Greek Film Center in administrative turmoil
by Joseph Proimakis
- Following the GFC’s sudden dismissal of Eurimages rep Alexis Grivas, the new Culture Minister has demanded the board members’ resignations, which the vice-president has rejected
While major political developments have meant that local cultural politics have been put on the back burner recently, the Greek Film Center’s long-standing loose ends are tying themselves into an inextricable knot, which the newly appointed Deputy Culture Minister, Nikos Xydakis, has decided to run a blade through.
Having remained completely leaderless since mid-January, when GFC director Grigoris Karantinakis’ extended term ended and board president Petros Markaris resigned shortly after, the GFC has reached yet another deadlock.
The institution’s modern-day Greek drama was kicked off when board elections for Karantinakis’ successor caused a civil war within the GFC board: president-elect Harris Papadopoulos, the long-time reigning head of the Greek Directors’ Guild, was never appointed, due to board member Yiannis Glezos’ impeachment of the election process.
In what was an unforeseen plot twist, Glezos, long regarded as Papadopoulos’ right-hand man, turned on the GDG president by labelling his candidacy as irregular. The Culture Minister at the time, Konstantinos Tasoulas, immediately withdrew Papadopoulos’ appointment, thus leaving the GFC’s administration in limbo.
The general elections in Greece meant that the much-needed state intervention was delayed, thus leaving the GFC to be run by board vice-president Nikos Sekeris as the head of a dismembered board, with the head of the GFC’s accounting department, Antonis Kamkoutis, as acting general director. Their first decision was to dismiss the well-regarded local Eurimages representative, Alexis Grivas, late last week.
This dubious act provoked an immediate reaction from Deputy Culture Minister Nikos Xydakis, who demanded the board’s resignations on Monday. Yet, never one to disappoint a drama-loving audience, board vice-president Sekeris rejected the Minister’s call via an open letter peppered with nebulous allusions to junta-like decisions, thus reinstating the GFC battleground as fertile soil for an unpredictable dramedy.