Black comedy EPIC to become first co-production between Georgia and UK, support for co-productions with France, Germany, Ukraine and Norway

// 21st of May, 2012

Tbilisi-based 'Producer on the Move' Vladimer Katcharava of 20 Steps Productions will partner with Film and Music Entertainment for the first co-production between the UK and Georgia on their next feature Epic.

Epic is described as a gentle black comedy about a confused, washed up American director who gets invited by a nascent state to make a national epic in an obscure Caucasus Republic. The screenplay has been written by Ben Hopkins and Pawel Pawlikowski.

20 Steps Productions will also have Russian producer Artem Vasiliev's Metrafilms on board as partner.

Meanwhile, Tamara Tatishvili, head of the Georgian National Film Center (GNFC), revealed to Screen Daily that her institution has allocated almost € 1m in production as part of this year's call for projects.

A total of € 230,000 was paid out to two European co-productions with minority Georgian participation: Teona Grenade's € 1m feature debut Brother (Dzma) is being produced by Marie-Pierre Macia and Juliette Lapoutre's MPM Film with Zurab Maghalashvili's Cinetech,while Serg Avedikyan's € 2m Paradjanov about the legendary Armenian-born filmmaker will be produced by Tbilisi-based Gemini Film Studio with Ukrainian producer/co-director Olena Fetisova's Interfilm, France's Araprod, Armenia's Paradise and Norway's Barentsfilm.

The 2012 competition has also seen the GNFC paying out around € 420,000 to three new Georgian feature films:George Ovashvili's Corn Island, Levan Koguashvili's Teacher In Love, and Tinatin Kajrishvili's The Brides.

Ovashvili's drama will be co-produced by Germany's 42film and has already received support from Leipzig-based MDM, the Global Film Initiative and Switzerland's Visions Sud Est.
Koguashvili's tragicomedy about modern Georgian society in transition was presented at Tallinn's Baltic Event and When East Meets West in Trieste in January and is one of the eight projects selected for Sarajevo's 2012 edition of CineLink in July.

Tatishvili explained that this is the first year that a Georgian project could be presented in Sarajevo. Filmmakers from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Moldova were invited for the first time to apply to the festival's industry events, CineLink, Works in Progress, and the Sarajevo Talent Campus, which will also now be accepting young film critics from 17 Southeast European countries in addition to scriptwriters, directors, actors, and producers.

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