“Being selected as an ambassador of the 5C project and participating in the closing part of AltcineAction! festival in Athens was a great opportunity to reconnect with film professionals from the Balkan region and to discuss Balkan cinema in its authentic environment. It was extremely important for me as I am currently working on the promotion of Balkan cinema abroad and it is always useful to exchange ideas with people working towards similar goals.
From the educational part I mostly appreciated the masterclass and workshop with Olympia Mytilinaiou as she pointed out possible approaches to film analysis from the cinematographer´s point of view. This is rarely thought in Film Studies programs thus makes the educational panel of the 5C Project unique and revolutionary.
And apart from the “official part”, it was great to remember how hospitable are Balkan people. These four days gave me not only valuable knowledge but provided me with an authentic insight to Athens, its great cuisine and its warm people. Thank you, Elektra and Altcine team, you made these days really special!!!”
“In this year’s edition of AltCine Action, I was a big first timer – first time in Greece, first time on a film festival abroad, first time I had a chance to write movie critics, first time I’ve ever traveled by plane.
As you can guess, I’ve had some mild fears about how will I handle all the new things. However, from the moment I have arrived, lovely volunteers were there to make things much easier for me. Gathering with the rest of the people involved in this festival was more than pleasant. Those three days went too fast, marked by traditional Balkan hospitality, enriched by high quality contents. I cannot decide which masterclass I loved more – Jean-Michel Frodon gave us some really practical tips about movie criticism, while Olympia Mytilinaiou helped me find out more about cinematography and duties of DOP – which was pretty new topic for me. I also enjoyed open discussion about building cultural identity through cinema with Maria Komninos; now I have a huge list of Greek movies I’m looking forward to watch.
The experience of being in Athens was interesting. By seeing all the differences between the capital of Greece and Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, I’ve actually learned much about our similarities. Despise all the economical hurdles, we still tend to have fun, enjoy life and seize the best of our culture. Of course, we still care about the quality of cinema.
In the end, I’ve almost slept over all of my alarms activated to wake me up for my flight. I guess it was my subconscious wish to stay in Athens for a bit more. I’ve left Greece happy for meeting so many different experts and great people.”
“In my experience of my stay in Athens, I was able to portray the urban decay in Athens but also the hopeful every day culture in Greece. In terms of Greek cinema, the representation in the short films such as Working Day, Seven Steps and Pledge were important for my understanding of different traditions in current Greek cinema and Maria Komninou’s workshop on the cultural history of Greek Cinema also helped me develop a deeper understanding of it. Overall, with the help of the warm company of the Altcine crew and in the presence of different voices from the region, Altcine festival was an exceptional experience.”
“I had never traveled to Greece before so I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew of Ouzo and olive oil, gyros and Grexit. And of course about the gods and the heroes, and Socrates, Plato and Aristotle – whose Poetics is still the best scriptwriting manual out there. I fell in love with the city from the first day, somewhere between my first glance of the Acropolis at night and my first authentic Greek dinner in a taverna. Over the next four days I would have plenty of both and still not get enough… well, maybe my doctor would disagree about the latter.
After the intense experience of the The 5C Project I am left with these images: the tiny one way streets crowded with small cars, orange trees, people and a lot of cats; the chaotic traffic where pedestrians stop cars to cross the street and drivers don’t get mad; the city’s vibrant protest culture that is omnipresent in the street art you can see on almost every wall (I was told we were lucky enough to only have on protest during our four day stay); the commuters coming out of the metro and up the escalators with the Exodus sign above to guide them.”
“As a 21 year old, undergraduate from the North the England, I was very much in the beginnings of my film industry experience. That and being a Balkan outsider, I was scared that the experience was going to be daunting, overwhelming and that I wouldn’t feel worthy of a place as one of the 5C critics, this however wasn’t the case. From the friendly welcome of the volunteers at the airport, to the warm greetings from the mentors and other participants of the project at breakfast the following morning, to meeting everyone else along the way, my expectations couldn’t of been more wrong and I was made to fell comfortable, at ease, and most of all extremely welcome from the start.
Mixing with industry professionals and attending masterclasses was an entirely new experience for me, I was felt honored to be in the company with the likes of Jean-Michel Froden, Olympia Mytilinaiou and Maria Komninos and the tips and tricks they shared with us were vital for developing our writing skills.
Apart from learning more about Balkan cinema and how to write about the film, I most enjoyed learning about everyone else’s culture and how different the Balkan way of life is compared to Western Europe. Previous to the festival, I had only visited the touristy, islands of Greece so I enjoyed seeing the real side of Greece – and being shown around Athens by the brilliant altcineAction! team who not only acted as great tour guides for the weekend but also as great friends.
Overall, the only way my experience of Athens could of been better was if it included a little more sleep and a little more heat! Apart from that it was a great weekend with great food, great films and great people who made me feel nothing but like an honorary Balkan and I can’t wait for the next stop of the cine caravan!”