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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 20 July 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 20 JULY 2019 19 FILM Screen Australia responds CON STAMOCOSTAS S Alex, a Greek Orthodox schoolteacher, falls for Lebanese Muslim lawyer, Eve. creen Australia, the Federal Government's key funding body Greek Australian actor Chris Argourissis on the set of ‘Me and My Left Brain’. about a zeitgeist and at the moment there is more energy about the possibility of more Asian and African stories." Kokkinos also believes that the market has waned because the wider population has become comfortable with how Greek Australians have melded into society now that "we've had a degree of assimilation". "We still make good cakes and coffee I suppose. But in the arts we seem to have seen a drop-off in creative activity," she said. "When we made 'Head On' we created a wave of enthusiasm about our culture and it was hot to be Greek at that time." Meanwhile theatre actor Chris Argiroussis who recently appeared in Alex Lykos' latest film 'Me and My Left Brain' feels that Greeks aren't out of fashion but that their collective experiences have changed since being 'Wogs out of Work.' "I refuse to say that Greeks aren't cool," he told Neos Kosmos. "Greek Australians have a different kind of cool now, we've moved on from the comedy that came in the 80's and 90's. When I started doing Greek Australian theatre there were a lot of stories dealing with our parents and multiculturalism but now that isn't relevant. This new film by Alex Lykos makes comments about today's society - trying to fit into the expectations that are placed on you; we aren't dwelling on Greekness anymore." for the Australian screen production industry found that Greek and Italians were significantly underrepresented on film. Its 2016 'Seeing Ourselves' study showed that six per cent of characters on our screens were identified as from European backgrounds despite making up 12 per cent of the population. The body revealed that attempts have been made to increase European representation on Australian TV following the study that looked at diversity on the nation's screens. The study "sought to empower the industry with data that could instigate change," wrote a Screen Australia spokesperson to Neos Kosmos. "The industry came together to form the Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network and signed onto a Charter to improve representation behind and in front of the camera. "Screen Australia has Andrea Demetriades. PHOTO: SUPPLIED created initiatives that include Developing the Developer, an intensive workshop aimed at increasing the pool of experts in the field of story development with a focus on increasing the diversity of screen stories being told. Another initiative Screen Australia spearheaded is an AFTRS Talent Camp for emerging creatives from diverse backgrounds to get their ideas production ready and we hope that it will lead to seeing more diverse and distinctive stories on our screens. "Most significantly, Screen Australia changed its entire development funding process in July 2018 to make it easier for emerging creators to obtain funding and to increase online and television development. Already we're seeing new creators being funded for the first time through the Generate development fund, and we're confident that will only increase as people become more aware of the opportunities available." In 2017 Greek Cypriot Australian Elena Carapetis was one of the recipients of the seeing ourselves developing the developer workshop. While she was unable to take up an industry placement due to commitments with State Theatre South Australia, she's set to star in upcoming SBS drama 'The Hunting' which was also co-directed by Greek Australian Ana Kokkinos. There aren’t enough films for kids in SE Europe. Family-friendly films are hard to find Children’s films scarce in South East Europe, finds Thessaloniki International Film Festival study T he Thessaloniki International Film Festival conducted a large-scale study into children's cinema in Southeast Europe. The study, titled 'Films for Kids in Southeast Europe: The State of Play', focuses on data and information from 12 countries exploring issues such as the number of films produced, how many of them reach local cinemas and which directors are actually involved in cinema for youngsters. Producer and consultant Eleni Chandrinou is gathering evidence from Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. Already, results show that output is low as only 17 of the 1,088 films produced in the region from 2012-2017 were billed as family movies suitable for a younger audience. Only Greece and Slovenia have schemes funding such productions. For instance, the Greek Film Centre earmarked 20 per cent of its annual budget to such films, however only one application for funding was made since it became available. The results were in stark contrast to the situation in Germany and the Netherlands where the children's film industry is flourishing, and this is reflected in the number of productions made. "The study started from the impression that not that many children's films are being produced in Southeast Europe. So we wanted to see if that was true or not, and why. Unfortunately, what we found, based on numbers, turned out to be far worse than our original impression. This is a crucial problem, regardless of which point of view you look at it from, since the movies that children watch can affect both their perception of the world and their taste. Then, children's films are usually successful commercially, so what is the reason for them not being produced locally?" said Chandrinou. The Thessaloniki International Film Festival hopes to educate children in the field of cinema through a special screening programme, titled Kids Love Cinema, as well as other educational activities. "Our experience in the field of the film industry, coupled with our profound interest in younger audiences, led us to investigate the scarcity of children's films being produced in Southeast Europe. The study is the first of its kind, at least to our knowledge. It started in the summer of 2018, in an effort to understand the landscape of film production for children and young audiences (of between six and 12 years old) in Southeast Europe," said Elise Jalladeau, the festival's general director. The study gathered evidence from national film centres, the European Audiovisual Observatory and other areas.
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