van and drive with a Ukrainian camera guy to mimic the trip the characters take in the film.

"I tried to find my grandfather's shtetl (Jewish town) called Tomaspiel, which was somewhere between the south route between Kiev and Odessa. I didn't find it but it was a really interesting trip and I ended up ultimately using the footage that we shot while travelling through Odessa in the film."