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Two Small Michigan Films Approved For Incentives

LANSING -- The Michigan Film Office announced two Michigan films, Landlord and Papou, have been approved for film incentives from the state.

Michigan filmmakers are leading both projects, and both are set to film in metro Detroit.

"We are working to build a diverse portfolio of projects here in Michigan, and both of these films fit perfectly with our desire to support Michigan's local filmmakers," said Margaret O'Riley, director of the Michigan Film Office.  "We have incredible talent here in our state and we are excited to be part of the effort to bring these Michigan projects come to life."

Set in Hamtramck, Landlord follows the tale of Elvis Martini, a widowed landlord dealing with spiritual conflict and the abduction of his daughter.  The project is being produced by Ele Bardha and directed by Malik Bader with cinematography by Christos Moisides.  The script was written by up and coming filmmaker Nickola Shreli (Hostile: Part III, Abduction), who will also star in the film.

"The Michigan film incentive has allowed the cast and crew of Landlord, comprised of 100 percent Michigan locals, to come together and create a true piece of cinematic art, shot entirely in Hamtramck and surrounding southeast Michigan locations," Bardha said.  "The Michigan Film Office made it possible for Nick and myself to bring to life a huge passion project of ours with some of the most talented people in the film industry.  It has provided the opportunity for us all to grow within the film industry and gain the experience and knowledge needed to produce our first feature."

Landlord was awarded an incentive of $34,870 on $118,784 of project in-state expenditures.  The project expects to hire 42 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of 1 job.

Papou is the tale of a wildly imaginative boy and his dying grandfather's attempts to escape the clutches of death. A film about death, family, and the bond between grandfather and grandson, Papou plans to take the audience on a journey of self-reflection and discovery.

The project is being directed by Michael Angelo Zervos (Realizim).  Zervos also wrote the screenplay and is serving a co-producer alongside Michael Sinanis (Motor City Motors) and Christos Moisides.  The project has tapped Southfield-based Kinetic Post for post-production work.

The project was awarded an incentive of $54,990 on $182,089 of projected in-state expenditures.  It expects to hire 51 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of 1 job.

"Mother and Midwife Pictures is thrilled to join the ranks of quality films that have shot in Michigan," Zervos said.  "It is our goal to offer the international film community a unique story that will be intellectually engaging, emotionally poignant, and ultimately memorable. Papou is a story so unconventional, so un-Hollywood, that it is sure to be a refreshingly different alternative to the usual cinema-going fare."

In Fiscal Year 2013, 12 projects have been awarded a total of $10,962,806 on $38,238,313 of approved production expenditures for the year. These projects are expected to create 822 Michigan hires with a full time equivalent of 220 jobs.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. Film Review Committee, comprised of senior MEDC staff including the Michigan Film Commissioner, reviews all completed applications using the statute to guide approval decisions.

The Michigan Film Office was created in 1979 to assist and attract incoming production companies and promote the growth of Michigan's own film industry. The Film Office also administers the incentive program for film, television and other digital media production in Michigan. For more on the Michigan Film Office, visit:

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