Greek industry body supports Attenberg for next Oscar race.

Knifer swept the Hellenic Film Academy (HFA) awards ceremony in Greece, honouring the best local productions, on Tuesday night.

The film — directed by Yannis Economides (Matchbox, Soul Kicking) and produced by Panos Papahadzis for Argonauts — received seven awards including best film, director, screenplay, cinematography, art direction, sound and editing. It had been nominated in nine categories.

The social drama, about an aimless man who struggles after he moves to the outskirts of Athens to work for his uncle, is sold worldwide by Umedia.

Following with five awards was Sylas Tzoumerkas’ Homeland, produced the Thanos Anastopoulos of Fantasia and Maria Drandaki of Pan Entertainment. That film, which premiered at Venice Critics Week, is about a Greek family from the mid seventies to today. The film is sold worldwide by Fantasia and the Greek Film Centre.

Also, Sotiris Goritsas’ public health satire Welcome All Saints, produced by Kostas Moriatis for Pan, won three awards (including best actor) out of its eight nominations. The film is sold worldwide by Pan Entertainment and the Greek Film Centre.

The Hellenic Film Academy has proposed Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Attenberg as the official Greek entry for the next Oscars. Match Factory handles international sales and MAria Hatzakou produces for Haos Film.

This is the second time that the Hellenic Film Academy has proposed a film for foreign language Oscar race. The HFA’s choice last year, Yorgos Lanthimos’ Dogtooth, made it to become one of five nominees — marking the first Greek film to get to the nomination stage in more than 30 years.

At the local awards, Attenberg came home with only one prize, best actress for Ariane Labed (who received the same honour at the film’s premiere in Venice.)

The internationally acclaimed  veteran director Michael Cacoyiannis (Stella, Zorba) repeatedly nominated at the Academy Awards was the recipient of this year’s HFA honorary award.

The sophomore HFA awards gala was dominated by the announcement of the death of the venerated actor Thanasis Vengos who was the recipient of the HFA honorary award a year ago.

Aside from that, the mood in general was fairly gloomy as industry experts are worried about the future of the local film scene — given the entire country’s financial problems as well government support for film in particular.

The tax shelter which was set to back local and foreign productions had been voted in a year ago but has not yet entered in operation due to the lack of a number of ministerial decrees that were never issued. 

Also provisions from the new film law, such as TV channels’ obligations to invest in film production, have yet to start funcitioning.

In the meantime the Greek Film Centre is still without the general manager provided by the law, and the limited subsidy means the number of new films is expected to come to an all time low this year.