CULTURE

First state school for film to be established in Thessaloniki

Greece is finally acquiring a State Film School. The new department, part of the School of Fine Arts of the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, will start functioning as of the next academic year. Teaching staff will initially consist of eight or nine members and the first batch of students to be admitted will number between 50 and 60. The school will be housed in a former tobacco warehouse, situated on the corner of Arapitsis and Naousis streets in Stavroupolis. The building has been made available to the university via the Ministry of Culture, following recent decisions by the ministries of Culture and Agriculture. Housing had been the problem that stalled the opening of the new film school, since talks between the university and the Ministry of Education started four years ago, when Michalis Papadopoulos was dean. The current dean of the Aristotle University, Yiannis Antonopoulos, told Kathimerini that the Ministry of Education had the necessary funds to cover the cost of the staff, the construction work and the equipment, but so far there had been no suitable building for the new department. The former tobacco warehouse, which covers 10,000 square meters, is considered ideal because its halls are spacious enough to be converted into studios essential for teaching and there is enough space to house the entire department. Antonopoulos added that funding for restoration of the warehouse will come from the Third Community Support Framework. Construction work is scheduled to start next summer, while classes in the first semester will take place in halls provided by the Thessaloniki Film Festival and the Thessaloniki Film Museum.