Harsh criticism for the lack of state support for film production and the downgrading of the ministry of Culture.
Ektoras Lygizos’ Boy Eating the Bird’s Food was named best film at the Hellenic Film Academy (HFA) awards.
The film, made by Giorgos Karnavas Productions and co-produced by Argyris Papadimitropoulos (Oxymoron Films), Elina Psikou (Guanaco Films) and Nikos Moutselos’s 235 will be the official Greek submission to the 2014 Academy Awards in the best foreign film category.
World sales are handled by Paris based Premium Films and sales already secured include Canada and Spain.
The film, which scooped two more HFA awards for best actor Giannis Papadopoulos and best debutant director Lygizos, has already been widely hailed abroad.
Prizes include a Silver award to the film and best actor for Papadopoulos at Sevilla, best actor at Karlovy Vary, best film at Lodz and Canadian critics award to the best film of the international competition at the Montreal Festival des Film du Monde.
Based on his own screenplay, Lygizos - a young, innovative stage director - tells the story of a homeless young man trying to survive amidst the increasingly decaying local social context.
The reach of the film goes far beyond the particular case of its male lead, bracing the wider image of a society in financial and moral crisis.
It is characteristic that another film that also won three HFA awards, Thanos Anastopoulos’ The Daughter, also deals with the Greek socio-economical crisis through the eyes of another young person.
An adolescent girl decides to take revenge for her father who loses his job and is cheated by his business partner.
Anastopoulos (Correction, Berlin Forum 2007) was named best director, also winning best screenplay in collaboration with Vassilis Giatsis while Elias Adamis won for best cinematography. It was made by Anastato Films and Fantasia Ltd (Greece) Mansarda Productions (Italy).
The film, which premiered at this year’s Berlinale, is set to have its US premiere in Seattle later this year. Paris-based Pascale Ramonda is in charge of festivals and serving as world sales consultant. Takis Veremis’ Strada Films is the local distributor.
Another film, the ambitious J.A.C.E. with director/screenwriter Menelaos Karamangiolis in his second directorial outing, tackles a wide array of topics from illegal immigration to the corruption in the higher echelons of the local society.
It won six awards: best supporting actor and actress, costume and art direction, editing (ex aequo) and make up.
Lack of support
The awards gala was the occasion for the HFA to point out the complete lack of support of film production by the state coinciding with the downgrading of the ministry of Culture practically reduced in a general direction of the overall ministry of Education, Culture and Sports.
Addressing the public at the beginning of the gala, the HFA president, film maker Katerina Evangelakou, said that “the local authorities and the ministry of Culture were out of the frame of this celebration while film directors, actors and technicians bring out films dealing with the country’s severe problems, films that are hailed abroad, made in spite of the official indifference and lack of any support”.
The majority of the films awarded and nominated represented a statement from the young generation of local film makers. That of their determination in spite of the crisis to continue bringing up new films, increasingly appreciated and awarded at international festivals, which are produced out of collective-all voluntary efforts, without backing from such state institutions as the funds depleted Greek Film Centre.
Full list of awards
Best film fiction
Boy Eating the Bird’s Food by Ektoras Lygizos. Produced by George Karnavas Productions, co-prducers Argyris Papadimitropoulos (Oxymoron Films), Elina Psikou (Guanaco Films), Nikos Moutselos’ 235.
Best film documentary
Amnesia Diaries by Stella Theodoraki. Produced by Fantasia Ltd (Greece), 90 Production (Albania), Arizona Films (France), Eurimages.
Thanos Anastopoulos for The Daughter.
Anastopoulos and Vassilis Giatsis for The Daughter.
First time director
Herctoras Lygizos for The Boy Eats the Bird’s Food
Amalia Moutoussi in Hara by Elias Yiannakakis
Giannis Papadopoulos in The Boy Eats the Bird’s Food
Dora Karvouni in J.A.C.E. by Menelaos Karamangiolis
Ieronimos Kaletsianos in J.A.C.E. by Menelaos Karamangiolis
Elias Adamis for The Daughter.
Takis Giannopoulos. Lambis Haralambidis, Panos Daoultzis for J.A.C.E.
Stella Filippopoulou for If by Christophoros Papakaliatis.
Elias Ledakis for J.A.C.E.
Despina Heimona for J.A.C.E.
Stavros Gasparatos for Blood by Diamantis Karanastasis
Marinos Athanasopoulos, Kostas Varibobiotis, Aris Louziotis, Alexandros Sidiropoulos for If.
Giannis Pamoukis for J.A.C.E.
Vassilis Andriopoulos, Giannis Vamvakas, George and Roulis Alahouzos, Dimitris Gerpinis for Tied Red Thread by Kostas Haralambous.
Best Short film
Chamomile by Neritan Xinxiria. Producer George Lykiardopoulos
Lucia Rikaki award
HFA Honorary award
Nova Honorary award