Magazine article Screen International

Greek Film Industry Reeling from Eurozone Crisis

Magazine article Screen International

Greek Film Industry Reeling from Eurozone Crisis

Article excerpt

As the future of Greece in the Eurozone and the EU itself acquires ever more dramatic dimensions, local distributors are bracing for the worst. Contracts signed with international sales agents are being closely scrutinised to decide whether renegotiations are possible in cases of need.

According to Rosebud 21's Zinos Panagiotides, who consulted with other key distribution outlets such Odeon, Feelgood Entertainment and Spentzos before speaking to ScreenDaily, the distribution market will remain under control through mid-August in spite of the dramatic decline in admissions since the start of the year.

Industry forecasts for 10 million admissions for 2014-15 (an increase from under 9 million the previous three years) have been shelved in the wake of the current crisis.

While 70,000-80,000 admissions are an average for Greek weekends, this figure plummeted 47,000 in the first weekend of July, as the crisis escalated and the country geared up for the July 5 referendum that resulted in 61% of voters backing the government's rejection of proposed EU austerity measures.

Distributors cancel releases

The steep decline in admissions and uncertainty over the country's future forced distributors to cancel a number of releases due to open just before the referendum.

Panagiotides pointed out that while contracts for films opening between now and mid-August have already been paid, the real problem will start showing up after that date.

Contractual payments due on films set to launch after August 15 have to be made at the end of July or early August.

Renegotiations

If the country is forced (or chooses) to leave the Eurozone and re-introduce a hugely devaluated drachma, Greek distributors are likely to be forced to ask for renegotiations from international sale agents.

Films due to premiere between mid-August and the end of the year include Woody Allen's Irrational Man and Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight (Odeon), Sleeping With Other People and Queen Of The Desert (Spentzos), Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Taxi and Farewell Party (Feelgood), The Man From U. …

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