Tbilisi-based Producer on the Move Vladimer Katcharava of 20 Steps Productions will partner with the UK’s Film & Music Entertainment for the first co-production between the UK and Georgia, Epic.

Epic is described as a gentle black comedy about a confused, washed up American director who gets invited by a nascent state to make a national epic in an obscure Caucasus Republic.

Ethan Hawke is being lined up to play the filmmaker, Christopher Lambert as the film’s crazed star and Chulpan Khamatova as the beauty and brains. Ben Hopkins and Pawel Pawlikowski wrote the screenplay.

20 Steps Productions will also have Russian producer Artem Vasiliev’s Metrafilms and the French outfit Haut et Court Productions on board as partners.

Meanwhile, Tamara Tatishvili, head of the Georgian National Film Center (GNFC), revealed to Screen that her institution has allocated almost € 1m in production as part of this year’s call for projects.

A total of €230,000 was paid out to two European co-productions with minority Georgian participation: Teona Grenade’s € 1m feature debut Brother (Dzma) is being produced by Marie-Pierre Macia and Juliette Lapoutre’s MPM Film with Zurab Maghalashvili’s Cinetech,while Serg Avedikyan’s € 2m Paradjanov about the legendary Armenian-born filmmaker will be produced by Tbilisi-based Gemini with Ukrainian producer/co-director Olena Fetisova’s Interfilm, France’s Araprod, Armenia’s Paradise and Norway’s Barentsfilm.

New Georgian films being backed include George Ovashvili’s Corn Island, Levan Koguashvili’s Teacher In Love (headed to Sarajevo’s CineLink), and Tinatin Kajrishvili’s The Brides.