Films still financed in debt-stricken Greece

Reuters
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With Greece's economy in turmoil, it's not a sound one would expect to hear - the snap of a clapperboard.
Greek director Iannis Smaragdis has surrounded himself with an international cast including John Cleese, Catherine Deneuve and Sebastian Koch to shoot
"God Loves Caviar", recreating the real life story of Ioannis Varvakis, an 18th century pirate-come-nobleman famous for selling caviar.
Koch, famous for his award-winning performance in 2006's "Lives of Others" plays Varvakis, who ended up giving away his entire fortune to aid the 1821 revolution against the Ottoman Empire.
For the actor the film's timing is very poignant, as Greece currently suffers economic hardships.
SOUNDBITE: Sebastion Koch, actor, saying (English):
"This story is quite a simple story, really like a fairytale - it's easy to follow but it hits the nerve, there are simple rules in life you shouldn't go over, and if you do you fail, and for Varvakis to realize that - to escape in business, in work, and getting richer and richer is not a solution - this is quite something we can learn - our world - our European - you know this whole thing is about that, Europe is cracking down because money, money, the whole money thing exploded, because, its just chasing for the wrong thing and to realize that we should change for somethi ng else, something perhaps more silent, more simple, this is the message."
Getting the film done has become a struggle in itself, with the Euro crisis making it difficult to secure enough funding.
The director says he is disappointed that particularly rich Greeks do not contribute more to the country during this difficult economic time.
SOUNDBITE: Iannis Smaragdis, director, saying (English):
"Especially in Greece, and especially at this time when the country is being tested, people like Varvakis do not exist - I am afraid that they don't exist. Very wealthy people exist, especially from the shipping industry, who are consumed in - if I may say so - this foolish competition over who will have more ships. But the people during Varvaki's period competed more for who would contribute more for their nation, or for the common good, or for charity."
Once filming in Greece wraps up, the crew will travel on to Russia to complete filming in St. Petersburg.
The film is expected to hit theatres in October next year.
Kathi Urban, Reuters

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