A FILM BY IANNIS SMARAGDIS
Everything is possible!
Press Release F
ollowing the major artistic and box office success of the film El Greco, Iannis Smaragdis takes on a new epic tale. God Loves Caviar is the compelling story of Ioannis Varvakis, who started off as a pirate in the Aegean Sea, reached the court of Catherine the Great in Russia and the shores of the Caspian Sea, and became a very wealthy businessman by establishing an international caviar trade. However, his ambition was met with a tragedy, until he eventually decided to donate his entire fortune in the name of love. He returned to Greece, which was then torn by civil unrest, during the Greek Revolution of 1821. The film «God Loves Caviar», demonstrates exactly what it advocates, that «everything is possible», as it has managed to be completed, despite the dire circumstances our country is facing and begin its international journey, by spreading the Greek values that so much need to be surfaced nowadays. The producer, Eleni Smaragdis, successfully managed to assemble an exceptional group of people -actors and collaborators alike. Sebastian Koch (leading actor in The Live of Others - Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2007) portrays Ioannis Varvakis. Also participating actors are John Cleese who stated that “this production is perhaps the most enchanting I've ever been on”, the great diva of European cinema, Catherine Deneuve, renowned Russian actor Evgeny Stychkin, Olga Sutulova,
Spanish actor Juan Diego Botto, who was awarded for his performance as the Grand Inquisitor in the film El Greco and Nick Ashdon (starred in El Greco). Other exceptional Greek actors participating in the film are the biggest star in Greece Lakis Lazopoulos and Akis Sakellariou, Marisha Triantafyllidou, Alexandra Sakellaropoulou, Christopher Papakaliatis. Aris Stavrou is Director of Photography, whereas Nikos Petropoulos is responsible for all the sets (production designer, director, costume designer in major opera production in Greece and abroad). Lala Huete is once again the film's exquisite costume designer (Goya award for El Greco, Bafta award for Pan's Labyrinth), George Mavropsaridis is the film's editor and Minos Matsas is the composer.
Directorâ€™s Note I
was enchanted by the story of Greek navigator and benefactor of Greece and Russia, Ioannis Varvakis, which is an epic tale that begins at the humble shores of the Aegean island of Psara - prior to the Greek rebellion against the Turks - reaches the court of Catherine the Great and the Russian steppes and ends in a war-torn Greece during the Revolution of 1821 against the Ottoman Empire. One might ask, â€œWhy make a film for Ioannis Varvakis todayâ€?? Because the future of humankind is its radiant past. Ioannis Varvakis is a vivid personality that journeys from the past to brighten our future. I was captivated because Ioannis Varvakis realized what could bring real meaning to his life and take him a step closer to happiness, thus donating his fortune to his fellow men, in the name of Love. And so, this film follows the adventurous life of Ioannis Varvakis, searching for answers to these questions: What secret life can a man lead? What makes a hero? What makes a good person? Do we choose our own path in life or is a higher power guiding our step? And can any one of us ever truly be free?
od Loves Caviar is the compelling story of IOANNIS VARVAKIS, and his journey from humble Greek pirate to international caviar millionaire, with the ear of Catherine the Great of Russia. His wealth and power, however, do not give him contentment, and his boundless ambition only brings suffering, until he gives everything away, including himself, in the name of love. This epic tale, based on Varvakis' real life, moves from the Greek island of Psara to the court of Catherine the Great in Russia and the shores of the Caspian Sea, and then back to Greece, a country torn by civil war and the fight for independence, during the Revolution of 1821 against the Ottoman Empire. God Loves Caviar features larger than life real personalities and colourful characters; dramatic events which changed history; success, failure, suffering and elation; spectacle, suspense and poetry. How can we tell the story of a man's life? What makes a hero? What makes a good person? Do we choose our own path in life or is a higher power guiding our steps? And can any one of us ever truly be free?
