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LEGISLATION Greece

New film law proposal made public

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New film law proposal made public

Putting an end to a six-year wait, Greek Minister of Culture Pavlos Yeroulanos presented the much-anticipated new film law proposal to the cabinet of ministers Monday, and the text is being presented for public debate today.

The proposed law – parts of which were was leaked to newspapers over the last few weeks – has caused quite a stir in the local film industry, who argue with the minister’s decision to throw elected members out of the Board of Directors of the Greek Film Center (GFC), and replace them with personalities of his own choosing, should the new law be passed.

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The GFC held its board election in July, noting a drastic change in direction. Representatives of guilds vocally opposed to previous GFC president Yorgos Papalios made it into the board in majority, thus setting a reign of insecurity within the organization. However, Papalios was supported by Minister Yeroulanos, who renewed his term temporarily, granting him continuation of power over the GFC until the new film law changes the rules – both of conduct and conflict. According to the new law, a General Manager appointed by the Minister will also be introduced.

The GFC’s status quo is not the only thing to be affected by the new law. An attempt is being made to rationalize operations of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival (TIFF), its various branches and familial organizations. The TIFF, the Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival (TIDF), the Thessaloniki Film Museum and the Thessaloniki Film Commission are being introduced as separate entities under the managerial umbrella of the Thessaloniki Film Festival company. In effect, exclusivity clauses contained in the restructuring will force current director of both the TIFF and the TIDF, Dimitri Eipides, to resign from one of his two posts if he is not appointed General Manager of the TFF.

Moreover, the privately founded and funded Greek Film Archive, currently in grave financial trouble, will apparently not be supported by the state, as the Ministry introduces film archiving authorities to the Hellenic National Audiovisual Archive.

No mention is being made, however, as to how the Ministry will proceed in handling delicate subjects like the State Awards (which did spawn the Filmmakers of Greece movement and its members’ boycott of last year’s TIFF), or the newfound Hellenic Film Academy and its propriety on selecting the country’s annual submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominations.

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