Q&A with Inkas Films' Erica Koukouna

"Greece is known of being an ideal place for filming location, though the necessity of an executive producer and a local production company is essential."

By Sponsored Content 28 Sep 2023

Q&A with Inkas Films' Erica Koukouna
Minore; Cr: Inkas Film Productions

Inkas Film Productions, based in Athens, has been around since 1997 and has held a dynamic role in the national and international film market since. They have produced and co-produced national and international feature films, short films and documentaries making them experts on the Greek international production landscape.

We spoke with Inkas' Erica Koukouna about the changes she's seen in the production industry in Greece, what makes the county a stand-out location for filming, and some of the challenges they face. 

What international projects have you been working on recently and coming up?

Inkas Film Productions, in the past year, was engaged to various projects as an executive producer for feature films from USA, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands (TV series). Currently speaking Inkas Films is working on one future project from Finland and two projects from the United States.

Which filming locations are proving popular at the moment and why?

Greece’s geographical position and its ideal climate have proven to be an amazing place for filming, also for its great variety of locations and its qualified technicians and expertise. In the last few years Athens is an up and coming filming location for its historic and archeological monuments and its cosmopolitan atmosphere.

The Peloponnese is also an ideal filming location offering a variety of options since you can reach it by car, its natural beauty and facilities. As well as Porto Heli, a summer resort town in the municipality of Ermionida.

From the Greek islands very popular for filming are Rhodes and Kos with many facilities and Nisyros for its unique scenery such as the volcano and its picturesque villages.

What new and recent developments have there been in Greece with local studios, financial incentives, and infrastructure? 

In Athens there are professional studios such as Kapa Studios. Amongst the financial incentives is the cash rebate program attacking investment through the production of films, television series, documentaries, animation. With the adoption of Law 4704/2020, the Greek cash rebate amounts now to 40% something that constitutes one of the best tax rebates in Europe.

Also via the Hellenic Film Commission there is the Location Scouting Support Program in two main categories including film and television projects of foreign initiative which, in order to explore the possibility of shooting in Greece, carry out preliminary location scouting in Greece, and the 2nd category is having planned shooting in Greece, carry out location scouting in the pre-production stage.  

What should international producers know about filming in Greece?

Greece is known of being an ideal place for filming location, though the necessity of an executive producer and a local production company is essential for various reasons.

First of all the know-how, the network of relations that it has developed throughout the years with local authorities which can be peculiar most of the times, the numerous permits that need to be taken cared of such as the Ephorate of Antiquities, the public sectors, proposals of locations that match on every script necessity, and and last but not least alternatives that a local production company can suggest to every obstacle that might occur during filming.  

What is the most challenging element of a production Inkas has worked on? How did folks at Inkas overcome those challenges?

The challenges are a daily routine in our field. I can recall a couple of years ago, in an island working on a project with a German production company, the peculiarity of the specific project was that lots of filming took place on a wooden sailboat, everything was set for filming (permits, settings, port authorities).

At the last moment the captain of the boat decided on his own not to sail the boat on the specific location as it was finalised. So new alternatives had been found ASAP new locations, different accommodation for cast and crew, new settings etc. But at the end the job was done!
What are the biggest differences between feature film, tv, and commercial shoots?

Film and TV provide visual entertainment, whilst a commercial product has a totally different purpose; all three come in different formats and style, though the challenges can be the same.

The biggest differences are budget wise for example we can have a wonderful result in a film made in low budget terms, also the deadlines differ for delivering the final material, a film has a long pre-production period (i.e. location scouting, constructions, settings, numerous meetings etc.) while the other two have limited time so as to be broadcast on a bigger audience.

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