Hungarian action-comedy Kills On Wheels and Icelandic-Danish coming of age story Heartstone take top prizes at Greek festival.

Kills On Wheels

Scroll down for full list of winners

Hungarian director Attila Till’s Kills On Wheels (Tiszta Szivvel) has been named best film at the 57th Thessaloniki International Film Festival (Nov 3-13) winning the “Theo Angelopoulos” Golden Alexander award.

The film beat out 16 first and second films screened in this year’s competition section.

Kills On Wheels’ three leading young actors, Zoltan Fenyvesi, SzaboIcs Thuroczy and Adam Fekete were jointly awarded the Best actor trophy.

The film, arriving from the Chicago film festival where it won the Roger Ebert award, deals with three wheelchair-using young adults who decide to offer their services to the mafia in an effort to overcome their daily routines. World sales are handled by the Hungarian Film Fund.

Icelandic-Danish co-production Heartstone (Hjartasteinn) by Icelandic director Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson, was awarded the Special Jury Prize, Silver Alexander.

The film is a coming of age drama about two teenage boys in a remote Icelandic fishing village. It has been recently awarded at Chicago (Queer Hugo) and Venice (Queer Lion) and was written and developed by the director at the Cannes Cinefondation Residency. International sales are handled by Film Boutique.

Japan’s Yosuke Takeuchi received the Best Director Bronze Alexander for his debut The Sower (Taneomakuhito) which had its world premiere at Thessaloniki.

The screenplay, written by director Takeuchi, deals with the release of its main character from a mental hospital and the aftermath of his reunion with his estranged family.

The film’s seven year-old star Suzuno Takenaka received the Best actress award ex-aequo with Dimitra Blagkopoulou from the Greek competition entry Park by Sophia Exarchou, which premiered earlier this year at Toronto and also received the New Directors award at San Sebastian.

The Sower is sold worldwide by Japanese outlet K Zone.

Greek entry Afterlove by Sergios Paschos was the recipient of the Best Artistic Achievement award.

The film, which premiered in Locarno’s competition, deals with two young former lovers who try, in an unorthodox way, to figure out the reasons behind their recent break up. Male lead Haris Fragoulis received a special mention. Afterlove is sold worldwide by Athens based Heretic Outreach.

Another special mention went to actor Vassilis Koukalani for his portrayal of a Syrian refugee in Athens in the Greek feature America Square by Yannis Sakaridis, which played in Thessaloniki fresh from its world premiere in Busan.

World sales are handled by German outlet Patra Spanou.  

The international jury was comprised of Amir Naderi, director (Iran), Peter Scarlet, film curator, producer (USA), Frederique Moreau, screenwriter (France), Sofian El Fani, director of photography (Tunisia) and Eva Stefani, director (Greece). 


International jury awards

Golden Alexander: Theo Angelopoulos award to the best film

Kills On Wheels (Tiszta szivvel) by Attila Till (Hungary) 

Silver Alexander: Special jury award

Heartstone (Hjartasteinn) by Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson (Iceland, Denmark)

Bronze Alexander: Special jury award for Best director

Yosuke Takeuchi for The Sower (Taneomakuhito), Japan,

Best actress ex aequo

Suzuno Takenaka in The Sower (Taneomakuhito) by Yosuke Takeuchi (Japan)


Dimitra Blagkopoulou in Park by Sophia Exarchou (Greece, Poland)

Best actor

Zoltan Fenyvesi, SzaboIcs Thuroczy, Adam Fekete in Kills On Wheels (Tiszta szivvel) by Attila Till (Hungary)

Best Artistic Achievement award

Afterlov by Stergios Paschos (Greece)

Special Mentions to the actors

Vassilis Koukalani in America Square by Yannis Sakaridis (Greece, UK, Germany)

Haris Fragoulis in Afterlov by Stergios Paschos (Greece) 

Fipresci awards

Film in the international competition

Lady Macbeth by William Oldroyd (UK)

Greek film (Greek Film Festival 2016 section)

America Square by Yannis Sakaridis (Greece, UK, Germany)

Greek film critics association (PEKK)

90 Years PAOK-Nostalgia For The Future by Nikos Triantafyllidis (Greece)

Audience awards (Fischer)

Foreign film in competition

I Still Hide to Smoke (A mon age je me cache encore pour fumer) by Rayhana (France, Grece, Algerie)

Greek film-Michael Cacoyiannis award (Greek Film Festival 2016 section)

