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PRODUCTION Greece

Greek-Russian God Loves Caviar starts shooting

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Greek-Russian God Loves Caviar starts shooting

Russian-Greek co-production God Loves Caviar, Yannis Smaragdis’ follow-up to Greek box-office phenomenon and multi-awarded El Greco (news) begun photography in southern Greece Monday, having revealed its full cast only a few weeks back.

Catherine Deneuve and John Cleese are expected to hold key parts, while Sebastian Koch will be starring as Ioannis Varvakis, a courageous sailor born in the Greekisland of Psarra. Varvakis became a prominent figure in Russian and Greek societies at the turn of the 18th century, when he invented a method to perserve caviar for export from Russia to Greece and Europe. He later employed his wealth and stature to the service of the Greek Revolution of 1821 against the Turkish invaders.

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Through the turbulent life of a man who went from fisherman to nobleman, escaped from prison in Instanbul to walk to the court of Catherine the Great, fought pirates and invadors, amassed unexpected wealth and then sold it all off to create the Varvakios School at a time when his homeland needed education more than anything, director Yiannis Smaragdis (pictured) will have the chance to not only dwelve into his favorite genre of biopics, but also retell the story of his country’s uprising against hardship, poverty and slavery.

Co-written by the director, his El Greco co-writers Panagiotis Paschidis and Jackie Plavenko, as well as Russian writer Vladimir Valutskiy, the film has secured production funds from Fedor Popov’s Stellar Studio, while Smaragdis’ own Alexandros Film is handling production for Greece.

The film sold world distibution rights for home entertainment to Sony when in preproduction, while Feelgood Entertainment, lead by Irini Souganidou is holding theatrical and home entertainment rights for Greece, where it’s expected to hit screens in October 2012.

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