Downey taps Russian coin for ‘Epic’

Black comedy is first U.K.-Georgia co-production

British producer Mike Downey has secured $400,000 in private Russian money for helmer Ben Hopkins’ new $3.8 million black comedy “Epic.”

The film, penned by Pawel Pawlikowski (“The Last Resort”), is the U.K.’s first co-production with Georgia and is currently shooting in the capital, Tblisi.

“Epic” stars Matthew Macfadyen as a down-at-heels director with a flimsy grip on reality who is in-vited by the president of a post-Soviet banana republic to make a movie about the country’s heroic ancient founder.

Pic is produced by Downey’s London-based Film & Music Entertainment, Moscow’s Metra Film and Tblisi’s 20 Steps Prods. Stephen Daldry is executive producing.

Backers include the British Film Institute, Franco-German TV net Arte, German regional fund HessenInvestFilm, German distributor Piffl and the Georgian National Film Center.

Stealth Media are on board for international sales

MyAnna Buring (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” “Ripper Street”) plays opposite Macfadyen.

Downey, who has wide experience of working in post-Soviet and former Communist states in central Europe, said there were signs that investors from the region were growing more confident about putting money into international projects.

The Russian investors, whom Downey declined to name, had put money into local films in the past and “had a good experience.”

“It’s not about vanity. It’s not about glamour. It’s about economics and profit. And the investors want to keep a low profile, which suits everyone,” Downey told Variety.

“Epic” is filming in Georgia before moving to Frankfurt this month with post-production scheduled in Germany.

Downey was a co-producer on Serbian director Srdjan Dragojevic’s “The Parade” that won an audience award in Berlin’s Panorama last year and has sold to more than 40 territories.