Thursday April 2, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Documentary takes in lives of young Greek farmers

By Lina Giannarou

How could one present the Greek phrase “All the kilos, all the money,” a mantra of Greek farmers, to Californians and make it relevant? Fortunately, it’s not necessary. “Farming on Crisis?” – a short documentary produced by Pavlos Georgiadis which grabbed first place at the ArcLight Cinemas Documentary Film Festival in Hollywood this November – features Greek agriculturists who manage to cultivate their produce with minimal support from the government, no government subsidies and a deep recession howling behind them. They represent the new generation of Greek farmers.

Take 30-year-old Vasilis Gounaris, who, unlike the majority of farmers in this country that grow conventional products such as cotton, beets, corn, wheat and tomatoes, believes that quality is key. “I want quality, not mass production. But they took it away from us,” he says in the film. “Previously, for example, we were growing soft wheat, then we returned to tough wheat and now we’re importing soft wheat and exporting hard.”

Georgiadis wanted to illustrate the change in the mentality of young farmers today. “Reality strays from the stereotype of a grandfather with antique equipment,” he told Kathimerini. “A large percentage of Greek farmers are educated, with degrees, and often with postgraduate degrees. They speak foreign languages and with the help of social media they can write their own success stories. There are people who thrive on agriculture in almost every village in this country.”

For example, after completing his studies in biology and a long research project in ethnobotany abroad, Georgiadis returned to his village, Makri, near Alexandroupoli in northern Greece, and at the age of 31 became an olive oil producer. With persistance, patience and a good dose of ingenuity, he managed to convert his family grove into an forward-looking olive oil plant. However, it was his role as Greek coordinator of the Slow Food Youth Network that lead to the making of the documentary.

“I was in Amsterdam working with SFYN when I saw a video blog about Dutch farmers. It was then that I thought it would be interesting for a similar documentary to be made in Greece, so we could highlight our situation, which drawing international attention is at the moment, and make a comparison between the northern and southern systems.”

The proposal was not only accepted, but it was subsidized by Greece's Agricultural Development Ministry, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Young Farmers Association of the Netherlands, within the framework of the European Union's Foodpolitics.eu webcampaign.

The filming took place last June in locations ranging from Mesti (near Alexandroupoli), Paranesti (Drama) and Thessaloniki to Farsala (Thessaly), Corinth, Crete, Santorini and Athens. Georgiadis’s fellow travelers were director Haris Donias, director of photography Giorgos Tantos and sound engineer Victor Zazopoulos.

“With the interviews and images of our country we wanted to send a message to Europeans that there is another picture emerging from Greece – not of corruption, inconsistency and amateurism – but one of hard work, of companionship,” said Georgiadis.

There is an ongoing conflict: “The old against the new: the model of subsidies with the rampant use of chemicals and a waste of resources against the mentality of producers striving for quality, to protect the environment and boost the local economy.”

The material was distributed over four video blog episodes (you can watch them at www.vimeo.com/foodpolitics), which were then used to produce the final documentary. The aesthetic departs from the stereotype we’ve become accustomed to, which exhibits slightly decadent images of the countryside. “Our goal was to take the story of Greek farmers all over the world. I believe that agriculture is one of the areas that will help pull us out of the crisis. The Greek earth remains relatively untouched, our fate is hereditary, we have a personal relationship with the land of our ancestors. Our generation’s challenge is to reconnect with the Greek earth,” said Georgiadis.

ekathimerini.com , Friday Jan 18, 2013 (16:29)  
Narrow escape from Norman Atlantic fails to dampen one Austrians support for Greece
For African migrants, trek to Europe brings risk, heartbreak
What a life: The worlds most traveled man, whos been to all 195 countries
Jewish leaders in Greece want Germany to pay more in reparations with 7 decades of interest
For its reopening exhibit, Municipal Gallery focuses on history of the capital
The reopening of the Athens Municipal Gallery on Koumoundourou Square, one of the city centers more neglected corners, was one of the greatest cultural events of the past few months even th...
EXHIBITION
Communist structures risk fate of Ozymandias
Searching for information on something that happened in Bulgaria 30 years ago is much like being an archaeologist collecting evidence on an event that occurred many centuries ago. Sofia-bo...
Inside Life
Inside Travel
Inside Gastronomy
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. ECB raises ELA limit by 700 mln euros
2. Attica office market sees no end to crisis-linked drop in demand
3. Stathakis prefers PPPs for the concession of regional airports
4. One-off takings help revenues
5. Stocks slide in particularly thin trade
6. Government considers ministry switch after Parliament protest
more news
Today
This Week
1. Going his own way
2. Finance Ministry officials to discuss talks progress as EU pushes for action [Update]
3. Athens aims to tighten ties with Russia
4. Spike in migrants reaching Lesvos
5. Buffett says Greek exit from euro may not be a bad thing
6. Greek economy minister sees deal with EU/IMF on reforms next week
Today
This Week
1. Next Monday is D-Day for state funds
2. Eurogroup unlikely to be held soon to discuss Greek reforms
3. Moscow expects progress from Tsipras visit
4. Amateur antics or overstepping the mark?
5. Greece optimistic on deal with euro area next week
6. ECB nerves fray on Greece as supervisors rile central bankers
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.