Film Info: 1000 KÖNIGE

1000 KINGS (1000 KÖNIGE)

1000 KINGS
Scene from 1000 KINGS (photo © Thirsty Goldfish)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 03/2011

Post-production began in summer 2010 on Georgian-born director Bidzina Kancheveli's feature film debut 1000 KINGS (1000 KÖNIGE) which is one of the first films worldwide to be shot completely with the green screen.

Kancheveli's screenplay is set in a distant future where mankind has been transformed into a society completely reduced to the intellect. Living in an obscure system of immense spaces, people can only be distinguished from one another by their different social positions, like in a beehive.

One of them is admired, exploited and kept under control for this ability to recognize which resource can produce light. However, one day, he manages to escape their domineering influence and is ruthlessly punished as a result…

“We wanted to retain the greatest artistic freedom possible and so didn't spend time filling in application forms for funding,” recalls producer Pierre Durst of Berlin-based Thirsty Goldfish. Thus, the film was financed by deferrals from the cast and crew, from private investors who had been involved in a previous Kancheveli project, as well as from sponsors and partners such as Berliner Union-Film, Ludwig Broadcast & Media, Ice Animations and the theater supplier Hausmann.

As Durst explains, the director spent more than two months casting stage actors from all over Germany “because he wanted to find particularly interesting characters and faces.”

“The fact that Bidzina began his career in the theater and has a lot of experience of working with actors helped him get them prepared for working in this special environment of the green screen. He knew how to motivate them.”

Previous to 1000 KINGS, Kancheveli had been invited by the Baden-Württemberg Film Academy in Ludwigsburg to direct the controversial short film 7½ WOMEN. Starring Russian-born actor Ivan Shvedoff, the film was shown at many international film festivals and received the award for Best Experimental Short Film from a jury headed by Ridley Scott at Milan's I've Seen Films International Film Festival in 2008.