Alexandra Boussiou • Wrong Men
by Joseph Proimakis
02/05/2012 - Born and raised in Athens during the VHS era, Alexandra Boussiou developed a fondness for as wide a range of films as her local video stores could offer. She started working in film production in 2006 on such films as Alexis Alexiou's break-out sci-fi drama Tale 52 and Yorgos Noussia's zombie sequel Evil: In the Time of Heroes. She founded Wrong Men in 2009 and trained in film producing at EAVE in 2010, while setting up her company's first film: Filippos Tsitos’ award-winning Unfair World. She is currently doing a Master’s in Transmedia and developing Panos H. Koutras Xenia and Tsitos’ next feature, Receptions.
Cineuropa: What's it like to go awards-hunting with your company's debut feature?
Alexandra Boussiou: It was tough but at the same time it was probably the best conditions one could wish for. I had not only very dedicated partners, like our agent, Films Boutique, but also experienced and caring friends like Benoit Roland from Entre Chien et Loup, our executive producer, and priceless advice from the French company MPM. The director’s full trust was also immensely helpful. It was very stressful at times, but that goes with the territory.
Is there much else right now feeding a Greek film producer's urge to work, other than international acclaim?
International acclaim is a risky business. You have to like the job itself, which means the entire process: developing, shooting, building a functional production and promoting the film. If you are only producing a film for the huge festival with the huge award you are probably going to get immensely bored in the process – and likely immensely disappointed.
Have international awards made things better internally in any way?
In some sense I think that they have revitalized the industry. Even though our financial situation has been unstable, everybody feels the effort was not in vain. Some parts of the small national industry are now more organized. Also, understanding that extroversion helps our films get made, is also a very new and refreshing idea.
Has the recent toxic climate in Greece affected foreign co-producers' trust in Greek partners?
Although the crisis coincided with this ‘spring’ in Greek cinema, it was not badly affected. On the contrary, the new generation of producers now travels, communicates and builds relationships with potential partners even more. It is a personal business in which people have to trust you, spend time with you, learn with you and contribute in many ways. When things go well, chances are that you will meet and work again with the same people. Also, the new director of the Greek Film Center, seems to understand the necessity of helping us work as minor co-producers in other European productions, which was previously an alien concept.
How do you hope the ‘Producers' on the Move’ initiative is going to help your future production plans?
It is very important to be in contact with active producers who have an international scope, to know their projects and their ideas for the future. For example, I am very interested in following how we can work in this very powerful, new world of Transmedia in relation to cinema as we knew it. It is also essential to communicate that Greece is making a strong effort to be very present in international co-productions in the years to come. As for my own projects, I am very optimistic. My drive is the stories and the people I work with. This is what inspires me and I am pretty confident that it cannot but inspire some other people out there as well.
Producers on the move is an initiative of the EUROPEAN FILM PROMOTION