Monday, 19 September 2022

Developing Greece into a Hub for Audiovisual Production – Event Organized by EKOME and Enterprise Greece


Developing Greece into a Hub for Audiovisual Production – Event Organized by EKOME and Enterprise Greece

Athens, 19 September 2022 | On the sidelines of the 86th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), Enterprise Greece and EKOME – the National Centre for Audiovisual Media & Communication – co-organized the event: "The development of the audiovisual industry in Greece: creation of infrastructure, content production and international reach.”

The event, held 12 September, focused on the business aspect of the audiovisual industry in Greece, and the overall goal of establishing Greece as a hub for audiovisual production in the wider region. Topics included the financial incentives for film and television production, the investment law and fast-track licensing, as well as the creation of infrastructure such as film studios, production of competitive Greek content, and the promotion of Greek films and television series in foreign markets.

The presentations highlighted the positive results from the five-year operation of EKOME, as well as the growth of the audiovisual industry in Greece, thanks to the competitive incentives offering a 40% cash rebate and 30% tax relief. The incentive program has boosted employment in the sector, significantly upgraded the country's image abroad as a magnet for international film and television producers, and generated a strong demand for investment.

Besides attracting international productions, the attractive incentives have led to an increase in local budgets and upgraded Greek film and television productions. Significant examples are the films "Happiness" and "My beloved Smyrna” by Tanweer Productions, the TV series “Wild Bees” by JK Productions for ANT1, and “Maestro” by Foss Productions for Mega.

At the event, the role of Enterprise Greece as the official investment and trade promotion agency was highlighted, as well as the agency’s efforts in raising the country's profile in the international business community and in particular in the field of audiovisual productions.
The participants shared their experience of the production process in Greece and focused on issues such as: streamlining the application process for incentives and filming permits; accessing financing and other financial tools that create long-term growth, such as presales, gap financing, EU funds, public funding from the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) and the Greek Film Centre (GFC); and the need for vocational training programs to meet the increasing demand for film crews. Labor issues related to audiovisual production were also discussed; the need for investment in infrastructure, such as studios for high-budget productions, which was included in the Strategic Investments and the new Development Law; the production of high-quality, competitive Greek film and television productions; the increase in sales of domestic audiovisual producers in global markets, as well as the influence of technological development in the audiovisual industry.

In his presentation, the President and CEO of EKOME, Panos Kouanis, stated: "Our strategy aims to create a healthy, dynamic audiovisual ecosystem, highlighting the productive potential throughout the country, and providing employment and a creative outlet to young people and local communities. Since we have achieved our goal of promoting Greece as an attractive destination for international producers and of developing domestic production, the next step is the long-term development of the sector, with the creation of permanent infrastructure throughout the country."

Executive Director and Member of the BoD of Enterprise Greece, Betty Alexandropoulou, said: "We see strong interest from both Greeks and foreigners for investments in film studios,” adding that "Enterprise Greece, as the official agency for attracting investments and, in particular, strategic investments, is able to support the establishment of film studios and other infrastructure, as well as facilitate both licensing and funding. Enterprise Greece is currently supporting two large projects to create film studios in the country, and plans to promote Greek content in foreign markets in 2023. In collaboration with EKOME, we are also preparing a training program in the field of audiovisual production.”

The speakers at the event included: Betty Alexandropoulou; John Kalafatis, CEO of Nu Boyana Hellenic Studios – York Studios; Yiannis Karagiannis, CEO of Kapa Studios & JK Productions; Stelios Kotionis, Managing Director of Foss Productions; Stratis Liarellis, Executive Director of Antenna Group; Joseph Samaan, President of Tanweer Group; and Andreas Tsilifonis, Executive Producer of Central Athens Productions. The panel was moderated by the President and CEO of EKOME, Panos Kouanis.

Key note speeches at the event were delivered by: Konstantinos Fragogiannis, Deputy Minister of Economic Diplomacy and Openness of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Stavros Kalafatis, Deputy Minister of the Interior responsible for Macedonia-Thrace; Alexandros Thanos, Deputy Regional Governor for Tourism in the Central Macedonia Region; Makis Kyrizidis, Deputy Mayor of Technical Works of the Municipality Thessaloniki; and Marinos Giannopoulos, CEO, Enterprise Greece.