Scamarcio to star in Costa-Gavras’ Eden Is West
by Fabien Lemercier
Young Italian star Riccardo Scamarcio will play Elias, the lead role in Eden Is West, Costa-Gavras’s 17th film, which marks the French-based director’s return to his native Greece, the country he left at 19 and which hasn’t featured in his films since Z (Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 1970 and Special Jury Prize at Cannes). The rest of the cast are still being selected and will include French, Greek and German actors.
Co-written by the director and Jean-Claude Grunberg, who helped pen three of Costa-Gavras’ previous films (including Eyewitness in 2002 and The Axe [+see also:
film profile] in 2005), Eden Is West follows a young migrant who tries to enter the European Union illegally.
The director describes the plot as such: "Every man has a story to tell. The man who holds out his cup to us has his own story. The woman who sleeps blind drunk on the metal grates of the metro has her own story. The man who runs off like Charlie Chaplin at the slightest glimpse of someone in uniform has his story to tell.
"As in The Odyssey, the adventure of our ordinary hero Elias begins in the Aegean Sea. On the same sea, beneath the same sun and the same sky as at the dawn of civilisation. After an eventful journey, including a stopover in paradise and a brief sojourn in hell, the epic magically draws to a close in Paris.
“Paris, the city that every wanderer dreams of, glistening in the depths of his unsettled sleep. Eden Is West attempts to trace the journey, the wandering, the story of those – yesterday it was us or our fathers and mothers – who travel the Earth, brave the seas and the forces of law and order in search of a roof over their heads."
At 28, Scamarcio’s career has been on the rise since he debuted in 2003. Having first come to attention in Romanzo criminale [+see also:
interview: Michele Placido
film profile], the actor then went on to star alongside Elio Germano in My brother Is an Only Child [+see also:
interview: Daniele Luchetti
interview: Riccardo Tozzi
film profile] (see Focus) and appeared in this year’s Italian box office hit, the teenage film Ho voglia di te [+see also:
Described as a road movie by the director, Eden Is West, which is produced by Michèle Ray Gavras for KG Productions, will have a budget of around €8.4m, including co-production funding from Greek company Odeon.
Negotiations are currently underway to form a partnership between the Italian and German producers. Shooting will begin on March 31 with five weeks scheduled in Crete, followed by five weeks in France.
Pathé, who are also co-producing, will distribute the film domestically and manage international sales.
(Translated from French)
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