A state grant of 629,561 euros to partially finance a film based on a best-selling book by former Greek finance minister Yannis Varoufakis raised eyebrows in Athens this week.
The grant, allocated by the digital policy ministry, was posted on Wednesday on an online platform listing all state expenditures.
Varoufakis' "Adults in the Room" details the events leading up to the summer of 2015, when the Tsipras government - in which the self-described "erratic Marxist" was the most prominent minister - clashed with institutional creditors, called a controversial referendum on the latter's (withdrawn) last offer, imposed capital controls and finally gave way to creditors' demands.
The film is the brainchild of veteran Greek-French filmmaker Costa-Gavras, who is also the director.
Varoufakis was the hard left government's "point man" in failed negotiations with creditors, with an already twice bailed-out Greece flirting with "Grexit" in the summer of 2015.
Undeterred, and suddenly enjoying global celebrity status, Varoufakis publicly and loudly disagreed with PM Alexis Tsipras' compromise, ditching SYRIZA and declining to not run for Parliament in the snap September 2015 election.
According to reports, the award-winning Gavras is already shooting in Athens, Brussels, Riga, Frankfurt and London. Beyond the Greek actors picked to portray Varoufakis, Tsipras and others, the 86-year filmmaker, best known for the 1968 "Z" and the 1982 "Missing", has tapped actress Valeria Golino to play Varoufakis' wife, Danae; Josiane Pinson plays Christine Lagarde and Ulrich Tukur portrays Wolfgang Schauble.
In response to scathing criticism in Athens over a grant to a private film with characters based on the current prime minister and other top ministers, Digital Policy Minister Nikos Pappas side-stepped the substance of the attacks and merely noted that "we're proud of the legislation and application of a framework to support visual-audio producers who choose Greece for their film shoots.
He also said 49 foreign and domestic productions have expressed an interest in shooting in Greece, 38 of which have been approved, with a total budget of 32 million euros, before saying the sharp reaction by the opposition aims to deflect attention from what he called political "scandals".