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Greece allows Nia Vardalos film to shoot at Acropolis September 21, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life, Movies Life Greek.

Winnipeg comedian Nia Vardalos has been granted a rare permission from the Greek government to shoot a film on the ancient Acropolis.

The star and writer of My Big Fat Greek Wedding reportedly wrote Greek authorities seeking permission to shoot her new comedy, My Life in Ruins, at the site.

The Acropolis Hill, famous for its 5th-century BC marble temples where the Parthenon is, is Greece’s most popular ancient site and draws more than a million visitors annually.

“This film has a quality team and has secured a broad distribution network,” Culture Ministry secretary-general Christos Zachopoulos told state-run NET television Wednesday. “It will go to the ends of the earth and will be an advertisement for Greek culture.”

Vardalos plays a guide escorting tourists through the historic sites of Greece in the comedy, which begins shooting in October and will also feature the ancient sites of Epidauros and Delphi.

The government has been leery of granting permission to shoot on the site, fearing damage to the archeological ruins. It will be just the second feature film to include scenes in the Acropolis. The only previous film shoot to take place there was Francis Ford Coppola’s Life With Zoe, a segment of the 1989 movie New York Stories.

“Greece is making a great effort to bring foreign films here,” Zachopoulos said. “This will mean investment, jobs and international promotion.”

Vardalos burst onto the world stage when she turned her stage act into the independent film My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which grossed close to $400 million worldwide after its release in 2002. It remains the highest grossing independent comedy of all time.

A subsequent television show called My Big Fat Greek Life was cancelled in its first season, however, and her second film, Connie and Carla, faired poorly at the box office. Like her previous films, Tom Hanks is producing My Life in Ruins.

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