Michigan feature film Papou has, after almost a year and a half of production, finished shooting and post production. A recipient of Michigan’s Film and Digital Media Incentive, Papou has been entirely produced in the state of Michigan by Michigan natives Michael Angelo Zervos, Christos Moisides, and Michael Sinanis.
Papou stars Greek actor Yorgo Voyagis (Zorba the Greek, Borne Identity) and local Michigan actor Evan Kole (Avengers, Misled) as the leads, alongside dozens of other supporting talent. The first feature from 25 year old director Zervos, the film tells the tale of a wildly imaginative young boy (Kole) and his dying grandfather’s (Voyagis) attempts to escape the clutches of death.
“The journey getting to this point has been full of struggles and the fact that I can hold in my hand a Blu-ray of what was originally an idea is awe-striking.” Zervos said, “Ours was not the smooth production of a multi-million dollar picture that moves along with a single handshake but the work and sacrifice of many people believing in the story I had to share.
Truly, Zervos does not overstate the obstacles. His journey began almost a year and a half ago when he raised $51,000 on Kickstarter for the project. Eventually, he found private financiers for the rest of the film’s $200,000 budget and fought his way to signing Voyagis as the star. Zervos admitted that “Yorgo believed in the story just as others had, but he was willing to make unnecessary sacrifices to take on this role. There might not be a Papou without his dedication”
A strong advocate of the recent surge of Michigan-made films, Zervos is in the process of applying for approval through the Michigan Film and Digital Video Incentive program. He believes that if the incentive hadn’t been reinstated in its latest form, he wouldn’t have made the film at all. “The common perception is that Michigan doesn’t have a competitive incentive for filmmakers to film in state anymore. On the contrary, Michigan remains in the top ten best states to film in for monetary savings.”
Papou has been submitted to a host of national and international film festivals and expects to premiere at one of the top festivals. “Of course, I’ll not forget a premiere back in my beloved home state,” Zervos assures. Even as the director of Papou is busy promoting the film, his editors are hard at work churning out the first trailer for the film. Release of this is expected in the next two weeks.