American film director, producer, cinematographer and author Steven Bernstein delivered a powerful speech at the University of Aegean recently in Rhodes this month, covering propositions for the film industry entitled "How to tell stories through cinema and change your life and change Greece”.
Mr. Bernstein referred to his professional career, his vision for building up the film industry in Greece and the process of producing a feature-length film.
The American film director stressed that Greece has grasp a huge part of his heart, a country that he has been visiting for 50 years, without a doubt a second home to him. After a business trip to Mykonos quite a few years back, Mr. Bernstein was approached, at that time, to rebuild the film industry in Greece.
He said "The first thing I suggested was to change taxation, the second one is to educate the local residents on International American and British productions, and the third is to have the appropriate studio and infrastructure, the purpose is to bring large film productions to the region to invest money.
With respect to Rhodes, he added that it is a beautiful island with good possibilities and countless advantages.
A flash back to the times of the blockbuster films made in Rhodes:
«Guns of Navarone», (1960) premiered worldwide in (1961), starring Oscar nominees, Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn
"Escape to Athena" directed by George P. Cosmatos in 1979 with famous movie stars Roger Moore, Telly Savalas, David Niven & Claudia Cardinale
“Beyond Friendship” (2005) was filmed in Rhodes, a coproduction of six countries in total. It is one of the largest co-productions in Greece, with a budget of € 3.5 million. The film was shot in 45 different locations of Rhodes, directed by Elie Chouraqui starring Ian Holm, Tovah Feldshuh, Said Tagmaoui, J.J. Feild, Patrick Bruel and Maria Papas.
"Swing Away" was filmed in the summer of 2015, shot in Lindos and Afandou on the east coast of Rhodes, a production by George Stephanopoulos starring Shannon Elizabeth, who also played in the movie “American Pie” with John O'Harley.
There were so many other films produced by European and Greek film makers, such as
“El Greco”. We hope to see a continuation of Rhodes scenes on the cinema and we are sure that the attractions in Rhodes will always be a popular choice for film makers!