Greek cinema excelled at Cannes International Film Festival, with Greek productions and co-productions winning distinctions and great reviews in the international press that spoke of a “Greek cinema phenomenon”, acknowledging the results of the joint effort and strategic planning of the film institutions working for the development of audiovisual productions in Greece.
The film “The Triangle of Sorrow” by Ruben Östlund that won the Palme d’Or, making us all very proud, was shoot with the Greek company “Heretic” as co-producer, and filmed in the island of Evia in 2020, marking the restart of Greek production in a time of pandemic. The highly successful representation of Greece at the 75th Cannes International Film Festival and the Marché du Film (17-25 May 2022) was strategically based in the joint Pavilion of the Greek Film Center and EKOME, which hosted the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, ERT (Hellenic Public Broadcaster) and the representatives of the Film Offices of Athens, Central Macedonia, the Ionian Islands and Epirus.The members of the Greek delegation had significant meetings with professionals of the international audiovisual field, to whom they presented the investment incentives (cash rebate 40% and tax relief 30%), the recently passed legislation that ensures faster audit procedures for the completion of investment projects through a flexible and transparent framework, as well as the National Network of Audiovisual Production Facilitation Offices – Film Offices.
Greek productions and co-productions in Cannes
The four films that have been included in the cash rebate program of EKOME and participated in the Competition and the individual sections of the Festival had a great impact.
Apart from the gold winner of the event, the “Triangle of Sadness”, which has been included in the cash rebate program, David Cronenberg’s film “Crimes of the Future” co-produced by Argonauts Productions, and filmed in Athens, made a special impression among audiences and critics.
The world premiere of Panos Koutras’ film “Dodo”, co-produced by 100% Synthetic Films, was successfully held in the Cannes Premiere section, in the presence of Greek actors and crew. The film made an impression on audience and critics and festival artistic director Thierry Fremont said it could have been part of the official competition section.
Cédric Jimenez’ film “Novembre”, with “Blonde” as executive producer, was screened outside the competition section.
In addition to the productions supported by the Greek cash rebate, Greece was represented in Cannes by two more works. The short film “On Xerxes’ throne ” by Evi Kalogiropoulou stood out in the “Semaine de la Critique” competition program, winning the Canal+ award, while the film “Burning Days” by Emin Alper, which was supported by the Greek Fillm Centre as part of the Minority Program, was screened in the section “Un certain regard”.
With an eye on Greece
The financial motives, the wonderful locations, and the safety conditions they experienced throughout filming in Greece, were the main points made by the directors to the Press, on the screening of their films in Cannes.
Ruben Östlund spoke warmly about his experience of filming in Greece, pointing out the contribution of the locals to the creation of the film, as well as the fact that the proposal for the filming location came from “Heretic”.
David Cronenberg described Greece as an attractive destination for the realization of films, stressing that the financial incentives, Athens with its atmosphere that suited his artistic vision, and the Greek professionals paved the way for the production. He also highlighted the climate of understanding and cooperation between Greek and Canadian crews.
The article of the Hollywood Reporter magazine by the title “Greek cinema is having a moment in Cannes” underlines the dynamic representation of Greece in Cannes this year, with five films in the lineup, with this development being considered because of the arduous effort of recent years.
In the article of the “Makers” magazine entitled “Greece, endless possibilities” there is an extensive presentation of the comparative advantages of Greece for filming. “Variety” magazine also hosted interviews with the creators before and during the Cannes Film Festival.
Indicative of the dynamics of Greece in the field of audiovisual productions was also the cover of the magazine “Screen” which was released in white and blue color with the word “Cinema” in Greek.
Thessaloniki Goes to Cannes
In the framework of the “Thessaloniki Goes to Cannes” action, Thessaloniki International Film Festival and the Greek Film Centre presented 5 works in progress to film professionals, strengthening the extroversion of Greek cinema. These are the fiction films: “Guest Star” by Vassilis Christofilakis, “New Continent” by Pantelis Pagoulatos and “Octopus Skin” by Ana Cristina Barragan Carrion, as well as the documentaries: “Panellinion” by Spyros Mantzavinos/ Kostas Antarahas and “lesvia: the herstory of Eressos” by Tzeli Hadjidimitriou.
Having already reaped the fruits of a very successful year (2021), EKOME continues to work for the development of Greek cinema and the production of audiovisual content in Greece, aiming at the emergence of our country as an ideal destination for online production in Europe.