Independent film-maker Emil Miller is in the middle of a creative block and on top of that his wife has left him. So the invitation to a film festival in the newly independent Caucasian republic of Karastan is perfectly timed. That the country is a model dictatorship doesn’t bother the burnt-out director. He gladly accepts an offer from the president to make an epic film about a Karastanian folk hero from the Middle Ages. But shooting huge battles with several thousand extras soon starts to go wrong: first the leading actor disappears, then the president is toppled by a military junta. Welcome to Karastan is a highly amusing grotesque, whose outrageousness is occasionally reminiscent of Sasha Baron Cohen’s mockumentary Borat.
Apart from working as a director, Ben Hopkins (*1969) also writes novels and screenplays. He became known for his films Simon Magnus (1999) and The Nine Lives of Thomas Katz (2000). His film Welcome zu Karastan was shown at FILMFEST HAMBURG 014.
Welcome to Karastan
Germany, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, Georgia
OV with German subtitles
Ben Hopkins, Pawel Pawlikowski
Matthew MacFadyen, Noah Taylor, Myanna Buring, Richard van Weyden
Daniel Zuta, Vladimer Katcharava, Mike Downey, Sam Taylor, Artem Vasiliew