18th TDF: Press Conference - Simos Korexenidis (Teriade), Constantina Bousboura (Working Dancers), Manolia Vougioukalou (producer of the film Feathering Heights)

18th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival –
Images of the 21st Century

11-20 March, 2016
 
PRESS CONFERENCE
Teriade / Working dancers / Feathering Heights
 
As part of the 18th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, the directors Simos Korexenidis (Teriade) and Constantina Bousboura (Working Dancers) and Manolia Vougioukalou, producer of the film Feathering Heights directed by Daphne Toli, attended a press conference on Saturday March 12th, 2016.
 
An article published in the newspaper "Politika" in Lesvos about two neglected museums on the island, the Teriade and the Theophilos museums, was what triggered the making of the documentary Teriade. The filming process took many years during which “we found out who this man was and what he has done. We grew fond of him and we attempted to put this feeling in the documentary”, explained the director Simos Korexenidis. And he added: “Stratis Eleftheriadis - Teriade was a great man of Greek nationality, who nevertheless remains little-known in his own country. He was an important bright example, one of the last benefactors of the country. He carried the Greek culture and philosophy, combined with the French one. He promoted the naive painter Theophilos and provided him with the means and the financial ability to paint. Wishing to give something to his hometown, Lesvos, he founded two museums: the Theophilos Museum and the Teriade Museum”, said the director. He also pointed out that the adventure of the two museums captures the history of bureaucracy in Greece: “The Teriade Museum has been closed for two years now, because there is no budget for the guards. The Theophilos Museum was renovated, but unfortunately the setup of works curated by John Tsarouchis is no longer available, and only 30 out of 85 paintings are on display. With this documentary we hope to raise awareness and make possible the reopening of the Teriade Museum”.
 
The protagonist of the documentary Feathering Heights is the lesser white-fronted goose, an endangered species. “20 years ago, when the species was placed under protection, only 50 gooses arrived in our country”, said Manolia Vougioukalou, producer of the documentary and coordinator of the LIFE+ program for the Lesser White Fronted Goose in the Greek Ornithological Society. “The documentary follows the relationship of these birds with the humans-hunters, birdwatchers, as well as the poachers- and other living beings that inhabit the wetlands, with a focus on poaching. There are efforts to combat poaching through the education of hunters“, said Ms. Vougioukalou, explaining that hunters themselves can become the best allies in this effort. The film is dedicated to those who work on the suppression of poaching worldwide. As Ms. Vougioukalou stressed “in Greece, there are very positive examples of natural site management, for example in Lake Kerkini. The managing body in the area is particularly active and tens of thousands of tourists come every year to watch the birds. What is more, poaching has a huge cost and is nowadays considered obsolete. There is a shift in attitude both in young and older people”.
 
The documentary Working Dancers by Constantina Bousboura and Julia M. Heimann, showcases the story of the first National Company of Contemporary Dance in Argentina. As Constantina Bousboura explained in the press conference, she was already in Argentina doing research on dance, when four dancers invited her to see a rehearsal. “They had been recently fired because they demanded medical coverage for the accident of one of their peers. After intense popular mobilization, they found a space for rehearsals in a hall in the emblematic building housing the National Library. After several efforts, the group’s proposal for the establishment a self-managed National Company of Contemporary Dance was accepted”, noted Ms. Bousboura, stressing that “the dancers support collaborative decision making. Even the smallest issue comes to a vote. They build consensus before they can proceed to the next step. In a period of crisis, instead of giving up they decided to find new ways to produce work”.

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