Kostas Spiropoulos, who has done so much for creative documentary in Greece and for international cooperation throughout the Mediterranean through Storydoc training, has just been fired by ERT (the Greek state broadcaster) for his contribution to Kismet, a documentary on Turkish soap operas and their effects on the societies in which they are broadcast. Kismet is a Greek production, very successfully pitched at IDFA this year and supported by ARTE, among others, and with strong international potential. The board of ERT found the documentary to be a form of propaganda for Turkey while in fact the documentary depicted realities about Turkish dramas.
Kostas Spiropoulos has been instrumental in the development of Greek documentary, working with great vision through very difficult times as well as initiating workshops and collaborations with filmmakers from Palestine and the Middle East. As General Manager of ERT, an engagement that had started only half a year ago, he continued to be a strong internationalist, involved in co-productions as well as supporting and encouraging young Greek filmmakers.
It is lamentable both for Greece and for Europe that such a strong advocate for international documentaries and for local talent has lost his position when he did so much good.
I worked with Kostas on Storydoc for 3 years, from 2008 to 2012. Founded by him, Storydoc is a training scheme for filmmakers from the Mediterranean region. He has worked tirelessly to help filmmakers at a crucial time of change. All of us at the Scottish Documentary Institute fully support him and his work and would like to speak out about this unfair act.
For more information see filmkommentaren.dk.
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