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Director, singer, player and architect among the best known Greeks in 2011, according to Forbes

23 December 2011 / 16:12:11  GRReporter
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Filmmaker George Lantimos is the number one Greek celebrity this year, according to the local edition of Forbes magazine. At the beginning of this year, he was nominated for an Oscar for his film Dogtooth that received very good reviews from critics. At the Venice Film Festival in September, he was awarded the Osella prize for Best Screenplay for the film Alps. Lantimos is thirty-nine years old and has proved to be one of the most talented directors of the last decade. His colleagues call him a snob, but they do not deny his talent and professional qualities. He has made a series of commercial works, commercials and video clips of some of the most popular and beloved Greek artists like Sakis Rouvas, Despina Vandi, Haris Alexiou, Eleni Papa and many others.

The director receives revenue from the distribution of the films and a percentage on their showing on the small screen. He has earned between three and seven thousand euro from television broadcasts of his works. But real money comes from commercials that pay really well. He has worked for Aegean, Toyota, Cosmote, Emporiki Bank and many others who pay between eight and ten thousand euro per day of shooting, and the shooting time for commercials is usually about five days. The period 1994-2007 is considered the golden age for the majority of directors who saw their personal accounts increase each year and there was work for everyone. The economic crisis broke the abundant prosperity and now orders are much less and prices are falling. Despite his well-established name, Lantimos claims that it is not easy to raise funds for art and that is why he directs his income from his commercial work mainly towards financing his film projects.

Second is ranked the Greek youth’s favourite Mihalis Hatzigiannis who makes any song that comes out of the studio a hit. Hatzigiannis does not rely only on music. He has various other activities that support his public image, his popularity and his bank account. He participates in various advertising campaigns, TV shows, he owns several establishments in Cyprus, where his birthplace is, and he appears on the yellow press pages. He takes the first place in album sales in Greece and has his own music company (M2), which enjoys the support of local Universal for the distribution of albums. His concert appearances are not very common, which keeps fans in suspense and when he announces a tour, it often sells out. Obviously, the economic crisis has pressed Hatzigiannis’ finances as he announced a 20-day tour this year, unlike that in 2010, which lasted only 10 days. In summer concerts live, he receives about twenty- five thousand euro to appear on stage. For his club appearances, Forbes reports that the fee of Mihalis Hatzigiannis does not fall below twenty thousand euro and defines him as a pop artist with a commercial mind.

Football player Sokratis Papasthatopoulos, only twenty-three years old, ranks third among the best. Last year, the football club Milan paid 4.5 million euro for his transfer, and this year, he is "rented" by Werder Bremen for 600,000 euro and the German club will pay him annual salary of 1.2 million euro. Werder Bremen wants to keep him and will have to pay at least four million euro in order to make him a regular player in its ranks. Sokratis is in excellent shape and is considered one of the most successful young athletes of Greece.

Architect George Merlos ranks fourth among the Greek Forbes celebrities in 2011. Over the years, he has established himself as one of the best and most creative architects of Athens. In 2011, he took part in the reality show Fab 5, in which experts in five different fields (a designer, a hairdresser, a cook, etc..) help young bachelors improve their appearance, home and life in general. Many critics did not like the show and pointed out that George Merlos is already well known enough not to have to appear in such shows. With or without television, he is the creator of buildings and interiors of many clubs, shops and homes of wealthy Greeks. His imprint is in shops such as Cash, Qor, Inbi in the capital's northern suburbs or in Ache in the coastalarea of Glyfada or Barolo. He is distinguished for his taste for expensive and high quality, and his favourite pastime is to travel and stay in some of the most expensive hotels in the world. Merlos can afford it, because according to the publication, he earns up to one million euro for a project.
Known as the "saint of the Greek song," Haris Alexiou is third in the Forbes list of Greek celebrities for 2011. Only the best words can be heard for her and all believe that she deserves them. Her colleagues say that if the Greek song were a book, Haris Alexiou would be its cover. Others simply argue that her work embodies the soul of the Greek song. All those flattering words cannot remain uncovered and Alexiou’s talent is not cheap. She fills clubs and theatres, for which she has long received between fifteen and twenty thousand euro per performance, mainly from large nightclubs (bouzouki) in Athens. Lately, however, she avoids this type of establishments and prefers to perform in theatres such as Palace, Megara Mousikis and other more elitist places. There, the bar drops slightly and her remuneration for an evening is between eight and twelve thousand euro. Real money comes in the summer when Alexiou goes on tour and easily fills a small stadium of twenty thousand people as it was in 2008. It is suggested that the singer received thirty-eight thousand euro per concert during this period.


Tags: PeopleMedia newsGreeceCelebrities
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