In a bold innovation, Greek Radio and Television (ERT) and Time Lapse Pictures have joined forces with acclaimed children’s author Eugene Trivizas to break into the international animation market. The plan is for three Greek animators of international renown – Panagiotis Rappas, Angelos Rouvas and Yiannis Georgariou – to produce a 30-minute 3-D animated version of Trivizas’s book «To pontikaki pou ithele na angixei ena asteraki» (The Little Mouse Who Wanted to Touch a Star). The finished product will be promoted at film and animation festivals around the world to get the message across loud and clear that Greece possesses world-class expertise in animation. The people involved certainly believe in the project. The writer and animators have offered their services free of charge, and ERT is digging deep into its coffers to fund the project with a generous sum of 557,000 euros «plus VAT,» as ERT president Christos Panagopoulos told the press at the Athens Concert Hall last Thursday. «We are the only channel that promotes and funds the work of Greek creators,» he said. «For us it is an experiment in the latest technology. It’s costly, but it’s worth it. We believe in it and hope it will go well.» Trivizas expressed his delight that state television was investing in quality material for children. «We offer children the best of everything else,» he said, «but when it comes to art and entertainment, with few exceptions the reverse applies. We prepare Lucullian feasts for ourselves but offer children the leftovers.» Wishing the project success, he said he hoped it would signal the beginning of a new approach to children by state television. The talent has been lined up and the support is there, but there’s a huge amount of work ahead of the creative team, as Rappas explained, at least 10 months of it. If the track record of the participants is anything to go by, the investment of time money and effort should pay off.