Greek financial crisis hits fest

Prizes at Thessaloniki Film Fest to be halved

Prize purses at the Thessaloniki Film Festival are to be halved as the Greek financial crisis begins to hit publicly funded events.

The festival’s top two awards will be cut, from 40,000 Euros to 20,000 for the Golden Alexander and from 20,000 Euros to 10,000 Euros for the Silver Alexander, the festival said Wednesday.

The jury is being reduced from seven to five although a new prize of 5,000 Euros – awarded to the director of a winning film – is being introduced for originality and innovation.

The changes, introduced by the festival’s board of directors, were forced by the “severe financial crisis affecting” Greece, the festival said in a statement.

The cutbacks will impact the 51st edition of the festival, which runs December 3-12.

Other festivals in Europe claim to be largely unaffected by the economic crisis that has hit the continent, along with other countries worldwide.

The Karlovy Vary festival says that it has not lost sponsors or made cuts, although in what is describes as an efficiency move, this year’s program has 30 fewer films, allowing more screenings of the remaining films.

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