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Riding the Greek Wave’s sophomore year raises hope


- The Hellenic Film Academy’s two-day conference took pokes at pressing issues and brought out good news for local industry.

Riding the Greek Wave’s sophomore year raises hope

The event started on a high note on Saturday, with Giorgos Bramos, advisor to Public Radio and Television deputy-Minister Pantelis Kapsis, noting that the Ministry is determined to come through on former national broadcasting service ERT’s funding commitments.

Mr Bramos was referring to projects like Panos Koutras’ Xenia, which was approved for funding from ERT, but was placed on standstill by the government’s sudden decision to completely shut down all operations of ERT, thus also endangering deals with other partners such as Eurimages.

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Though local professionals’ reaction to the news was rather guarded, Eurimages director Roberto Olla was more reassuring. Mr Olla was quick to pick up the ball and commit to follow through on ERT coproductions, provided the government’s new broadcasting entity is fully operational in reasonable time.

Local hopes of international cooperation were further boosted by RGW guests Ed Guiney (Element Pictures), Titus Kreyenberg (Unafilm) and Guillaume de Seille (Arizona Productions), who reminded audiences that Greek film coproductions were a running reality, with new films by Yorgos Lanthimos (Lobster), Syllas Tzoymerkas (A Blast) and Angelos Frantzis (untitled) all in various stages of development.

Distribution models in the new economy were touched upon, with Ed Guiney noting that VOD platforms are currently viable ways to “open up the field for art-films whose audiences don’t live near an art-house cinema”, while Youtube Head of Partnerships Federica Tremolada presented the advantages of the world’s leading video platform.

On the other hand, Marie Pierre Macia (MPM Film) addressed the importance of festivals to bringing projects back to black, noting that “if you manage to make it into a big one but don’t get any sales done, at least the film may go around the fest market for a year, so screening fees can help it break even”.

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