25,000 square meters Rome in Hammamet
In the proximity of the Tunisian bathing resort Hammamet stands an enormous reproduction of ancient Rome. With forum, temples, Kloaken and brothel, a whole dozen of television films about Roman emperors will develop there. Over the street corners motorcycles with yellow or green vegetable crates on the rear seat rattle loudly. Every few hundred meters there's a tea house with ice-cold neon light, dozens of noisy television sets adjusted by young men with cigarettes in hand and . Everyday life in the herbstlichen Hammamet, the perhaps most well-known Tunisian beach resort . Now mainly pensioners stroll along the calm Flaniermeile to the old Medina, a fortress with mosque and Souvenirshops.The usual picture of the city, approximately one hour by car from the capital Tunis, has changed for over one year by a different perspective. In the five-national-star hotel, actors and television producers from different countries reside. At present the Scot Hans Matheson sits in the beach restaurant and swots the text for its role as Nero, while in the background older ladies Mokka schluerfen.
Rome lies in Tunisia
Because in Tunisia TV producer turns Jan Mojto, for one and a half years manager of the former Medienmogul Leo Kirch and since then independently, six episodes about the Roman Imperium for a total value from 80 to 90 million euro. That means 13 million euro per episode. In the center of stories naturally the Roman Imperatoren is located. Already in January 2004,the German station ZDF will broadcast the first episode: "The father of the Emperors" is a film about the emperor Augustus. "Nero" is still filming, and will be seen one year later
The actual Imperator behind the scenes is however Jan Mojto. The native Slovakian, who set off 1969 to West Germany, pulls the strings like no-one else in the industry. The 54-year old, lacking funding from France, found Italian and German co-production partners to buy into the project so at least to 80 per cent was pre-financed. Mojto obtained the remainder by further foreign sales of its productions. Experts know thatif Mojto, the always friendly man with the unmistakable accent, can't weld the foreign companies together, then no-one can.
Owing to their initiative 15 minute before the gates of Hammamet's a 22,500 square meter large ancient Rome with senate, forum Romanum, speaker grandstand, the Dioskurentempel and other splendid buildings from the bloom time of the antique world has been developed. All buildings are around a third smaller than the originals and instead of being from marble are constructed from polystyrene.
They have thought of everything
Beside the well-known buildings of state, they have also developed here an armoury, latrines and a brothel, in which a sign says the Roman saying "Hic habitat Felicitas" (the luck lives here) . One year ago a genuine fire even raged in "Rome town center", similar to that planned for Nero. Also an eddy already caused damages. The Tunisian people employed finally sacrificed a cow, so that this calamity does not repeat itself. The artificial city in a natural has cost 15 million euro lowers beside Dattelanpflanzungen and olivenbaeumen cost.
For telephoning Mojto and his men must sometimes leave the valley, because the cellphones do not function there down. The technical restriction is an advantage for Director of Photograph Fabrizio Castellani - thus the many scenes are not interrupted by ringing phones. Castellani has his actors well in his grasp. He is loud and controls simple, clear gestures. Perhaps also the baseball bat in his hand provides respect , even if this serves only as write surface for autographs.
Carsten Rave, dpa