Match Factory head Michael Weber is to be co-producer and world sales agent on Greek auteur Yannis Economides’ as-yet-untitled next feature, which is set to start shooting early next year.
The German sales and co-production company is already active in Greece, handling world sales for films such as George Lanthimos’ Alps and Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Attenberg. Weber is set to also co-produce Tsangari’s next project, Duncharon.
Economides forms part of the wave of local auteurs hailed internationally. He has directed Matchbox (2003), Soul Kicking (Cannes Critics Week 2006) and Knifer (Busan and LA festivals 2010).
They all provide portraits of decaying social context through human relations and families.
He will direct his new film from a screenplay co-written with Thanos Xiros. The story follows a professional killer.
Weber joins as a co-producer alongside a team of local producers formed by Panagiotis Papahadzis, Christos Konstantakopoulos, Irene Souganidou, Tsangari and Economides.
They represent a selected group of local companies backing the €1.5m project. They include Faliro House Productions, Argonauts Productions and Feelgood Entertainment.
Christos Konstantakopoulos has a considerable number of international projects already under his belt.
Having worked as executive producer on Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter in 2011, he then got Faliro House involved in the co-production of projects as Bob Byington’s Somebody Up There Likes Me, Annemarie Jacir’s When I Saw You as well as Jim Jarmusch’s forthcoming Only Lovers Left Aside and Terrence Malick’s next two projects, set to shoot in 2013 - Knight of Cups and one as-yet-untitled project.
He recently wrapped Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, which was shot in Greece.
Konstantakopoulos has co-produced most of the recent hot local titles by Lanthimos, Tsangari and Economides’ Knifer.
Veteran Panayotis Papahadzis’ Argonauts Productions has a long and successful track record with local productions as well as in international co-productions — the latest being the omnibus film Do Not Forget Me Istanbul.
Papahadzis has produced Ekonomides’ two last features.
Since its launch in 2008, Feelgood Entertainment has become one of the most dynamic local distribution and co-production outlets.
Head Irene Souganidou handles the Sony and Disney slates in Greece and Cyprus and has a strong track record of distributing and coproducing hot Greek films including Yiannis Smaragdis’ Sony-backed epic God Loves Caviar.
Apart from co-producing, Feelgood will distribute Economides’ film in Greece and Cyprus.
The Match Factory deal represents a shot in the arm in the efforts of local filmmakers to capitalize on the recent international rise of interest in Greek-produced films.
The trend was the object of the well-attended two-day conference Riding the Greek Wave, organised by the Hellenic Film Academy with the backing of the Goethe Athens Institute and the Onassis Foundation.
Among the invited guests that participated in workshops and roundtables were Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick, Festival Scope co-founder Mathilde Henrot, Torino Film Lab director Savina Neirotti, Rotterdam programmer Bianca Taal, MEDIA programme head of unit Constantinos Daskalakis and French producer Marie-Pierre Macia.
Strand Releasing co-president Marcus Hu conducted a two-day workshop on the creation of trailers of Greek films to target foreign markets.