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Society

At Thessaloniki Film Festival, Mitsotakis Lauds Greece Movie Industry

THESSALONIKI – With Greece’s next wave of filmmakers picking up more international attention for their experimental and innovative styles, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis applauded their success, speaking at the 63d Thessaloniki International Film Festival (TIFF) in the country’s second-largest city.

He said the sector now employs more than 100,000 people after Greece for years was seen as indifferent or even obstructing foreign producers and directors, including from Hollywood, from shooting in the country.

He spoke at the Agora Series segment at TIFF said the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency AMNA and said that some 200 film productions were carried out in Greece in 2021, including more than 20 for US films and TV series.

This year’s Cannes Film Festival Palme D’Or winning film, Triangle of Sadness, was co-produced by Heretic, a Greek production company, while a large portion of the film was filmed on Evia island.

Mitsotakis highlighted the three key aspects of the government’s policy on supporting the country’s film industry, topped by tax incentives that include a 40 percent cash rebate and a 30 percent tax rebate, both for eligible expenses for productions on Greek territory, the report said.

He said there is more support for filmmakers through building soundstages with interest growing in and around Thessaloniki and that there’s been upgrading of the the skills of tech-crew professionals for production.

“We are moving towards a simpler, more efficient regulatory framework” which includes “a more simplified licensing process, the development of a network of film offices in several regions, and the reform of the industry’s institutional framework,” he also said of state aid.

The Agora Series is a newly established section launched at the 63rd TIFF, aiming to set up a network of communication with sector professionals that create series for TV networks and Over-the-Top media (OTT) streaming platforms.

Attending were Ferdinand Donna and Peter Nadermann (DEU), Sam Hoyle (Sky Studios), Richard Pomera (N9ne Studio), Veronica Vitali (Netflix), Boban Jevtic (Firefly Productions) and Julien Leroux (Paper Entertainment).

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