CAST SEBASTIAN KOCH ..........................IOANNIS VARVAKIS EVGENY STYCHKIN......................IVAN JUAN DIEGO BOTTO.....................LEFENTARIOS OLGA SUTULOVA...........................HELENA LAKIS LAZOPOULOS......................THE FISHERMAN OF GOD MARISHA TRIANTAFILLIDOU..MARIA AKIS SAKELLARIOU.......................KIMON
with CATHERINE DENEUVE................CATHERINE the GREAT and JOHN CLEESE ...................................McCORMICK
CREDITS Director:...............................IANNIS SMARAGDIS Producer:.............................ELENI SMARAGDI Script: ...................................VLADIMIR VALURSKY, ...............................................JACKIE PAVLENKO, ...............................................PANAYOTIS PASCHIDIS, ...............................................IANNIS SMARAGDIS Story: ....................................IANNIS SMARAGDIS Music:...................................MINOS MATSAS Director of Photography:..................ARIS STAVROU Production designer -Art Director:.......................NIKOS PETROPOULOS Costume Designer: ............LALA HUETE Editor: ..................................GIORGOS MAVROPSARIDIS Sound:..................................MARINOS ATHANASOPOULOS
Sebastian Koch S
ebastian was born in Karlsruhe, Germany on May 31st 1962. Before acting, he originally aspired to be a musician, but after watching a Stuttgart theatre production by director Claus Peymann, he decided that acting was the career he wanted to pursue. He graduated from the renowned Otto Falckenberg School of Acting in Munich.
His international breakthrough was in “MARIE AND FREUD” where he played Catherine Deneuve’s young lover, Rodolphe Loewenstein, and also in the mini-series “NAPOLEON” where he played alongside Gerard Depardieu, John Malkovich and Isabella Rossellini. In 2006, he played Georg Dreyman in “THE LIVES OF OTHERS” by an Oscar winning performance, by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. He was awarded the Italian Foreign Press Award in 2007 and the Globo d’Oro for Best European Actor award. In 2006, Sebastian was also awarded the Bambi award for Best Male German Actor. He also starred in Paul Verhoeven?s film “BLACK BOOK”, which celebrated in 2006 premieres in Venice and Toronto and was nominated from the Netherlands for the 2007 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In 2011, Sebastian appeared in Jaume Collet-Serra’s UNKNOWN where he starred opposite Liam Neeson, the independent British movie ALBATROSS directed by Niall MacCormick and in Iannis Smaragdis’ Greek production GOD LOVES CAVIAR. Sebastian began shooting for the Mike Figgis film SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF in 2012 and is currently in Budapest shooting A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD with Bruce Willis.
Catherine Deneuve C
atherine Deneuve was born in Paris and made her screen debut in LES COLLÉGIENNES (1957). Roger Vadim directed her in LE VICE ET LA VERTU (1963), but her breakthrough came the following year with the excellent musical LES PARAPLUIES DE CHERBOURG (1964) by Jacques Demy. She followed this up with a riveting performance in Roman Polanski's suspense classic REPULSION (1965). She played in Luis Bun ~uel's masterpiece, BELLE DE JOUR (1967), reunited with him for TRISTANA (1970), while giving a great performance for François Truffaut in LA SIRENE DU MISSISSIPI (1969). Deneuve's magnificent work in Truffaut's LE DERNIER MÉTRO (1980) won her a César Award for Best Actress. Her unchanging beauty and controlled acting skills were perfectly showcased in the romantic drama INDOKINA (1992). The film won both the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film in 1993, while Deneuve won her second César Award for Best Actress and received her first Academy Award nomination. Lars von Trier cast Deneuve in his musical drama DANCER IN THE DARK (2000), opposite eccentric singer Björk. The film won the Palme d'Or at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. The following year, she returned to Hollywood starring in D' ARTAGNAN (2001), a France-based epic adventure. She also played in the acclaimed musical 8 FEMMES (2002). Today she continues to work at a steady pace, most notably in POTICHE (2010) and in this year’s ASTÉRIX ET OBÉLIX: AU SERVICE DE SA MAJESTÉ. Her filmography so far consists of 112 feature films.
