Hollywood stars at Georgia-Russia war film premiere

5th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

US stars Andy Garcia and Sharon Stone visited the capital of ex-Soviet Georgia on Sunday to attend the local premiere of a Hollywood drama about the country's war with Russia in August 2008.

The all-action film, "Five Days of August", focuses on a fictional American reporter and his cameraman trying to establish the truth out about atrocities committed during the five-day conflict.

"It's an anti-war movie," Garcia, who plays the role of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, told a news conference in Tbilisi.

"We see the tragedies that arose so hopefully they won't happen again," said Garcia, who was nominated for an Oscar in 1991 for his role in "The Godfather: Part III".

Director Renny Harlin, best known for high-budget action films like "Die Hard 2" and "Cliffhanger", said the film was about "a small country fighting for independence and freedom".

"It was the most powerful experience of my life and my career," he said of making the film in Georgia.

The brief war saw Russian forces pour into Georgia to repel Tbilisi's military attempt to retake the Kremlin-backed rebel region of South Ossetia.

The Georgian authorities allowed the director to use their soldiers, tanks and helicopters for the film, which had an estimated budget of $20 million, making it one of the most expensive ever shot in the impoverished country.

One of its producers is a minister in the Saakashvili government, although he rejected suggestions that it was a biased portrayal of the conflict.

"Of course it is not propaganda," Minister for Diaspora Issues Mirza Davitaia told AFP.

"They based this movie on international reports from Human Rights Watch and the European Union."

Sharon Stone does not appear in the film but is due to attend a charity event after the premiere to raise money for the families of Georgian soldiers killed in the war.

© 2011 AFP

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