Ioanna Bolomyti • Producer, Atalante Productions
"Everyone in the Greek film industry is hungry to create movies and thrive”
- The Greek producer told us about her upcoming projects and her view on her national film industry
Ioanna Bolomyti joined the team of Argonauts Productions SA in 2006 and was the producer of Sonia Liza Kenterman’s multi-award-winning first feature, Tailor [+see also:
interview: Sonia Liza Kenterman
film profile], Nefeli Sarri’s documentary Behind rhe Wall and Asimina Proedrou’s debut, Behind the Haystacks. In 2021, she launched her own company, Atalante SA, and has new projects by Zacharias Mavroeidis and co-directors Leda Vartzioti and Dimitris Tsakaleas in development. Bolomyti was selected to participate in the EFP’s Producers on the Move for 2022.
Cineuropa: What drives you to make films, and how do you pick your projects?
Ioanna Bolomyti: My drive for making films is composing, organising and leading a group of talented people into a creative procedure that results in a beautiful film-work of art. Artistic vision is the most important element but combined with many other criteria, such as the plausibility of the project, the relevance of its storytelling and, of course, one important factor is the relationship with the people I am going to work with.
How was the experience of producing Tailor, your first feature film?
It was an extremely challenging but fulfilling experience, as I was not the first producer of this difficult project with complex financing. The transition demanded important skills I wasn't sure I possessed. The whole procedure was stressful, but the result really boosted my confidence and convinced me that when you really want something, you find this inner strength needed to accomplish it. I am proud of the film.
Could you offer us an overview of the upcoming projects you have on your slate?
Recently, we completed Asimina Proedrou’s first feature film, Behind the Haystacks, a Greek-German-Macedonian co-production. We are currently shooting Zacharias Mavroeidis’s next comedy, the queer feature The Summer with Carmen, and this autumn we are planning the shootings of Florenc Papa’s sophomore feature Luna Park, an Albanian-Greek-Italian co-production. Following the excellent collaboration we had with Thanasis Neofotistos on his short film Patision Avenue – world premiere in Venice, three awards in Clermont-Ferrand, and more than 100 festival selections and many awards – we are working on his first feature film, The Boy with the Light-Blue Eyes, which we are planning to shoot in February and March of 2023. The project is also participating in this year’s Focus COPRO edition in Cannes. And many more projects, which are now in development at Atalante, will follow!
How did the pandemic affect the Greek film industry, and what are your expectations for the future?
The Greek film industry was at a very weird point before the pandemic. The bureaucracy was discouraging and the delays prolonged. Even with this condition there was a great dynamic and an optimism, mainly thanks to the many successes Greek cinema has had during the last years. During the pandemic, as was the case all over the world, it was really difficult and there was almost a kind of despair because things had become almost impossible. I was not so sure how we would come out of this situation. The important thing was that we didn’t give up, we continued creating films, taking small steps and following the protocols. What I find extremely hopeful is that today, when the pandemic is in a decline, despair has receded and optimism is back. I feel that everyone in the Greek film industry is hungry to create movies and thrive. Even the bureaucracy is better. I have understood that we are more resilient than I thought.
What do you expect from Producers on the Move?
Participating in such an important initiative, my goal is to make the most of it. I want to strengthen my network, meet with co-producers and other industry professionals, people who share the same vision to work with on my or their current projects, but also future ones, to exchange ideas and get updated on the latest trends of the film industry.
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