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COVID-19 Waning, Producer Logothetis Upbeat Shooting Films on Cyprus

NICOSIA — Even when the COVID-19 Coronavirus was beginning on Cyprus in March, film producer and director Dimitris Logothetis forged ahead with plans to shoot his movie Man of War on Cyprus.

That happened as the government has set up quarantine facilities with people over the COVID-19 virus and shut down many non-essential businesses, but with the lockdown ending and international air traffic and tourism starting he's even optimistic.

The movie is set to get underway in the last quarter of 2020, approved by the government under a revised scheme for the film industry, The Cyprus Mail said.

“This development is crucial as it provides a more flexible framework for further development of the industry, giving it comparative advantages,” Logothetis said, noting that the new program will also allow production companies to complete pre-production on the island.

“I am very optimistic about the future, as I have contributed to the beginning of a constructive dialogue among the progressive ministers of the government and the leaders of the local film industry,” Logothetis said.

He also said he's close to finishing talks for financing Man of War with a banking institution in Cyprus so that filming can begin in a deal that includes two more films to be made in 2021, increasing the island's visibility for feature films.

“Initially we were to come in July, but we had to postpone our plans for September to October,” Logothetis said, adding his praise for the government's handling of the pandemic with the early lockdown holding down the number of cases and deaths.

“Cyprus remains an ideal place to shoot, as it has similar natural features to Los Angeles, such as the course of the sun and natural light. The weather is fantastic, almost all year round, which helps us a lot with the shooting,” he told the paper.

Man of War is the first big Hollywood production for Cyprus, with a budget of more than 35 million euros ($39.63 million) and he said he's thinking of even creating a studio on the island.

“I am currently looking with my partner on the island to find the right place,” Logothetis said, adding that such a development would greatly support both the industry in Cyprus and the local economy in general. 

For Man of War, Logothetis said he will have a crew of around 220 people and is “working on a safe working protocol for our time on set” to adhere to post-COVID-19 health restrictions.

Logothetis, also a martial artist, directed Jiu Jitsu, with Nicolas Cage, the first Hollywood film shot on the island.

“During difficult times, the film and television business always flourishes, as movies offer much-needed entertainment and an escape from reality. It helps people forget their worries for a while,” Logothetis said earlier this year.

“We hope that Man of War, as well other productions we have in mind for Cyprus, will help boost the economy of the country, as we will be recruiting local staff and relying on local businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, that have currently been hard hit by the pandemic,” he told the paper at the time.

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