Outrage is building in the Greek community in anticipation of the 3rd Melbourne “Macedonian Film Festival”. The Festival is run by former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) organizers in Australia.
The Australian Macedonian Advisory Council (AMAC) has issued a formal complaint to Hoyts, the cinema complex hosting the festival, objecting to both the naming of the festival and its use of the Vergina sun as an emblem.
The Vergina Sun is registered with the World Intellectual Property Association as a state emblem for Greece, with FYROM listed as objecting.
In a letter dated the 16th of October, AMAC wrote to Hoyts’ managing director requesting the emblem be removed from all promotional material.
“While AMAC welcomes artistic ventures and festivals promoting the cultural diversity of Australia, it disapproves of the unauthorised use of intellectual property and misappropriation of Greek heritage to promote any event,” the letter stated.
“The use of this symbol on the Hoyts website is offensive to Melbourne’s Greek community, given it is part of its cultural heritage.”
The letter adds that if the emblem is not removed from the website and other promotional material: “legal proceedings will be initiated”.
AMAC spokesperson Ian Pelekanakis told Neos Kosmos that as of Friday, he had not yet heard back from Hoyts management.
The spokesperson said this was the third festival, although it’s the first time it’s being held at Hoyts.
“It’s offensive to members of AMAC and the Greek community in general,” Pelekanakis said.
He added that AMAC also filed a formal complaint to Greater Union, where the festival was held last year.
“But the manager was of that [FYROM] background so she wasn’t interested,” he added.
The festival is scheduled to run at Hoyts cinemas in Melbourne Central and Northland from October 21st – 24th.
(source: neos kosmos)