Greek hit Touch Of Spice looks set to pass the landmark one million admissions mark at the local box office.

After seven weeks on release, the Tasos Boulmetis directed film has already scored 800,000 admissions, way ahead of the top performing foreign film Pirates Of The Caribbean with 440,000 admissions.

Hitting the one million mark would be an impressive achievement for Touch Of Spice - most Greek films rarely exceed 150,000 admissions.

Touch Of Spice has already won eight National Film Awards including best picture, director and script.

It is probably the first time that a local production has been so enthusiastically adopted by the public and critics alike.

The reason for the film's success is largely down to Boulmetis' subtly directed autobiographical script about a Greek man in his early forties who returns to Istanbul, and to his roots steeped in Oriental aromas and spices, 30 years after he and his family were deported to Greece.

The role of Village Roadshow's Greek arm has also been hugely important. The company's first foray into local production, Village Roadshow provided a large part of the Euros 1.5m budget - a very high figure for a Greek film. Co-producers included French MC2 and Turkish ANS International.

Village Roadshow also handled distribution and exhibition, spending another Euros 500,000 on a lavish marketing campaign.

Boulmetis has been surprised by the public reaction to the film. "I did not expect such an overwhelming success," he told

Village Roadshow's President and CEO Haris Andonopoulos, who holds an executive producer's credit in the film, said: " We intend to continue and develop our engagement in the local film production scene".