Contemporary Greek Film Cultures from 1990 to the present
Call for Chapters:
Since the early 1990s, Greek Cinema has started re-emerging in theatre screens and attracting increasing interest, evident both through the box office successes as well as the renewed critical attention. From popular genre cinema, to art-house and avant-garde, documentary, short film and animation, Greek Cinema in the last couple of decades has re-invented itself and commanded the attention of audiences and critics alike, both nationally and internationally.
Since the mid-2000s, academic criticism has also increasingly focused on this re-birth of Greek Cinema, with a number of publications appearing and seeking to explore various aspects of Greek cinematic practices and contexts. The aim of this edited collection is to expand on current analysis of Greek Cinema of the last two decades, as well as move beyond those more established fields of research, by inviting innovative contributions in terms of content and methodology. This edited volume seeks to map key trends of the Greek cinematic output since the early 1990s, considering a variety of films within their various contexts of production, distribution and consumption, both at national and international levels.
Arguably, the ever-expanding Film Festival circuit has opened opportunities for showcasing the cinema of smaller countries with generally limited output, such as Greece. The trend of European and international co-productions has also benefitted Greek filmmakers, who have had limited institutional support in their own country. In addition, the global financial crisis, which has hit Greece most forcefully, has decreased film funding even further, thus encouraging filmmakers to seek support beyond the country’s borders. Thematically, this financial and socio-political crisis in Greece has been reflected on films produced after 2008/9 in particular; and much of current academic research has indeed focused on this ‘New Greek Current’, which primarily involves art-house productions with generally limited box office success.
However, there has been another type of film production in the country, which, despite its success with audiences, has so far enjoyed very limited academic attention. The re-emergence of Greek popular cinema in the 1990s has mostly been referred to in negative terms. However, popular cinema re-emerged at a time when Greece had enjoyed a period of seeming affluence and adopted an outward-looking view, promoting its European identity and its global outreach (culminating with the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens). Popular cinema has continued to observe Greek reality in interesting and innovative ways, both thematically and formally, in the transition years between the 20th and 21st centuries.
We identify two discrete and equally important tendencies (despite some points of overlap) in Contemporary Greek film practice and output: first, from the early 1990s to 2009, the re-emergence of Popular Cinema and its often claimed close relationship to the new, deregulated television industry in the country. We seek contributions which focus on and examine the variety of films appearing during that period, and which contextualise and problematise the prominence and dominance of popular cinema.
In agreement with Lydia Papadimitriou (2014), we consider 2009 a focal point when the so-called ‘festival film’ takes the reins in Greek film production, and contextual factors change in a dramatic way, affecting Greek Cinema in the process. A perceived turn towards art-house/auteur, low-budget, transnational productions occurs in this second period of the New Greek Current, as it has been called. Critics in the Anglophone context have called this trend ‘Weird Greek Cinema’, though this is not an unproblematic term. We seek contributions that address this new turn of Greek Cinema, offering new theoretical and/or methodological perspectives.
Further to the above, we particularly seek contributions which examine a ‘cross-fertilisation’ process that we believe exists between these two periods and trends.
We therefore invite proposals/abstracts which focus on any of the following guide areas and themes, though the list is not exclusive:
Contemporary avant-garde cinema
Contemporary diasporic film
Contemporary Short Film
Contemporary conditions of production and/or distribution
Tradition and modernity
Abstracts for chapters should be between 300 and 500 words, with a clear indication of title, theme and methodology. The deadline for abstracts is the 31st August, 2014.
These will undergo a selection process, after which the editors will invite draft chapters of 8,000-10,000 words, with a guide deadline of March 2015.
Please send your chapter abstract to Tonia Kazakopoulou, Mikela Fotiou and Philip Phillis (eds) at firstname.lastname@example.org
 Film scholar Thodoros Soumas has suggested 1992 as the year that marks this new phase of Greek Cinema (http://www.cinephilia.gr/index.php/prosopa/hellas/128-2011-08-24-16-37-17)
Steve Rose, The Guardian, 27/08/2011, http://www.theguardian.com/film/2011/aug/27/attenberg-dogtooth-greece-cinema