The recce organized for the UK feature film "The Giaour" by the Hellenic Film Commission under the auspices of the Greek Film Centre was recently successfully concluded. It is a common practice for Film Commissions around the world to invite foreign producers for initial recce and location research, in an effort to attract audiovisual productions to their country. The film’s executive producer, Mr Gareth Jones, had recently made a similar trip to Spain for the same reason.
Following an introduction between Mr Jones (Withnail and I, Mona Lisa, The Hard Word) and Venia Vergou, the Director of the Hellenic Film Commission, at the recent Cannes Film Festival (May 2018), a one-week recce was arranged in Greece for the last week of July. The Giaour, written and to be directed by Rika Ohara (The Heart of No Place), is based on Lord Byron’s homonym poem written in 1813. It was this poem that also inspired Eugène Delacroix’s painting The Combat of the Giaour and Hassan (1826). The film story is set in a society living between the East and the West, during the Ottoman Empire in Greece, with the plot, characters and sub-context touching upon different religious and ethnic backgrounds, as well as issues of gender identity and sexuality.
Accompanied by Venia Vergou, the film’s executive producer visited many locations in Thessaloniki, Kavala, Xanthi, Chania and Rethymno, selected by accomplished Greek film professionals. The locations in the North of Greece where scouted by Tatiana Verbi, location manager, while Ioanna Davi and Dimitris Xenakis of Indigo View led the recce in Crete. The group had the opportunity to meet local officials and representatives during their visit in each region.
Mr Jones departed from Greece very satisfied and truly excited about the locations he visited. The film’s budget amounts to 3 million Euros for a six-week shoot, which will all be realized in Greece, if our country does get selected for filming.