Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has acquired all media rights worldwide from Athens-based Alexandros Film for the upcoming Greek feature film God Loves Caviar (O theos agapaei to haviari) to be directed by Yannis Smaragdis.
The announcement was made y by T. Paul Miller, senior vice president international at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Eleni Smaragdis.of Alexandros Films and Irene Souganidou of Feelgood Entertainment.
The deal was brokered by Feelgood in collaboration with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Hellas (SPHEH) headed by Kostas Triantafyllides.
Feelgood and SPHEH will distribute the picture in Greece and Cyprus.
Feelgood is a two-year-old company that made an impressive entrance in the local distribution market. It is headed by Souganidou, a former deputy general director at Audiovisual, the local distribution and multimedia giant.
Souganidou acting as Feelgood’s president and CEO has secured the exclusive representation of Walt Disney for theatrical distribution. Feelgood is also the exclusive distributor in Greece and Cyprus for DVD content of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Hellas (Sony, Universal, Walt Disney) and of BBC Home Entertainment).
The company’s profile has been considerably boosted recently as two local titles it handles have figured prominently in the international market place: Giorgos Lanthimos’ Dogtooth was a Cannes prize winner and Oscar nominee, while Athena Rachel Tsangaris’ sophomore directorial outing Attenberg was awarded last year in Venice and invited to a score of other prestigious world festivals such as Sundance and Bafici.
It is rumored here that Feelgood is set to add another major studio to its exclusive local theatrical representation roster.
Miller said that “Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is proud to partner with Yannis Smaragdis and Feelgood Entertainment in bringing this popular story to audiences around the globe.”
God Loves Caviar isthe story of Ioannis Varvakis, a 19th-century Greek pirate turned businessman who made a fortune selling caviar in Russia. Varvakis strived all his life for freedom for himself and then for his country, entagled at that moment in a bloody uprising against the Ottoman rule, only to find that freedom cannot be won until it is shared.
The picture — set to start shooting next September in Greece and Russia — will be a Greek (Alexandros Film, the Greek Film Centre, Forthnet, ERT Greek public TV), Russian (Fedor Popov’s Stella Studio), American co-production budgeted at $8m and is to be released in autumn 2012.
It will enjoy a multinational cast to be announced later including local huge popular star Lakis Lazopoulos.
Speaking to Screen Souganidou pointed out that ”this is the first time ever a Greek picture secures worldwide distribution by a major US studio at pre-production stage.”
Smaragdis’ previous films include Kavafis (1996) and El Greco (2007).