CULTURE

Multimedia CD-ROM about Melina wins international award

A CD-ROM with Melina Mercouri as subject has won an award at a top international multimedia festival in China. The ninth Mobius International Multimedia Festival, which encompasses a wide range of CD-ROMs and websites, granted the prize to the CD-ROM produced by the Melina Mercouri Foundation and the Greek Culture Ministry, in collaboration with the High-Performance Information Systems Laboratory of Patras University. The making of the CD-ROM was an opportunity for the collation, classification and organization of information in the Melina Mercouri Foundation’s scattered archives. Experts compiled data on the deceased actress and former culture minister’s various activities in music, the cinema and theater as well as on her political career, and also gathered little-known facts and anecdotes. A sellout The award at the ninth Mobius International Multimedia Festival is not the only distinction the CD-ROM has received. Last year, it was placed among the four best productions at Europrix, the equivalent European award ceremonies. In addition to picking up successive international distinctions, the CD-ROM has successfully entered the Greek market. A first issue of 2,000 copies has already sold out (a large number for Greece), while a second edition will soon be released as well as an English-language version. The CD-ROM is directed by Giorgos Papaconstantinou, a specialist in documentaries and multimedia despite his original training in architecture, who has also directed another CD-ROM, Athens in the Age of Pericles. In an interview with Kathimerini, he said of his art, The content must be arranged in such a way that the paths are discovered by the spectator. The director must always bear in mind that it is an interactive product. We’re not talking about a linear narrative; you have to predict the paths the user will follow. The CD-ROM market is growing in Greece, with a relatively large number of 150 titles in circulation, of which educational material and games have the lion’s share. Cultural products are in the minority. The same is true of most European countries with France as an exception. The limited size of the Greek market puts a damper on large productions, said Papaconstantinou. But he remains optimistic: We can’t overlook the steps toward growth. As if to confirm this positive prognosis, the Mobius International Multimedia Festival is to be hosted by Athens in 2003.