Stage Fright

France’s Ez Films and Croatia’s Nukleus Film has joined Athens-based producer Pan Entertainment to produce “Stage Fright,” from tyro Greek director Yorgos Zois.

Zois’ latest short, “Out of Frame,” was nominated for a European Film Academy award in 2012 and won best European Short Film at Venice that same year. “Stage Fright” is being presented at Venice’s first European Gap Financing Co-Production Market.

Zois’ first feature, the theater-set “Stage Fright” follows the story of actors who, during a final dress reheasal of a production, are forced to devise a play where everything, from performances to the bullets, are real by a band of invading terrorists.

“Stage Fright” is backed by the Greek Film Center, France’s CNC, Croatia’s HAVC, Torino Filmlab, Nova Pay TV in Greece and Marni Films, also Greece-based.

“On Oct. 23, 2002, 50 armed Chechens took 850 spectators as hostages in the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow. The play was a musical in which the actors were acting as Russian soldiers,” Zois said. “When the Chechens got on stage wearing army uniforms, everybody thought they were actors. My objective in ‘Stage Fright’ is to expand this first minute of ambivalence and inverted suspended disbelief until the end of the film.”

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