Country Focus: Greece
Acclaimed writer Petros Markaris to head Greek Film Center
by Joseph Proimakis
- After months of speculation, the Ministry of Culture and Sports has finally appointed a new president for the Greek Film Center (GFC), the institution having existed without a head since March. The seat vacated by Tony Lykouresis has been handed to acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Petros Markaris, who will be heading the newly minted Board of Directors set to replace the dismembered governing committee that was struggling to keep operations running under the guidance of GFC director Grigoris Karantinakis.
Multi-award-winning editing veteran Yorgos Mavropsaridis and industry newcomer Elpida Skindilia will be providing a fresh point of view to a board heavy on union representation. Dubbed by insiders as a right-hand man to Greek Directors’ Guild reigning president Harris Papadopoulos, Nikos Sekeris has been appointed as the GFC’s vice-president. TV director Giannis Diamantopoulos and set designer Bianca Nikolariziwill be board members along with the vociferous head of the Hellenic Union of Composers and Songwriters, Yiannis Glezos.
The new Board of Directors replaces what was left after the serial withdrawals of previous president Lykouressis and vice-president Phoebe Angelopoulos. Lykouresis, who was offered a renewed tenure after his term ended last March, opted to focus on setting up his next film project, for which he reportedly applied for GFC funding shortly after he stepped down from office. Lykouresis’ vice-president, Angelopoulos (surviving wife of the late Theo Angelopoulos), was offered the seat but turned it down, citing “institutional reasons”, possibly due to the awkwardness of having to decide on funding her predecessor’s project.
The new board’s appointment came just a few days after the Hellenic Film Academy issued a statement urging the Ministry to move forward with a decision, emphasising the GFC’s inability to function.