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Athens Shuts Down for Antetokounmpo Movie Filming

Antetokounmpo movie
The filming of the Antetokounmpo movie meant that one of the largest squares of Athens was completely closed on Wednesday. Credit: Greek Reporter.

The filming of a Disney+ movie about Giannis Antetokounmpo meant the complete closure of Monastiraki Square, in downtown Athens, on Wednesday.

The biopic, with the working title of “Greek Freak,” filmed scenes in the hot Athenian sun in order to accurately portray the city in which Antetokounmpo grew up.

Antetokounmpo movie shuts down central Athens

Antetokounmpo movie
The usually bustling Monastiraki Square as seen from above, eerily empty for the filming of a biopic about the life of Giannis Antetokounmpo. Credit: Greek Reporter.

The filming taking place on Wednesday was fairly disruptive as it took over one of the busiest squares of Athens to get usable shots.

Many shops, restaurants and cafes had to shut their doors for the day as customers were not able to access them. The area around Monastiraki was secured by barriers to make sure that no one could make their way onto the film set.

Antetokounmpo movie
A security guard was positioned near the barriers of the film set to stop people from entering the filming area. Credit: Greek Reporter.

Additionally, security guards were employed to make sure that people did not approach or make their way over barriers.

Monastiraki is an area in downtown Athens with a dedicated metro station that exits on to the main square, used for filming today.

Antetokounmpo movie
“Extras” take a break during the shooting. Credit: Greek Reporter

The Improbable Life of Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Greek basketball player has brought an immense amount of pride to Greece for both his incredible athletic performance and his humble, gracious personality. The 27-year-old Antentokounmpo has quickly risen through the ranks of the NBA, and both in 2019 and in 2020 he was named the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP).

Antentokounmpo was born to Nigerian immigrants who had illegally immigrated to Athens in 1994, but he was not technically considered a Greek citizen until he turned 18. However, the basketball phenom is immensely proud to be Greek and often speaks of his love for his home country.

“Greek Freak” film

At the moment, it appears that the feature film will portray Giannis Antetokounmpo’s early life and experiences in Greece as well as the flourishing of his basketball career.

The working title of the movie for the Disney+ project is “Greek Freak,” Antetokounmpo’s fond nickname in the press.

Former Disney executive Bernie Goldman produced the script for the film, which was written by Arash Amel (“A Private War”). Goldman was also the producer of the recent, hugely successful movie about Greek history called “300.”

Much of the shooting about Antetokounmpo’s life will take place in Greece and also in the United States.

The company ”Faliro House Production” has said that they will use settings in Athens, the Peloponnese, and the Greek region of Sterea Ellada in the biopic.

Recently, Greek authorities also approved a subsidy that will be offered to the company to support its efforts to create the film.

To expand on this, the company will benefit from a total of 6.5 million euros in cash rebates, according to a 2017 Greek law that aims to turn the country into a movie production hub by offering tax and financial incentives to companies that choose Greece for their films.

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