Let’s hear it from the hosts! One of the final meetings of the Kids Kino.Lab session in Athens was a group presentation of film funding opportunities in Greece led by the local workshops’ partners: EKOME, Greek Film Centre, and Creative Europe Media Desk Greece. Throughout the session, Kids Kino.Lab participants were embracing Greek culture not only through the incomparable hospitality of the hosts, their exceptional national cuisine, and a trip to the Acropolis of Athens, but also through the common line of work, such as the hugely successful screening of past short films of Lab’s Greek writers and producers: Fokion Xenos’ Heatwave and Nikos Dayandas’ Enter The Otter. They also participated in the presentation made by the Greek partners of the Lab on the 4th of March – one of the last days of the workshops focused on the development of future content for children and young audiences.

Stelios Kraounakis from EKOME National Centre of Audiovisual Media and Communication talked about the cash rebate scheme: 35% of eligible expenses in Greece with a minimum expenditure of EUR 100,000 (EUR 60,000 for digital games) and no upper limit. This can also be combined with a cash rebate of 35% for the Greek producer (a Greek producer is necessary for any EKOME application).

With the first presentation focusing on the conditions for a Greek minority co-production, Stavroula Geronimaki from the Greek Film Centre went more in detail about what the Hellenic Republic has to offer. She then went on to present the work of the Hellenic Film Commission: from collaborating with local ministries and public bodies to providing guidance regarding film permits and incentives for shooting on country’s locations, their organization is a primary contact point when filming in Greece. And with credits to its name such as The Little Drummer Girl (shot in Attica region), The Two Faces of January (Chania), and Widow to the Sea (Nisyros), the Hellenic Film Commission did prove itself to widely promote and develop Greece as a filming destination for international film and series productions.

Anna Kasimati from the Greek Film Centre, also in charge of the Creative Europe Media Desk Greece, made a detailed presentation of the opportunities offered by the Creative Europe Media Programme. With the track record of support given from 2014 to 2017 to nearly 500 projects for young audiences, the participants got to learn about the application process for the development support of their own projects – with 14 calls for funding in 6 different categories, and the upcoming May deadline, they may be eligible to start their productions soon.

And as the 5th of March was the concluding day of the session, Kids Kino.Lab tutors: Philip LaZebnik, Armin Prediger, Kirsten Bonén Rask (the screenwriting tutors), and Ronald Kruschak (the producers tutor) had their last group sessions full of summaries and feedback sessions.
The common goal for the screenwriting tutors and writers? The first drafts of the scripts.
What about the common goal for the producers and their tutor? Preparing the production package and an excellent pitch of their projects.
The upcoming session in Zlín will be the last chance to meet as groups before the final Kids Kino.Lab session in Warsaw which will include pitching sessions and presentations of chosen developed projects for the guests of Kids Kino.Industry (previously known as the Warsaw Kids Forum).

The 2nd Kids Kino.Lab session in Athens was rich in both writing sessions and extensive producers meetings such as the presentations by Fulko Kuindersma and our Greek partners. Just like in Poznań, that allowed Lab participants to continue learning from each other’s experiences and share their perspectives.
Despite lots of work and challenges ahead, there are plenty of reasons to remain optimistic. The past projects of Kids Kino.Lab have successfully received public funding (such as Detective Bruno) and got a chance to continue their stories through sequels (such as newly announced continuation of Polish live-action children movie Double Trouble). Also, all the participants keep supporting and motivating one another to do their best.

The common conclusion? We need to achieve those common goals, and we are on our way to make it happen.