The segment “The Hellenic National Audiovisual Archive Presents…” with which the Hellenic National Audiovisual Archive (HeNAA) is participating for the second time in the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, has been designed on two complementary axes. The first axis is to share with the festival’s audience audiovisual works from its collections, with a selection criteria based on the works’ contribution to the development of documentaries, their rarity, as well as their archival value. The second axis is the organization of events that promote the importance of archival audiovisual material and present the HeNAA’s activities regarding the development of its collections and the preservation and projection of the national audiovisual heritage.
Based on the aforementioned, on the occasion of the provision of open access to titles from the period between 1961 and 1981 from the HeNAA’s “Greek Newsreels” collection (www.avarchive.gr), an event is being held to make known an interesting part of newsreel history: in an attempt to modernize newsreels, the General Secretariat for Press and Information of the Ministry of the Presidency asked for the assistance of the well known filmmaker, Roussos Koundouros. The results were immediately noticeable from the beginning of 1961, when newsreels were enriched with sections on social, financial, cultural and international events, more closely resembling the style employed by foreign newsreel companies. At the same time, Roussos Koundouros undertook the production of a series of five documentary films entitled Hellenic Reconstruction, which aimed to document the country’s achievements in various sectors of economic development. These films were: Greek Industry, Open Roads, Roof for the People, Energy for Progress and Earth and Water. This screening includes the series’ first two documentaries, as well as, a newsreel with the events of the second ten-day period of March 1961, which coincide with the dates of the 12th Documentary Festival, half a century earlier.
A panel discussion will follow the screening. To discuss the history of these films – which have had a very limited circulation – three essential collaborators of Roussos Koundouros have been asked to appear and share their memories as directors of the film crews that searched for images from all over Greece: Vassilis Vassilikos, Leon Loisios and Yannis Bakoyannopoulos.
The following will be screened:
Greek Newsreels 196106 (10'), Greek Industry (13'), and Open Roads (16').