Director KyriakosKatzourakis and producer Costas Labropoulos make a perfect match.
The first, a well knownpainter, made a splash in 2003 with hisdebut docudrama The Way To The West.
His film, which was hailedas the "best ever" by local critics, stormed the Greek State Cinema awards,toured an impressive round of international festivals (Yamagata, Locarno,Tribeca, Montreal to name a few') and performed well at the local box office,not a lenient one with documentaries.
Lambropoulos has a brillianttrack record as the man behind such box office hits as Touch of Spiceand The Brides.
It was natural that theyshould come together for the second Katzourakis outing as a director.
The film, They Are In TheRight Because I Love Them, a socio-political drama inspired by Jean Genet's"Four Hours In Chatila", started shooting late November, boasting sometop actor and crew credits. All that for a modest budget of Euros 350,000.
So far, so good. However,the shooting was made possible only because cast and crew deferred payments andKatzourakis and Labropoulos jointly contributed 30% of the budget to allow forthe shooting to start.
The reason: The Greek FilmCentre (GFC), which greenlit the project and was to contribute Euros 290,000 tothe budget, has yet to deliver the funds.
Many other Greek film-makersare saying that they are being stymied by government cutbacks introduced afterthe Athens Olympics.
The territory's productionfund has awarded very few grants this year - It is backed by the CultureMinistry, which also funded the games. Meanwhile, the nine month-oldconservative government has failed to channel funds for the Euros 9m Greek FilmCentre 2004 budget.
The annual Thessaloniki filmfestival saw its budget slashed by Euros 600,000 to Euros 3.6m. The games werebudgeted at Euros 4.6bn, but eventuallycost over Euros 9m.
State funds drained by theOlympic Games is one reason. Another isthe lack of long term planningby the culture Ministry, both during this as well during the previous socialistgovernment, to secure a steady flow of funds to the GFC to match productioninitiatives by the private sector.
The case of theKatzourakis/Labropoulos venture is not an isolated one: many of the projectsin development last spring, set to rollearly autumn, are on hold. On top of that at least another seven films were notready on time to premiere at theNovember Thessaloniki Festival due tothe lack of GFC funds earmarked forpost-production.
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