Arte Focus on Greece

OBS – In one week, August 15, the French-German cultural channel arte dedicates a whole day of programming to Greece! The thematic day on arte is initiated and organised by the Strasbourg based arte commissioning editor Madeleine Avramoussis with the Greek journalist Dimitra Kouzi as the presentator. In documentary circles Avramoussis needs no further introduction and I have personally enjoyed her competence and energy in numerous workshops, and not only in Greece. Dimitra Kouzi has been one of the strong fighters for the good, creative documentary in Greece, through CineDoc, an initiative to show foreign documentaries, through her (former, well there are many great Greek tv people who are former) position at the national television ERT, and through her blog, see link below.

17 documentaries and 2 features with 10 premieres will be broadcast, made (mostly) by local independent companies and directors, productions often supported through co-production deals between arte and ERT.

As presentator Dimitra Kouzi takes the viewer through the day. She will introduce films and subjects, like geography (the islands of course), like the ”Food for Love” made by renowned director Marianna Economou about Greek mothers, who send packages of good food to their grown-up children abroad. I have seen material from this film and if it keeps what is promised, it will be great fun to watch – as well as giving Greek family culture information.

There will be a programme on Alexandre the Great and a premiere of a film by another ”international” Greek documentarian Kimon Tsakiris, who has made a road movie from the Wild West of Greece to lead us into the current life of the Greek. Yiannis Boutaris (photo) is the main character of a long, very well made documentary by Dimitris Athiridis, who followed the controversial, former wine merchant and his candidature to become mayor of Thessaloniki. He succeeds.

Just to mention some of the films offered in this lovely initiative to put focus on a country that has been given a lot of attention in these years of crisis. Here the people, the culture and not the economy and the riots in the streets of Athens are on the agenda. Those films on the crisis, and on politics will hopefully find their tv slots on another occasion.

Madeleine Avramoussis wrote to me: I hope that this Theme day comes at the right time to show how important the coproductions are! Especially now,  when the Greek government is shaping the future public channel.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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