The first Netflix deal for a Greek series has finally happened. The streaming behemoth acquired worldwide rights to the hit drama “Maestro,” directed, written by, and starring Christoforos Papakaliatis.
The series currently runs on the private Greek broadcaster MEGA and launches on Netflix in Greece and Cyprus on Dec. 19, before a global release in early 2023.
“Maestro” tells then the story of someone who travels to a small Greek island during COVID-19. In their attempt to start a music festival from scratch, the main character, Orestes, is faced with the reality of island society. And, of course, becomes involved in a complicated love story. The show, about which Papakaliatis says,”I am very proud of this project because I think that artistically it is a unique moment, not only for me but for everyone who was involved,” deals with many social issues that are common in smaller Greek towns.
Papakaliatis, a household name in Greece, was born and raised in Heraklion, Crete. He began his career at a young age, acting in several successful TV on the Mega Channel as a teenager. He began writing his own scripts at the age of 23 and rose to prominence through drama series such as “Take Care Of Me” (Να με προσεχείς), which he wrote and starred in, and “Close Your Eyes” (Κλείσε τα μάτια), one of Greece’s highest-rated series. He also works on projects in film and theater and currently divides his time between Greece and Los Angeles.
The future of Greek entertainment
In recent years, Netflix has shot over 10 productions in Greece, including Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter.” Thanks to help from financial institutions and the government, Greece is also seeing an influx of cash in the entertainment sector. Notably, the Hellenic Development Bank (HDB) recently introduced a €62.5 million ($64 million) loan guarantee program for the audiovisual sector, which includes motion picture, video and television production. The program offers low-interest loans to incentivize creators.
We hope to see more Greek series making their way to global streaming platforms in the near future.