“As a 21 year old, undergraduate from the North the England, I was very much in the beginnings of my film industry experience. That and being a Balkan outsider, I was scared that the experience was going to be daunting, overwhelming and that I wouldn’t feel worthy of a place as one of the 5C critics, this however wasn’t the case. From the friendly welcome of the volunteers at the airport, to the warm greetings from the mentors and other participants of the project at breakfast the following morning, to meeting everyone else along the way, my expectations couldn’t of been more wrong and I was made to fell comfortable, at ease, and most of all extremely welcome from the start.
Mixing with industry professionals and attending masterclasses was an entirely new experience for me, I was felt honored to be in the company with the likes of Jean-Michel Froden, Olympia Mytilinaiou and Maria Komninos and the tips and tricks they shared with us were vital for developing our writing skills.
Apart from learning more about Balkan cinema and how to write about the film, I most enjoyed learning about everyone else’s culture and how different the Balkan way of life is compared to Western Europe. Previous to the festival, I had only visited the touristy, islands of Greece so I enjoyed seeing the real side of Greece – and being shown around Athens by the brilliant altcineAction! team who not only acted as great tour guides for the weekend but also as great friends.
Overall, the only way my experience of Athens could of been better was if it included a little more sleep and a little more heat! Apart from that it was a great weekend with great food, great films and great people who made me feel nothing but like an honorary Balkan and I can’t wait for the next stop of the cine caravan!”