CULTURE

The genre is experiencing growing pains in Greece

The Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival in March 2006 featured in its program the successful television series «Exandas» By Giorgos Avgeropoulos, «Reportage Without Frontiers» by Stelios Kouloglou and «War Zone» by Sotiris Danezis. Critics defending art-house documentaries reacted and said that journalists had no business at a documentary festival, because their work is shown on television. «It reminds me of the arguments we used to have as kids in the 80s, about whether a song was rock music or not,» says Danezis. For Avgeropoulos, «it is a childhood disease we all suffer from in Greece, as we are still newbies.» «Abroad,» says the creator of «Exandas,» «people got over it because they realized they have nothing to fear from others. You can make a poetic, lyrical documentary and I can show raw reality.» But he also does not believe that television is the only customer for documentaries. «A few years ago, we experienced a historic moment when Philippos Koutsaftis’s ‘Mourning Rock’ sold tens of thousands of tickets in theaters,» says Avgeropoulos.