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Greek producers launch Heretic

EXCLUSIVE: Greek producers Giorgos Karnavas [pictured] and Kontantinos Kontovrakis have joined forces to set up new director-driven production company Heretic, which will focus on “unconventional stories”.

The pair previously worked together on Wasted Youth (Rotterdam’s 2009 opener) and Boy Eating The Bird’s Food, which showed at more than 50 festivals.

The Athens-based outfit is launching with a slate led by Wasted Youth director Argyris Papadimitropoulos’ new film A Hungry Mouth, which is a co-production with France’s Kinoelectron and Netherlands-based CTM Lev Pictures. The film, about a young man who uses dog-training techniques on an upper class couple, will shoot in January with a budget of Euros 970,000.

Elina Psykou (The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskievas) will direct Ivo & Sofia, a cross-cultural family drama to shoot in September 2014. It will be a co-production with Georgia and Germany and is also described as a “violent coming of age story.” It’s budget will be Euros 690,000.

Also on the slate is Siamak Etemadi’s debut feature Pari, about an Iranian woman looking for her missing son in Athens. That is being developed as part of the Torino Film Lab. It is likely to shoot in December 2014 on a budget of Euros 600,000.

Several documentaries are also in the works: Vassilis Katsoupis’s My Friend Larry Gus, about a musician and his artistic process; Manu Gerosa & Salva Munoz’s Aunty, about a story of family secrets; and Elina Psykou’s To Live And Die In Europe, about EU citizens crossing borders for life and death needs.

“The time was right to start building something on our own,” Kontrovrakis said of the new company. The partners complement each other as Kontovrakis, who splits his time between Amsterdam and Athens, has experinece on the festival circuit and Karnavas comes from the worlds of events, music and advertising. “We’re kind of different but also kind of the same,” Karnavas says of their shared sensibilities.

They also plan to concentrate on marketing films from pre-production through to release and identifying an audience (whether niche or large) from development. But it’s the director’s vision that will always be supported. “It all starts from the director,” Karavas said.

Kontovrakis added: “Each film has its own little world, and you’ll find your place in the market.”

Heretic is also working with several partners to launch the Athens Coproduction Hub, which will offer co-production incentives and post-producution support for international projects shooting in Greece.

The company is also working on conccerts and theatre work, but film will be its main international push.

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