CULTURE

‘From Book to Screen’ is EKEBI’s theme at Thessaloniki Film Festival

Good news for budding screenwriters comes from the National Book Center (EKEBI), which will be offering prizes in 2005 for the best screenplays, for one full-length and one short film, based on a work of Greek literature. EKEBI will formally announce the planned prizes on the final day of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, which starts tomorrow and runs to November 28. EKEBI will run a stand at the Festival Center and will hold a round-table discussion with directors, scriptwriters, producers and authors on the final day, when EKEBI President Dimitris Nollas will announce the two prizes, worth 7,000 and 3,000 euros. Building on the longstanding link between the arts of literature and cinema, EKEBI has chosen «From Book to Screen» as the theme of its stand at the Festival Center. On offer will be trailers of Greek films based on books, works of Greek literature that have been made into films, posters, and the products of EKEBI’s own research into the subject. The connection between Greek books and films began in 1931, with the film «Daphnis and Chloe,» directed by Orestis Laskos and based on the idyll attributed to the classical writer Longus, and continues to the present day. This year, the Thessaloniki festival is screening two films based on Greek books: «Hardcore,» directed by Denis Iliadis, based on the novel by Aleka Laskou (pub. Oceanida, 2000) and «Greet the Plane Tree for Us,» directed by Dimitris Makris, based on the novel «Greetings from the South,» by Gerasimos Dendrinos (Kedros, 2003). The full details of this long relationship can be found in the booklet «From Book to Screen.» Produced for EKEBI by Alexia Kefala and Nopi Hadzigeorgiou, it lists all Greek films based on Greek books, accompanied by comments from some of the people involved on both sides of the creative process – filmmakers, producers, writers, scriptwriters and actors. Also available at the stand will be «Books about Cinema,» a comprehensive bibliography of books related to cinema (the contents of which can be accessed online at www.biblionet.gr). The Thessaloniki debut is part of a general campaign to make its presence felt at a range of cultural events, EKEBI Director Catherine Velissaris told the press Tuesday. The connection with cinema is seen to be potentially productive for both sides: «This year we are raising the subject, and we’ll build on it in the future,» she said. EKEBI has held many events linking books and cinema – the current series at the Apollo Theater in conjunction with the Greek Film Center is an example, but this is the first time it has actively participated at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival.