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Activities - 29/01/2013


Europa Cinemas Label - Interview with Irina Efstratiou - Cine Astra - Naxos


We interview Irina Efstratiou, manager of Cine Astra in Naxos, on the occasion of her participation as a jury member for the Europa Cinemas Label.

What do you expect from the Berlinale as a member of the Jury for the Europa Cinemas Label?

It is a great honor for me to participate at the Berlinale 2013 as a jury member. It is the first time; therefore I will give my best. From being a jury member at this important festival I expect to broaden my horizons. I hope my fair judgment can play a part in contributing to show more qualitative European movies in Greek theaters. Thus, I hope it will help Greek cinema and strengthen especially the space for Greek and European films on screens. 

What are you favorites films among the previous Europa Cinemas Label winners?

From all the films I've seen I really like the most recent CRAWL, as well as CONTROL, my favorite being GYPSY by Martin Sulik.

Could you describe the Cine Astra in Naxos? Do you organize debates or other types of animation after the screenings? Have you been facing difficulties with the crisis?

Greece has a tradition in outdoor cinemas. Cine Astra opened in 1994, on the Cycladic island of Naxos. It is a family-run mono-screen (54m2) with 240 seats operating from mid-May to mid-October. All films are shown in original version with subtitles. We organize several debates e.g. discussions about drug problems, and other common difficulties in partnership with, for instance, the Psychological Centre of the Cyclades. We also show children's theatre, Greek theatre and political satire for our local audience.  

The crisis and the illegal downloading have had a major impact in the decrease of cinema attendance and therefore in consumption at the bar. Even cinema goers from Northern Europe try to save money. 

Greeks have much less money to spend in their holidays, a lot of them even cannot afford to visit the island and can just afford to spend 3 or 4 days on holidays. Cinema has become an "extra" expense for household. Admission prices are quite high and the lack of State financial support doesn’t help

What role do open-air cinemas play in Greece?

Open Air Cinemas in Greece have a long tradition. After the sunset, people used to enjoy a movie as an everyday amusement, under the starlit sky with a drink and a snack. Our audience is made mainly of tourists from all over the world, the inhabitants of the island and, especially in August, Greek tourists. They come to have fun and watch lighthearted movies and comedies. After all, they are on holydays and just want to forget about everyday life.