Country Focus: Greece
Guilds Association attacks Hellenic Film Academy
by Joseph Proimakis
23/12/2009 - A vicious attack against the Hellenic Film Academy (HFA) was staged yesterday by the Association of Film Guilds, claiming the Academy is merely part of a greater conspiracy, set in motion to remove guilds from talks with the State on the present and future state of cinema in Greece.
Mainly headed by the Hellenic Union of Composers and Songwriters and the Greek Directors’ Guild, the Guilds’ Association was formed in 2007 by representatives from most of the country’s film guilds, in order to become the State’s main collaborator in forming the much-demanded new film law.
However, chunks of the association fell appart at various stages, mostly for reasons to do with the ill representation the Association’s heads offered.
Citing parts of the HFA’s bill of regulations, which refer to the Academy’s aim to become the local film industry’s main voice, the Guilds’ Association exhibited symptoms of a panic attack by launching accusations that the Academy’s founding members are nothing but puppets, playing their part to deliver full and total control over the country’s cinematic expression, to local producers and distributors.
The current president of the Greek Film Center (GFC), Yorgos Papalios, was named one of the master puppeteers, allegedly orchestrating events by selectively granting state funding to filmmakers who would later return the favor and help him secure GFC presidency for another term – a prospect the Guilds’ Association has been desperately trying to prevent.
This current attack is the latest in a series of hostilities the Association has commenced against the GFC’s current administration, consistently trying to sabotage Mr Papalios’ influence over the youngest generation of filmmakers. The Association’s views that he is manipulating filmmakers for his own personal gain – echoed by those who are trying to shape a more capitalistic, producer-friendly film industry – were first voiced a few months back, when Mr Papalios was accused of setting up the FoG movement.