Alex Garland has started shooting Ex Machina and principal photography is also underway on the first UK-Albania co-production.

Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander star in Alex Garland’s Ex Machina. Garland also wrote the screenplay.

The story follows a 24-year-old coder at the world’s largest internet company, who wins a competition to spend a week at a private mountain retreat belonging to the reclusive CEO of the company. But when the coder arrives at the remote location, he finds that he will have to participate in a strange and fascinating experiment in which he must interact with the world’s first true artificial intelligence, housed in the body of a beautiful robot girl.

Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich are producing the $15m feature through DNA Films with support of Film4 and Universal Pictures with the latter distributing the psychological thriller around the world.

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Shooting has now moved from Amsterdam to Tirana on Fatmir Koci’s Amsterdam Express, which presents the first UK-Albania co-production through Act Triangle Productions (ATP) and Film And Music Entertainment (F&ME) in conjunction with Germany’s Lara Film and the Netherland’s Popov Film. The Albanian National Center of Cinematography provided financial support.

In the drama Blerim Destani plays a young Albanian emigrant in Amsterdam, who falls victim to the threats of drug and sex slave traffickers. He is also managing his marriage of convenience with a Dutch girl and his true love back in Albania.  

Principal photography will wrap on August 23.