John Cleese W
as born on 27 October 1939, England. He attended Cambridge and devoted himself to the university's Footlights group, writing and performing in comedy reviews (Cambridge Circus). When Cleese graduated, he went on to write for the BBC, and then rejoined Cambridge Circus in 1964, which toured New Zealand and America. He remained in America where he met Terry Gilliam. Eventually, the writers themselves starred in their own "MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS" (1969), displaying a strange blend of low farce and high-concept absurdist humor. Cleese left the show after three seasons, but still worked with the other Pythons frequently in other projects, as well as in the Python movies – MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1975), LIFE OF BRIAN (1979), MONTY PYTHON LIVE AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL (1982), and THE MEANING OF LIFE (1983). He continues to act prolifically in movies, including the hit comedy A FISH CALLED WANDA (1988), in the Harry Potter series, and in the James Bond series as the new Q, starting with THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (1999), in CHARLIE’S ANGELS (2003) and THE PINK PANTHER 2 (2009), to name a few.
He considers education and learning very important elements he was Rector of the University of Saint Andrew’s from 1973 until 1976, and still is a professor-at-large of Cornell University in New York.
Juan Diego Botto W
as born on 29 August 1975, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but moved to Madrid, Spain, where he still lives today.
Botto started acting at the age of 5 in the film JUEGO DE PODER (Power Game). His role in the 1999 film SOBREVIVIRĂ‰ (I will survive), got him more national and international recognition. Botto has appeared on stage in Spain in several critically acclaimed plays. He also directed a play called PRIVILEGIO DE SER PERRO (Privilege of Being a Dog), about the tough life immigrants are subjected to while trying to sneak into and live in a new country. He also starred in Iannis Smaragdis' last film EL GRECO; a riveting performance which won him the first prize at the Cairo International Film Festival. He played key characters in films such as 1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE (1992), MARTIN (Hache) (1997), John Malkovich's acclaimed THE DANCER UPSTAIRS (2002), El caballero DON QUIJOTE (2002), the award-winning ROMA (2004) to name a few. In 2006 he starred alongside Jennifer Lopez and Antonio Banderas in BORDERTOWN. He went on to play in VETE DE MI (2006) and THE ANARCHIST'S WIFE (2008) and in 2011 he starred in SILENCIO EN LA NIEVE. In 2012 he starred in DICTADO (Childish Games), which received a Golden Berlin Bear nomination at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Evgeny Stychkin W
as born on 10 June 1974. He is a theatre and film actor and graduated from VGIK (workshop of A. Dzhigarkhanyan and A.Filozov) in 1994. He began working in The Theatre of Clownery of Theresa Durova and from 1995 to 2003 was engaged in The Theatre of Moon. He has participated in many films and TV series. His most significant being the following:
Feature films 2012 SAMOUBIYTSY (2012), S.O.S LOVE! THE MILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT (2011), PRO LYUBOFF (2010), LENINGRAD (2009) and many more. TV UTOMLENNYE SOLNTSEM 2 (2011), SAMYY LUCHSHIY VECHER (2010), POEDINKI (2009), PRISYAZHNYY POVERENNYY (2008), KHOLOSTYAKI (2004) among many others.
Olga Sutulova W
as born on 4 May 1980.
Her filmography includes the following: 2010 PRO LYUBOFF 2009 LENINGRAD 2008 NIRVANA 2005 NOCH SVETLA 2003 DASHA VASILEVA. Lyubitelnitsa chastnogo syska 1 (TV series) 2002 ATLANTIDA 2002 KINO PRO KINO
Lakis Lazopoulos W
as born in Larissa, Greece, where he received his primary and secondary school education. He then entered the School of Law at the University of Thrace and in 1984 received his Master’s degree from the University of Thessaloniki. Rather than practicing Law however, he chose to devote himself exclusively to acting, which had by this time won him over.