The Other Me (Eteros ego) by Sotiris Tsafoulias (Greece)

Open Horizons section

The Distinguished Citizen (El ciudadano Ilustre) by Mariano Cohn and Gaston Duprat (Argentina, Spain)

Balkan Survey section

Rauf by Baris Kaya and Soner Caner (Turkey)

Human Values Award by the Hellenic Parliament TV Channel

Sami Blood (Sameblod) by Amanda Kernell (Sweden, Denmark, Norway)

ERT Public TV Award and Euros 3,000  (Greek Film Festival 2016 section)

Park by Sophia Exarchou (Greece, Poland)

Youth Jury Awards (Greek Film Festival 2016 section)

Best Feature Film Award

The Other Me (Eteros ego) by Sotiris Tsafoulias (Greece)

Special Youth Jury Award

America Square by Yannis Sakaridis (Greece, UK, Germany)

Agora-Industry awards

Crossroads Co-production Forum

The2/35 co-production award (full post production image and sound worth up to Euros 100,000) to the project,

Noah Tree, director Cenk Erturk, producer Erturk, Hayali Ihracat Film, Turkey.

CNC Development award - Euros 10,000 to the project,

Behind the Haystacks, director Asimina Proedrou, producers Ioanna Bolomyti-Argonauts Productions, Anna Jancso-Librecine, Greece, Hungary

Musou Award (providing original film score composition and production, music licensing and audio post production services)

Fantasia, director Alexis Kardaras, producer Eleni Kossyfidou, Pan Entertainment, Greece

Special mentions to,

Figuras, director Azra Deniz Okyay, producers Okyay, Selin Karli-Figuras Productions, Turkey

A Kingdom, director Emilie Aussel, producers Thomas Ordonneau-Shellac Sud, France

Mediterranean Film Institute (MFI) award (full scholarship for film workshops)

Figuras, director Azra Deniz Okyay, producers Okyay, Selin Karli-Figuras Productions, Turkey

Initiative Film award ( full consulting in audiovisual development)

Behind the Haystacks, director Asimina Proedrou, producers Ioanna Bolomyti-Argonauts Productions, Anna Jancso-Librecine, Greece, Hungary

Mention (one consulting session in audiovisual development)

Fantasia, director Alexis Kardaras, producer Eleni Kossyfidou, Pan Entertainment, Greece

Works in Progress

GRAAL co-productionaward (image post-production up to  Euros 70.000)

Charlton Heston, director Andrei Cretulescu, producers Cretulescu-Kinosseur, Velvet Moraru-Icon Productions, Rani Legrand, Rani Massalah-Les Films du Tambour, Romania, France

Eurimages Lab Project Award    (Euros 50,000 to an unconventional film project investing in new forms of cinematographic expression)

Thorn, director Gabriel Tzafka producers Panayotis Kakavias-Kakavias Film, Katerina Beligianni-Kabel, Michael Bille Frandsen, Theis Norgaard-Niytrst Film, Greece, Denmark.    


Festival innovations, highlights

Among this year’s innovations and highlights put together by the new duo heading the event, general director Elise Jalladeau and Orestis Andreadakis were:

  • The notable increase of local titles featured in the reshaped non-competitive Greek Film Festival section featuring more than 40 titles
  • Tributes, to the Turkish director Zeki Demirkubuz in the respected Balkan Survey section curated dy Dimitris Kerkinos
  • The homage to the late Argentinian director Leonardo Favio featuring seven of his films, the first of its kind ever organized by a European festival. 
  • The highly successful masterclass offered by the renowned Michelangelo Antonioni collaborator, Italian director of photography Luciano Tovoli.
  • The launching in Thessaloniki of Locarno’s Industry Academy International.
  • The collaboration with the Basel-based Dokumenta art exhibition through the presentation of a film programme.
  • A masterclass by Michel Reilhac on virtual reality cinema technology.
  • The presentation of the finalist films competing for the European Parliament Lux awards.
  • The implementation of full accessibility to the screenings for persons with mobility, hearing and visual impairments. The programme was backed by the Onassis Foundation.
  • The spreading of the festival activities all over the city during the year.
  • Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson was the opening film.
  • The Dancer (La Danseuse), the debut film by the French multifarious artist Stephanie di Giusto, was the closing films at the awards gala.
  • The organisation of the event was made possible also by funds made available through the E.U. National Strategic References Framework.