Michael Winterbottom’s latest feature film titled Greed, which premiered in Toronto Film Festival recently, starring Steve Coogan, Isla Fisher and David Mitchell, completed three weeks of filming in Greece in autumn 2018. Financed by Sony Pictures International Productions and Film4 and produced by Melissa Parmenter for Revolution Films and DJ Films’ Damian Jones, Greed was one of the first international films to access Greece’s new financial incentive (cash rebate); through the Greek company Film Greece. Other cast members include Sophie Cookson, Shirley Henderson, Asa Butterfield, Sarah Solemani, Shanina Shaik and Stephen Fry.
Written by Michael Winterbottom, Greed is a satire about the world of the super-rich building up to the celebration of the 60th birthday party of a retail billionaire. Luxury and sea being in demand, the Greek island of Mykonos, a landmark island recognized worldwide as a luxurious holiday setting in Greece offered the ideal backdrop for this celebration. One-day shoot out of the three weeks took place on the neighboring island of Delos, one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece which is a World Cultural Site protected by UNESCO since 1990. Delos, even though a small (350.64 ha), rocky island in the center of the Aegean Sea, was considered as “the most sacred of all islands” (Callimachus, 3rd century BC) in ancient Greek culture.
The Hellenic Film Commission of the Greek Film Centre attended the shoot on Delos island and had the chance to talk to Steve Coogan about his experience.
“Greed is using the backdrop of classical Greece for an aspect of the film, which is about a self-centered billionaire. The classical backdrop of Greece serves the ego of the character I play, based on some real people. It’s a critique of the super-rich who exploit vulnerable people in the developing world and paying them slave labor wages to make themselves rich. There’s a morality to the film even though it’s a comedy. The character I play and his family visit the ruins here on Delos because this place was the center of the commercial world at one point and the biggest trading port in the Mediterranean. My character made his money on trading and he connects on a material way. He likes to mythologize himself being heroic when he really is just greedy…When shooting abroad we want to find people who are accommodating. Filming is something unusual, it’s not a normal thing. You are telling a story but your requests are often not the normal requests the public or the tourists would make. Sometimes the things you would be asking for might be breaking the rules, so we need people to be pragmatic and exercise a kind of flexibility. And we have found this in Greece. The experience of shooting GREED in Greece has been very good, all people on Mykonos have been friendly and cooperative, supportive, flexible, accommodating. The hotel staff are like family now”, Steve Coogan starring Greed told to Venia Vergou, Director of the Hellenic Film Commission.
The Hellenic Film Commission of the Greek Film Centre supported Greed by providing guidance to the production company and by facilitating the permit for filming on Delos island.