Since 1979 he has performed in many theatrical plays, several of which he has written and directed himself. His most significant works are: LYSISTRATA (1986), DIARY OF A MADMAN (1988), THERE WAS A SMALL SHIP (1990), THE SUNDAY OF SHOES (1997), TA LEME (2002), WEALTH (2004), HYSTERIA (2005), THE ACHARNIANS (2005) and BREADWINNER ON THE ROOF (2008). He participated in Iannis Smaragdis’ films CAVAFY in 1996 and again in EL GRECO in 2007. In the summer of 1999 he played the lead role in the film BEWARE OF GREEKS bearing guns directed by John Tatoulis. In 2001 he wrote, directed and starred in the film MY BEST FRIEND, whereas in 2004 he wrote, starred and co-directed R 20. On television he participated in Iannis Smaragdis’ HUSH, OUR COUNTRY IS SLEEPING in 1987. In 1992 wrote and interpreted 15 characters (male and female) in the successful TV series TEN LITTLE MITSOI. His satirical news bulletin AL TSADIRI NEWS aired in 2004 and is successfully continued to this day.
Iannis Smaragdis W
as born in Crete in 1946. He studied Film in Greece and France. He made his first appearance in 1972 with the short film Two Three Things..., which received the first prize at the Athens Film Festival, as well as a Special Mention at the Montreal Film Festival. Iannis Smaragdis’ career has been full of creativity and counts many successes. His most significant features are Cavafy (1996) and El Greco (2007). They were both very successful and award-winning films that participated in many international festivals, the most significant being the Toronto International Film Festival. On television, he touched the hearts of audiences with his Good night to you, Kyr Alexandre in 1980. In 1988 he directed the 13-episode series Hush… Our Country is Sleeping…, which is considered the best TV series since the beginning of television broadcasting in Greece. Iannis Smaragdis has directed many more TV series, such as Hadjimanuel (1984) and Les Enfants Gatés (2001). He has also directed documentaries and essays: Spyros Louis (2004), I’ve brought to art (1998), Thus spake the city (1990-1993), to name a few. In 2007 he directed Opera of Shadows at the Athens Concert Hall. During 2011 and 2012, he has been preparing his new film God Loves Caviar. Shooting has completed and the project is now in post-production.
Eleni Smaragdis W
born in Athens. She studied French Literature and Cinema in Paris at the Universities of SORBONNE NOUVELLE and PARIS VIII respectively. From 1980 until 1988 she initially worked as a founding member and later on as head of the CULTURAL INSTITUTE of the Agricultural Bank of Greece. From 1988 until today she has been working as producer at Alexandros Film Co Ltd.
Her most significant cinematic productions are the box office success El Greco (2007), as well as the much acclaimed Cavafy (1996). Both films were very well received and garnered many state and international awards; they participated in many international festivals, the most important being the Toronto International Film Festival. Other, television productions include Spyros Louis (2004), a tribute to the first Greek modern Olympic Winner, Marathon runner Spyros Louis, which won the First International Award “Guirlande d’ Honneur 2004” at the INTERNATIONAL SPORT MOVIES FESTIVAL in Milan, Italy, TV series Les Enfants Gâtés (2001) and Hush… Our country is sleeping (1998), and documentaries such as the 32-episode essay Thus spake the city (1990-1993). During 2011-2012, she has been producing the film God Loves Caviar. Shooting has completed and the project is now in post-production. Other activities include the publication of the coffee table book “EL GRECO a film by Iannis Smaragdis” retracing the behind-the-scenes journey of the film
A FILM BY IANNIS SMARAGDIS
Everything is possible!
Presskit of the Yannis Smaragdis' movie GOD LAVES CAVIAR official selection in Toronto Int'l Film Festival