Film producer George Papalios has been appointed tolead the state-subsidised Greek Film Centre (GFC), replacing novelist and screenwriter ThanassisValtinos.

The GFCplays a key role in the Greek industry making funds available for development,co-production and promotion.

Papalios isa businessman and producer who during the 70s and early 80s personally financeda number of important films of the New Greek Cinema movement.

Among themwere projects by Theo Angelopoulos projects such as The Travelling Players and Days of 36.

Papalios wasappointed by culture minister, Georges Voulgarakis, who took up his postrecently following a reshuffle.

Theminister has much bridge building to do. The previous deputy minister ofculture in charge of cinema, Petros Tatoulis, alienated much of the industry byfailing to release funds and hepresented a unpopular draft of a new film law.

Theappointment of Papalios is seen as a step in the right direction and has receiveda positive reaction from film-related unions and film-makers.

Talking to ScreenDaily, Papalios said: "I accepted the post after having receivedthe minister's assurance that the cash flow to the GFC subsidy will bere-established."

Voulgarakisstressed, in a statement to the press, that "the subsidy itself, will even be increased."

The annualsubsidy actually stands at around $15m (Euros 12m).

TheValtinos administration received only $5.6m (Euros 4.5m) during the wholeof 2005.