6.3M euro El Greco biopic premieres in Athens


    The Greek-Spanish-Hungarian co-production El Greco held its ceremonial premiere in Athens this week with Queen Sofia of Spain in attendance.

    The €6.3 million English-language biopic is directed by Yannis Smaragdis who has another biopic, Kavafis (1996), to his credit. Based on the book by Dimitris Siatopoulos and adapted by Jackie Pavlenko, the film chronicles the life of the 16th Century visionary painter, who is played by newcomer Nick Ashdon.

    Oscar-winner Vangelis, best known for his scores for Blade Runner, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, and Chariots of Fire, composed the music for the film. Raimon Masllorens and Eleni Smaragdi share producer credit. The Hungarian co-producer is Denes Szekeres of Tivoli Film Produkcio Kft. (www.tivolifilm.hu, www.tivolifilm.com), and the line producer is Albert Espel.

    Hungary has not hosted any of the shooting, which was done in Athens and Spain as well as on the islands of Crete and Rhodes. The production employed a predominantly Greek crew. Along with providing some special effects that were created in Hungary, Tivoli participated in the financial side of the project as a co-producer.

    The premiere was attended by the cultural ministers of Greece, Spain and France. Their Hungarian counterpart, however, did not respond to the invitation.

    El Greco is already out in the cinemas in Greece. It will open in Hungary in March 2008, released by Hungarocom (www.hungarocom.hu).