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Last updated at 10:00 BST, Friday, 23 October 2009

Hollywood films in Georgia

Summary

21 October 2009

As Hollywood begins filming in Georgia, people are wondering if the film is actually the latest bit of spin from Georgia about its conflict with Russia in 2008.

Reporter:
Tom Esslemont

President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia

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The city of Tbilisi has been turned into a film set. Floodlights beam down on parliament as American and Georgian cast and crew members run amok outside the presidential palace. This

multimillion dollar film, the biggest budget movie ever to be made on Georgian soil, tells the story of a journalist and a camera man caught up in the unfolding drama of the war in 2008. The Georgian government has actively supported the filmmakers by allowing them access to public buildings, but it denies that it is helping to fund the project. One of the producers is a pro-government member of parliament, Papuna Davitaia:

Papuna Davitaia: 'The Georgian government has no role in sponsoring film. Georgian government helps only with permit for shooting and money doesn't come from government.'

The film comes just over a year since the conflict during which time both sides have competed to put their own spin on what happened in August 2008. Then, Russian forces poured into Georgia to repel its attempt to retake the disputed region of South Ossetia. But neither side has ever been able to accept the other's version of events.

In addition to the Hollywood movie, Russian media has reported that the Serbian director, Emir Kusturica, is planning to shoot a screenplay to tell the South Ossetian point of view.

Tom Esslemont, BBC News

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Vocabulary

has been turned into a film set

has been transformed or made into a large studio or place where a commercial film is made

cast and crew members run amok

the film's actors and technicians are moving around quickly in a way that seems dangerous or out of control

on Georgian soil

in Georgia

allowing them access

letting them go into

to fund

to give money to

permit for shooting

official document allowing the director to make a film

both sides have competed to put their own spin on what happened

Georgia and Russia are each trying to get the public to believe its interpretation, explanation or opinion of events

to retake the disputed region

to take control again of an area of land that both countries say belongs to it

able to accept the other's version of events

can agree on the other country's view of the conflict

to shoot a screenplay

to make a film

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