PRODUCTION: Epic Begins Shooting in Tbilisi

    Ben Hopkins Ben Hopkins

    TBILISI: Epic, a UK/German/Russian/Georgian coproduction directed by Ben Hopkins, began principal photography in Tbilisi in late January.

    The black comedy written by Hopkins and Pawel Pawlikowski is the story of a washed-up British director (played by Matthew Macfayden) who is invited to an obscure republic in the Caucasus for a retrospective of his films.

    The film is a co-production between London-based Film and Music Entertainment with producers Mike Downey and Sam Taylor, Daniel Zuta and Frankfurt-based Brandstorm Entertainment, Metrafilms’ Artem Vassiliev in Moscow and Tbilisi’s 20 Steps owned by Vladimer Katcharava.  

    The film received funding from the British Film Institute, HessenInvestFilm Fund (Frankfurt), CinePlus, ARTE, German film distributor Piffl, and the Georgian National Film Centre.

    “We have had a long road to production, and have been working here on the ground in Tbilisi for the last four months,” said British producer Mike Downey, “But now, with the excellent support of our Georgian and international partners and the Georgian National Film Centre we are ready to start shooting under excellent conditions.  We look forward to the next couple of months working in Tbilisi and Axalcixe and we look forward to delivering a major in international motion picture in time for screening in the 2014 festival cycle.”

    “The Georgian film industry is in a period of growth,” said Georgian National Film Centre CEO Tamara Tatishvili, “and it can grow further by the presence of such international co-productions as Epic as real partnerships with Georgian companies.  The high quality of the level of cast and the international commercial possibilities are very attractive to give Georgian companies a global perspective and to act as a showcase as to just what is possible in terms of international partnerships in Georgia.”

    “We are delighted to be able to be participating in this truly commercial international comedy of real scale and size,” said 20 Steps’ Katcharava. “We have already begun pre-selling the film and it has already secured a significant German theatrical release.  We look forward to introducing the film to buyers in Berlin and to working with Sam and Mike again.”