Fifteen film offices will be open and ready to facilitate cinema and TV productions at Greek locations next year, Greece’s Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis announced this week.
Aiming to tap into a significant market as well as promote Greek destinations, Pierrakakis said the offices will be up and running by the end of 2020.
“Greece is a natural studio,” said Pierrakakis speaking during an information event for regional and municipal authorities jointly organized by the National Center of Audiovisual Media and Communication (EKOME).
“It has the hardware but not the software. That is, it has the natural infrastructure, it has the wealth, but we didn’t have the right incentives, we didn’t have the right mechanisms in place to attract foreign productions,” said Pierrakakis referring to the failure of Greece to bring back producers for the filming of the Mamma Mia! sequel that initially put the small Greek island of Skopelos in the international spotlight. Instead, it was filmed in Croatia.
The event focused on the significant benefits of attracting foreign producers to film in Greece, which include fresh capital flows, the creation of jobs, and the promotion of Greek destinations.
In this direction, the government announced plans to set up national film office networks in 13 regions and in the municipalities of Athens and Thessaloniki by the end of 2020 funded with 5 million euros by EKOME.
Pierrakakis went on to note that in collaboration with EKOME, the ministry was looking into ways to make Greece even more competitive regionally and internationally in terms of rebates and incentives offered for such projects.
Meanwhile, according to EKOME President Panos Kouanis, in the one and half years since its launch, EKOME has approved 62 productions – 30 domestic and 32 internationall – currently underway at over 100 locations in Greece, budgeted at 59 million euros, 19 million euros of which will be refunded.
As for employment opportunities, Kouanis said that film productions and office in Greece were creating some 15,000 jobs.
In order for the offices to generate results, Kouanis said they must offer infrastructure and services aimed at ensuring a positive experience, efficient processes, easy access to equipment and human resources, accessibility to shooting areas and timely response to requests.