The new year began with wonderful news for the Olympia International Film Festival for Children & Young People and Camera Zizanio. On January 11th 2018 a program contract was signed among the Ministry of Culture, the Region of Western Greece and the Olympia Festival Social Cooperative Enterprise securing a stable funding for the next three years.
Moreover, on February 6th the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced the financing of a permanent home for all festival activities with €8 million from the state budget. In his speech, he described the festival as an institution with “an impressive success and international recognition.” Festival director Dimitris Spyrou: “This comes as an official recognition of what we already have been: a unique festival, and the most important institution on youth cinema and young people’s audio-visual creation in Greece. We consider this a vindication of a struggle that started 20 years ago. At the same time, we now have new potential for development.”
The permanent home of the festival will be created in the buildings of the old ASO Raisin Factory in Pyrgos, offered by the Region of Western Greece. The funds will be used to renovate the building, create infrastructure and acquire equipment. The project, as planned, will be a multiple use space for culture including screening venues, exhibition spaces, a film set and animation studio, recording studios, editing rooms, book and film library, workshop spaces etc.
The new complex will be open to all cultural groups in town and to young artists. It will also serve as a home for the European Centre of Youth Audio-visual Creation, that will offer year round educational programmes for students, teachers and postgraduates from Greece and abroad.
The Olympia Festival wants to thank all those who stood by its side throughout all these years and asks them to continue their support while they are planning “a great leap forward”.