Shooting of first Irish/Georgian feature film to start in March
09 February, 2018
Shooting of first Irish/Georgian feature film to start in March
First Irish-Georgian co-production is about to be launched. Award-winning director, producer and writer Rudolph Herzog’s film called How To Sell a War will be produced by Film and Music Entertainment (IRE) and Georgia’s 20 Steps jointly. The shootings will start in Georgia on March 16. The film is being produced by Samantha Taylor and Mike Downey via their Dublin-based Film and Music Entertainment (IRE) in co-production with Georgia’s 20 Steps, an independent production company founded in 2010 in Tbilisi, Georgia.

“This is our sixth collaboration with 20 Steps in Georgia and is the sixth project that has been produced through our Dublin-based outfit since setting it up two years ago,” says Film and Music Entertainment CEO and EFA Deputy Chair Mike Downey, “and we are delighted with the results. How To Sell a War is a movie that is rooted very much in our contemporary world.”
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Mike Downey

Filmed on location in Georgia and Dublin, casting is handled in the UK by Wildman Hall. Production services in Georgia have been supplied by Caucasian Film Service, post production services and investment will come from Dublin-based Windmill Lane, where the complete edit and all post will take place.

The script of How to Sell a War is as follows: the action takes place in London. In a few days, global charity concert is due to take place led by the vein and arrogant Irish rock star, Harry Hope and his over-confident PR consultant, Kate. When Russian war monger, Boris the Butcher, decides to call a cease-fire four days before the big event, Kate knows that she absolutely has to make this event happen or her career will be over. She embarks on a mission to Georgia to create a fake news story letting the world know that the war is back on. Assisted by her naïve new intern, Peggy, the two quickly discover that they have taken on more than they can handle and as events spiral out of their control, all hell quickly breaks loose.
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Katherine Parkinson will play the leading role in How to Sell a War

“We are thrilled to be bringing this whip-smart comedy to worldwide buyers”, says a leading international sales and film finance company Bankside Films Director Stephen Kelliher, “ -It is an incredibly timely piece which speaks to the world we live in today. We feel sure that its laugh-out-loud satire will resonate with international audiences and that the creative team will excel in bringing the ultimate story of fake news to the screen.”

Sam Taylor and Mike Downey founded the UK-based independent production house Film and Music Entertainment as part of an IPO on the Frankfurt DAX. Film & Music Entertainment films have been screened at Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, Venice, San Sebastian and Toronto Film festivals. F&ME is the key and unique British production house that collaborates with Europe in a creative and meaningful way with both European artists and financiers. In addition it is one of the UK’s leading and most innovative feature film production houses, it is known for its ability to put together complicated productions with serious authors from all over the world.

It now has a catalogue of rights in over 60 features including Academy Award Nominee and Venice Golden Lion winner Before the Rain, Academy Award Nominee Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s Venice opener The President, box office horror hit Deathwatch, Sundance South African hit Son of Man, Jason Biggs starrer Guy X and Dinard winner White Lightnin' as well as 2012 Berlinale Audience Award Winner Parada by Srdjan Dragojevic.

Mike Downey has already worked on a number of films in Georgia, notably Academy Award winner Pawel Pawlikowski’s screenplay of Lost in Karastan where UK actor Matthew Macfadyen and Georgian actors Lasha Ramishvili and David Velijana starred.
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Georgian actor Giorgi Babluani

The director also partnered up with Georgian actor Misha Gomiashvili in The President, a film which won him the Best actor Award at the Asia Pacific Film Academy Awards. More recently he worked on Mariam Khachvani’s Dede, with leading role played by Georgian actor Giorgi Babluani, who, according to Mike Downey,” did a fantastic job.”
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A scene from the movie Dede

In addition, Mike has a working experience with Georgian cinematographers like Mindia Esadze, top costume experts like Keti Kalandadze and production designers like Mamuka Esadze.

“We have been able to bring our productions and make films that can benefit not only from the extraordinary talent, but also from the generous investment from the Georgian National Film Centre where we have had great help from Zurab Maghalashvili and David Vashadze and also the tax credit scheme from Enterprise Georgia, which functions very efficiently.

These are the reasons why we keep coming back to Georgia to make our films. It is very important that we always receive warm welcome from our Georgian partners – this has something to do with the incredible food and some of the best wines on the planet” - Mike Downey elaborated in the interview with Georgian Journal.

Related stories:

The Calvert Journal: “New Georgian cinema: discover a fresh generation of filmmakers reviving a national tradition“

Emerging Georgian director’s Scary Mother among films of 2018 to watch

Georgian film among the best projects at East Doc Platform 2018

Georgian film The Trader wins Sundance Film Festival
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