Triangle Of Sadness scouting 1

Source: Photo courtesy of Plattform Produktion

Production designer Josefin Asberg, Ruben Ostlund and DoP Fredrik Wenzel exploring locations for ‘Triangle Of Sadness’ in Greece earlier this year. 

Ruben Östlund’s Triangle Of Sadness, starring Woody Harrelson. Harris Dickinson and newcomer Charlbi Dean, starts shooting in Greece on September 19 after it was cancelled twice earlier this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

It will shoot on the island of Euboea (Evia) and on a yacht in the Ionian sea for eight weeks.

Produced by Erik Hemmendorf of Stockholm-based Plattform Produktion, the film is a satire that follows a model couple, played by Screen Star of Tomorrow Dickinson and Dean, who are invited on a luxury cruise. After the yacht sinks, they are left stranded on a desert island with a group of billionaires and a cleaning lady, and the hierarchy is turned on its head in the ensuing fight for survival.

Triangle Of Sadness will film in Greece for 38 days of its 70-day shoot. The rest of the shoot has taken place in a studio in Trollhättan in western Sweden. Harrelson shot his scenes there and is not travelling to Greece. 

The Greek production partner is Giorgos Karnavas and Konstantinos Kontovrakis of Heretic. They have secured support for the production from Ekome (Greece’s National Centre of Audiovisual Media and Communication) in the form of a 40% cash rebate of the production’s Greek costs. (The cash rebate increased from 35% to 40% in late July). It was originally budgeted at €13m before additional Covid-related costs.

Heretic joined the project due to the long-standing relationship between Karnavas and Hemmendorff who met at an ACE producers workshop in 2011. 

Heretic has been the first company to bring international co-productions to shoot in Greece following the easing of the pandemic restrictions in May. Nana Neul‘s German-Italian road movie Daughters has shot on the island Amorgos while Marcel Barrena’s Spanish drama Mediterraneo, about the refugee crisis, is now in production in Athens and in the coastal city of Lavrion.  

Other Greek producers have followed suit: Fenia Kossovitsa’s Blonde has boarded Francois Uzan’s French comedy Say Cheese, which is now shooting on location in Athens, the Athens riviera and the island of Aegina, and Kostas Lambropoulos’ Viewmaster teamed with the US Simeon Entertainment for Yelena Popovic’s Man Of God, featuring an international cast including Mickey Rourke and Alexander Popov that has just wrapped after a five-week shoot in and around Athens and on Aegina too. 

Further international shoots gearing up to film in Greece include Jason Raftopoulos’s Voices In Deep, produced by Australian Exile’s Entertainment, for which Stefi Productions is the local line producer  

“We are looking at a very promising season having secured film and TV production from major US studios as well as European productions thanks to our enhanced competitive incentives programme and the fact that Greece is a [Covid-19] safe destination,” Panos Kouanis, president and CEO of Ekome, told Screen.

Ekome has also introduced a new 30% tax relief for incoming film and TV productions that can be used in combination with the 40% rebate and is expected to be operational by late October. Triangle Of Sadness is scheduled to wrap on on November 19 so will be eligible to apply for this additional relief. 

Tighter public restrictions introduced

New restrictions introduced today (September 16) to combat the rise of Covid-19 cases in Greece are aimed mainly at the Athens-Attica region and are not expected to impact the shooting schedule of either Triangle Of Sadness or any other major international shoots.

However, the new measures are focused on public gatherings and impact cinemas. The total occupancy of Greece’s open-air cinemas has been reduced to 60% from 70%. Few indoor cinemas have yet reopened in Greece and exhibitors and distributors now fear the reopening date of late September will be pushed back further. 

Films that have performed decently at the open-air venues include Ariel Winograd’s Argentinian title The Heist Of The Century which brought in 50,000 admissions for Rosebud 21 over its eight-week run, making it the biggest film of the summer.  e Christopher Nolan’s Tenet garnered 50,000 admissions in its first week on release for Warner Bros.