from OLYMPIA ITERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE and CAMERA ZIZANIO
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
As you know, lately the Greek economy is in the middle of a hurricane with tremendous social consequences. And I assure you that in those cases, culture is always among the first victims.
Last year, while many festivals in Greece were forced to suspend their activity, we were able to organize very successfully the 13th Olympia Film Festival for Children and Young People and the 10th Camera Zizanio, only relying on our own forces, with a 50% limited budget but with a lot of support from friends, volunteers and the community of Pyrgos.
This is not the case for this year. Black clouds have spread everywhere. The state has already declared pause of the interior payments. The ministry of Culture, for the last 20 months has not given us one cent! The consequences are dramatic for all of us. Debts are accumulated, therefore we are facing even the risk of an imprisonment, because we have not received the promised money, although the signed decision from the minister concerning the subsidies is posted on the official site of the Ministry of Culture since 21/2/2011.
But during this year we are realizing that our problem is not only a Greek phenomenon. Almost all the festivals abroad with which we collaborate all these years move on with reduced budgets, have restricted their activities and many other events were canceled.
The real shock came from the urgent call of Cinekid in Amsterdam, one of the biggest festival in the world. The drastic cuts by the Dutch government necessarily lead to cessation of activity in 2013.
But if Cinekid, a festival organized in a country with significant production of children’s and youth films and is supported by a robust economy like the Netherlands is in danger, which is our future?
We are convinced that the area of children and youth cinema, to which we dedicate all our forces for many years, and which aims in the future because it creates the citizens of tomorrow, now faces the risk of a total disappearance.
And we also believe that we can not let it be destroyed. We owe that to our children.
When the snow covers everything during a heavy winter, the citizens of a civil society work together to keep at least the roads open. Until the weather becomes warmer and melts the snows around.
In this difficult period, we have to take the greatest possible engagement: To join forces and develop a wide network of mutual aid.
The European and international organizations, such as the ECFA, the CIFEJ and any other collective representation of the concerning area, need to work out plans of urgent action.
No festival should close!
In this very difficult situation, and with all our forces, we have to put together our network and all the educated staff, for a common effort:
TO KEEP THE ROADS OPEN!