Industry – Greece
Country Focus: Greek debuts show dire need for co-productions
Greek Directors’ Guild takes aim at the Hellenic Film Academy
by Joseph Proimakis
- The guild headed by Harris Papadopoulos backs him for the Greek Film Centre’s chair, while the indie producers’ union cries foul play
While the Thessaloniki International Film Festival is in full swing, presenting international audiences with the widest selection of Greek movies in years, the local film industry is still abuzz with internal affairs.
Shortly after the Hellenic Film Academy took a pop at the Greek Film Centre’s governing board, citing a coup within the state’s main film-funding institution (see news), the Greek Directors’ Guild has struck back by releasing a statement backing its president, Harris Papadopoulos, as a valid candidate for the GFC director’s chair.
“The GDG expresses its sorrow over the intervention of a small group of people self-appointed as the Hellenic Film Academy,” begins the guild’s statement released on Tuesday, taking issue with the difficulties that the HFA has experienced in expanding its membership over its four years of existence. The GDG dismisses the HFA’s statement as “brutal, unethical and suspect”, and goes on to detail Papadopoulos’ “three decades of selflessly serving Greek cinema”.
Moreover, responding to the HFA’s remarks concerning Papadopoulos’ small majority of four votes in favour over three against, the GDG rightly notes that “unanimity is not required” by GFC regulations during the election process, adding that whatever the results, the Minister has no option but to validate the board’s decision. “As stated by the law, the Minister is bound by the GFC board’s suggestion,” the statement goes on, concluding: “The board has legally decided on and voted for Harris Papadopoulos, whom the Minister is now bound to appoint.”
Meanwhile, the local independent audiovisual producers’ union, SAPOE, also released a statement on Tuesday, demanding the GFC board to immediately explain “why current director Grigoris Karantinakis was deemed unsuited to maintain his position”. The statement goes on to reference controversial remarks made by GFC board member and vociferous Papadopoulos supporter Yiannis Glezos, and SAPOE concludes by wondering whether “the handing of [national broadcaster] ERT productions to certain GDG members was regarded as proof of administrative capabilities”.
However, SAPOE’s remarks carry less weight owing to the fact that they do not actually name any implied favoured GDG members.
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