Hollywood stars Andy Garcia and Sharon Stone jetted into Georgia to attend the local premiere on Sunday of a controversial new film about Russia's five-day war against Georgia in 2008.
In a move likely to reopen a dispute between the two countries about who started the war, the film, called 'Five Days of August,' casts Russia as the aggressor and its troops as ruthless war criminals.
But the film's makers insist it is a fair portrayal of what really happened.
"Of course it is not propaganda," said Mirza Davitai, a Georgian government minister and one of the film's producers.
"They based this movie on international reports from Human Rights Watch and the European Union." Directed by Renny Harlin, who also directed Die Hard 2, the film has Andy Garcia as Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, Rupert Friend as a US TV reporter who witnesses Russian atrocities, and Val Kilmer as a world-weary Dutch journalist.
Sharon Stone is not actually in the film but flew into Georgia to attend the premiere and to attend a charity auction afterwards.
The film sees the Rupert Friend character captured by a psychotic Russian colonel and a mercenary killer. President Saakashvili, who authorised the Georgian army to supply uniforms, weapons and armoured vehicles for the film, has mocked an earlier Russian film about the war that portrayed Georgia as the aggressor. "They couldn't get any major filmmaker to go for it - for obvious reasons," he quipped.
Andy Garcia, who played Mr Saakashvili in the new film, argued it had a less partisan message than was often alleged.
"It is an anti-war movie," he told reporters on Sunday. "We see the tragedies that arose so hopefully they won't happen again." Russian media seized on the manner of the director's arrival to suggest that Renny Harlin was far from objective however, reporting that he kissed the ground and called Georgia his "second home" after getting off the plane.
The brief war saw Russian forces pour into Georgia to repel Tbilisi's military attempt to retake the Kremlin-backed rebel region of South Ossetia.
Almost three years later, both countries continue to accuse the other of starting hostilities. A European Union report found fault on both sides blaming Georgia for "illegally" starting the war but lambasting Moscow for breaking international law by invading its neighbour in response.