The producers of the film ‘Jiu Jitsu’ said Thursday they have just filed a statement of claim in a ‘multi-million euro’ lawsuit against the government, the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (Cipa) and state officials for alleged breach of contract, negligence and fraud.
The statement of claim – the filing detailing the particulars of the lawsuit – was filed with Nicosia district court on Tuesday. The lawsuit itself had been filed previously.
In a statement, Yiannos Georgiades & Associates LLC – the law firm representing the claimants – said the defendants “failed to adhere to their contractual obligations and commitments made to the film’s production company and further misled the producers, resulting in significant financial losses and damage to their reputation.”
According to the statement of claim, following the international promotion of the newly formed Cyprus Film Scheme by the government and Cipa, “high-scale producers were induced into making films in Cyprus in return of promising them a 35 per cent cash rebate for the films ‘Jiu Jitsu’ and ‘Man of War’, and a certificate was issued for the film ‘Jiu Jitsu’ in the total amount of €7,665,071.
“It is alleged that such promises were made without having any official mechanisms in place to provide for such a cash rebate. Following this, the producers proceeded and completed the film production of ‘Jiu Jitsu’ in Cyprus. Although the Cyprus government provided an interim approved report through which it approved eligible expenditures to the amount of €14,610,385 (cash rebate of €5,113,634.70) for the expenses up to and until 30th June 2019, still, it subsequently failed to pay any cash rebate amount to the producers of the film ‘Jiu Jitsu’.”
The statement of claim alleges that the defendants failed to deliver on their promises and that they acted fraudulently, forcing the production company “to incur additional costs and face unnecessary delays something which among other things eventually led to the cancellation of the second major film that was due to be filmed in Cyprus titled ‘Man of War’.”
The statement put out by the law firm also quoted producer and director Dimitris Logothetis – the claimant – as saying that the actions of the government, Cipa and officials of the Film Scheme “have caused substantial harm to our project and have put our investment in the film at great risk.”
Yiannos Georgiades, lead attorney for the claimants, commented that the actions of the government resulted in missed opportunities for the country,, as a number of other film projects in the pipeline could have generated millions in revenue.
Georgiades noted for example that Logothetis is currently working on a new film, ‘Gunner,’ starring Luke Hemsworth and Morgan Freeman. The movie, shot in Alabama, United States, could have been filmed in Cyprus.
“Such productions would have undoubtedly attracted substantial attention, created jobs, and stimulated the local economy,” Georgiades said.