After a troubled production, Xenia makes it to the Cannes line-up
by Joseph Proimakis
- Panos H Koutras’ follow-up to festival sensation A Woman’s Way will screen in the UCR section, after having spent months in funding limbo
Following up on his Berlinale-screened A Woman’s Way [+see also:
film profile], Panos H Koutras will be attending the Cannes International Film Festival as a UCR competitor with Xenia [+see also:
interview: Panos H. Koutras
film profile], his fourth and most troubled film to date. Following a couple of young brothers trekking through Greece in search of their estranged Greek father after the loss of their Albanian mother, the film is a coming-of-age road movie with elements of social commentary focused on the country’s immigration issues.
“The film’s participation in Cannes is a joyful moment in the long and difficult course of Xenia’s production, which was faced with the cruel realities of our times, in addition to the difficulties inherent in co-productions. Hopefully, this remarkable event will mark the beginning of the end of all the hardships the film has had to deal with,” noted Koutras in a public statement released immediately after the Cannes Film Festival revealed its Official Selection.
Koutras was referring to the production facing a standstill earlier this year, when his co-production plans were on the verge of falling apart. One of the many victims of the Greek government’s decision to abruptly dismantle national broadcaster ERT SA, which was also the country’s major funder for local film endeavours, Xenia found itself in limbo, with the Ministry of Finance failing to follow through on ERT’s monetary obligations, thus endangering the film’s European funding (see news).
“Funding by EURIMAGES is now at stake, cash flow by French banking entity Cofiloisirs has been blocked, post-production is at a standstill, international film-festival deadlines are sweeping by, and employees are preparing legal action against the production,” Koutras had said at the time.
With international sales being handled by Pyramide Distribution, Xenia will be Greece’s first film to be screened at the UCR since Yorgos Lanthimos won the section with Dogtooth [+see also:
interview: Yorgos Lanthimos
film profile] and is set for a French release on 18 June.
The film is produced by 100% Synthetic Films and Wrong Men for Greece, while MPM Film, Entre Chien et Loup, Arte France Cinéma, Greek Film Center, NERIT SA and Nova are co-producing. Arte France is participating, in addition to World Cinema Support by the CNC and the Institut Français, with the support of EURIMAGES, MEDIA, the Brussels Film Center and Formovies.