Film productions have been given the greenlight to restart in Greece and outdoor cinemas to reopen on 18 May and 1 June respectively. It will be part of a phased easing of restrictions that were implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March.
While 18 May has been earmarked as the date for restarting productions, local producers are still waiting for new shooting protocols on physical distancing and hygiene to be issued by the government, as well as international travel to resume.
“All shooting stopped in Greece on March 13. To restart productions, we need the issue of the ’Safe Filming Protocols’,” said Argonauts Productions’ Panos Papahadzis, president of the Greek producers’ association Sapoe.
The protocols will be based on guidelines already published by the European Film Commissions Network.
Producer Giorgos Karnavas of Heretic, who is active in international productions shooting in Greece, said: “The main things we are waiting for right now is the pan-European start of flights and the local shooting protocols. For both we expect to have news in the next few weeks.”
Heretic could be the first company to welcome a significant international shoot to Greece: Ruben Ostlund’s Triangle Of Sadness, starring Woody Harrelson, had originally been planned for a late April shoot but is now set for early July.
Ekome, the organisation that administers Greece’s 30% cash rebate for local and international shoots, said it had used the lockdown period to upgrade the applications procedure. “We are ready to welcome back foreign shoots here,” said Ekome’s communications director Vasiliki Diagouma. “We are already processing applications and we believe the majority of foreign shoots will take place in September.”
Further international projects eyeing a Greek shoot this summer include Francois Uzan’s On Sourit Pour La Photo (literally Say Cheese), a France-Greece co-prouction between Radar Films, Unagi Films and Fenia Kossovitsa of Greek outfit Blonde.