Film Co-productions in southeastern Europe and Europeanisation – Eleni SIDERI (University of Macedonia)

Seminar May 20, 2022

A social anthropologist with specialisation the Ethnographies of the Black Sea and the Caucasus, Sideri studies transnational migrations and diasporas in the Caucasus. Since 2016, she has studied film creators’ mobilities to festivals and film markets. Her last research examined the way creators form film co-production networks (EU funded co-productions) and how this process interacts with Europeanisation as the latter takes roots in the context of southeastern Europe. I studied this formation in three field-sites, in Thessaloniki,  Sarajevo and  Tbilisi.

For this presentation, the starting point is that co-productions are not only an economic deals or ventures between two producers or production companies. Co-productions are a multilayered space of economic, political and cultural exchanges. Exchange is the corner stone of human social life as both founding fathers of social anthropology argued (Malinowski and Claude Levy Strauss). Αt the same time, exchange is interwoven with power geometries. It connects people and places, but these connections are part of political and economic hierarchies. In this way, exchange is embedded in the ‘web of culture’ and different aspects of social life. This is fundamental for the EU film policies as circulation of co-produced film is envisioned as a stepping stone for the production of the  transnational European markets and collaboration as well as the bonding (beyond the economic interest) among the European citizens.  How does this interwoven relation between economy and culture, market and art influence creative choices but also EU policies? What kind of experiences creators and film markets engage with to address what the ‘global’ cinema market requires? Furthermore, how do creators and festivals from the ‘periphery’ entangle with the EU policy agendas that allow access to funding? Which memories, histories and legacies help them address power relations often embedded in these agendas and to form their co-production networks?


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