Demetris Logothetis, producer and director of Jiu Jitsu that will be filmed in Cyprus in the next weeks, already has plans to shoot a second film here written by Gary Scott Thompson of Fast and Furious fame.
Logothetis, a Greek American, is in Cyprus to shoot the sci-fi martial arts film starring Alain Moussi and Nicolas Cage among others.
He told CyBC TV that he had come to Cyprus with 60 other producers about six months ago as part of the Invest Cyprus‘ efforts to establish the island as a film destination — Olivewood — through Cyprus Cash Rebates, an incentive scheme for the film industry.
He and lawyer Constantinos Messios said the scheme was a good one and anticipated many more films will follow.
Shooting of the $24m film Jiu Jitsu will take about a month and half, with a significant positive impact on the economy, they said.
“We have hired about 70 Cypriots. We will be buying materials to build the sets, renting cars. There’s the hotels, the food, ” Logothetis said.
Messios added that the film industry has great potential for Cyprus as it constitutes what he called a “continuous investment” with money going into the economy during filming and not just to lawyers and accountants.
The scheme had room for improvement, but the public sector was responsive to suggestions as this is the first film under the Cyprus Cash Rebates and there are inevitably issues that arise, they added.
Asked whether Cyprus has the locations for films, Logothetis said that it did, but its biggest advantage is the people.
“The best thing you have is the people. They are well educated and all want to do a good job,” he said.
Added Messios: “Olivewood is no longer a dream. We will create it.”
Asked how he came up with the idea for Jiu Jitsu, Logothetis said that after buying the franchise for Kickboxer, he wrote a comic book Jiu Jitsu which it is being made into a film.
“I wanted to do something similar as Kickboxer but to introduce science fiction,” he said.
With a special interest in martial arts (he has two black belts) he brought Alain Moussi on board, himself accomplished in martial arts, who played the lead role in Kickboxer.
Moussi will team up with Cage to fight an alien that comes to earth every six years, looking for a fight.
Meanwhile Logothetis is already looking ahead. He said that he has a new proposal for a film written by Gary Scott Thompson which he is discussing with Invest Cyprus to shoot here.