20th Century Fox chief gets Alexander

The chairman of 20th Century Fox film corporation, Jim Gianopoulos, a second-generation Greek American, received an honorary Golden Alexander Award at the closing ceremony of the 48th Thessaloniki International Film Festival on Sunday evening. «This award represents two things that I deeply love: cinema and Greece,» he said upon receiving the statuette from festival president Georges Corraface and Director Despina Mouzaki. Gianopoulos used the opportunity of his visit to the northern port city to share his experiences with the public. The public, in turn, and Greek filmmakers especially, approached him with ideas for scripts. In a master class Gianopoulos delivered for the public, the powerful Hollywood player said that «the most significant problems for young filmmakers today are not a film project’s production costs, which can be significantly reduced with the help of digital technology, but distribution. In the USA, you can shoot a film with $2-3 million but you need at least triple that amount to make your film known and available to the world.» He also said that it takes just two things for a film to find its audience: «easy access to the public – via the Internet and DVDs – and low production costs.» On the perennial problem of finding a good script, Gianopoulos said that «when you build a $2 million museum, you need to be perfectly organized and prepared. For us, this preparation is the screenplay. You don’t just chance upon a film in the street. You usually buy the rights to a book and turn it into a script. It is not as easy as it sounds, though. It is an artistic endeavor that requires great effort from the people who undertake it.»