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Giorgos Karnavas

Producers on the Move 2013 – Grèce


- Le très polyvalent Giorgos Karnavas, fort du prix du meilleur film remporté aux Trophées du cinéma hellénique, représentera la Grèce parmi les producteurs émergents réunis à Cannes

Giorgos Karnavas

Cet article est disponible en anglais.

A multifaceted producer, Giorgos Karnavas got into the business more than 15 years ago and made his way to the top of local videoclips, commercial, TV and movie powerhouse Stefi Productions while setting up Synch Festival, one of the most progressive and coveted music events Greek music-lovers and industries had seen in years. The country’s financial woes may have pushed him to lower his bottom lines, but not his artistic vision, which not only saw him through the production of international sensation Wasted Youth (2011), but got him all the way to the top of local accolades a few weeks back, when his Ektoras Lygizos-directed Boy Eating the Bird’s Food won Best Film at the Hellenic Film Academy Awards.

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Cineuropa: A triumph of the ultra-indies, Boy Eating the Bird's Food capped its international festival run with top honours at the Hellenic Film Academy Awards. Does that make the Producers on the Move event even more promising?
Giorgos Karnavas: Well, maybe. The thing is that what we do is based on human relations and finding the right international partners for you and your projects, so I consider PoM as a very good opportunity for this.

Your win makes you an HFA member, how do you aim to help steer the Academy towards being more effective for local producers with cross-border goals?
I haven’t thought about it to be honest. I really liked what the academy did this year with the Riding the Greek Wave conference and the Film Factory and I think this is the way to go on the international and knowledge-sharing level. I would also like to see the HFA help build an audience in Greece, a very difficult task, but very important. Actually, we all need to do something about it, not just because it is essential to have a market, but also because culture is the only real way out of this shitty situation we are in. Cinema is important.

Has Greece's striving economy lowered costs enough to make co-productions more enticing to foreign investors, or is its volatility too much of a turn-off?
I don’t think it is a matter of low costs but rather directing and storytelling talents and relevant subjects. This is what has changed over recent years. I have been in many co-production markets recently, and the way foreign producers and financiers are looking at Greek professionals has changed dramatically. There is satisfaction that they can relate to and people they can communicate with, so I strongly believe we are building a new way of producing, compared to a few years ago. However, we need to stabilize our national funding as well, as nothing can really move forward without it.

Having built one of Greece's top annual music events from the ground up, do you sense there might be a similar gap in the film-events scene?
I think Greece has a very good festival events scene, both in features and documentaries, given the size of the country. However, there is room for smaller, more targeted events and this is something that really interests me. I am working on some ideas right now.

What else are you up to?
Many things; I am setting up my new company with my friend Konstantinos Kontovrakis, with whom I have worked on all my projects so far and which we will launch in Cannes. It is going to be a creative company basically doing films and music events, but also very open to produce anything from performing arts to viral content. Project-wise, I am about to release two films in Greece (Boy… and The Eternal Return), post-producing a music documentary (on my friend Larry Gus) and financing Argyris PapadimitropoulosHungry Mouth, as well as Elina Psykoy’s Ivo & Sofia.


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