Margaret Smilow: A prominent figure in Thessaloniki


Μargaret Smilow was able to steal a day off her busy schedule in the States and give a press conference on Tuesday, March 4th, at the Olympion Renault theatre on account of the special tribute to her work in the framework of the 5th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – Images of the 21st Century.

Dimitri Eipides, the Director of the 5th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, introduced Margaret Smilow saying that, “her work is exceptionally important and despite her busy schedule, she was able to come to Thessaloniki for only one day to be here with us”.

Smilow works for the American educational television (Public Broadcasting System) for which she said: “we try to do different things and stray from the norm despite the limitations imposed by the budget or the small market of the films. PBS, though, supports new independent filmmakers and keeps a keen eye on the Sundance festival which shows PBS productions in return”.

The government pays for 1/3 of our productions. The rest comes from collaborations with institutions such as the Science Foundation. We, in turn, identify them in our productions”. Smilow expressed great interest in high-definition television and pointed out the audio-video advantages of using this type of camera. She spoke about her film Kurosava, which is part of the special tribute to her work:

It is a major point in my career, my most fulfilling experience in production. I think Kurosava is the most famous Japanese outside of Japan. In most of my films I was able to do what I wanted and I’ve always admired the work of the directors I collaborated with. I love music because it makes communicating with the world easier and brings me closer to the audience”.

At the end of the press conference Margaret Smilow thanked Dimitri Eipides for his appreciation of her work, despite the fact that she is a producer and not a director.