Athens International Film Festival

Closing Ceremony & Awards presentation of the 26th Athens International Film Festival

The curtains fell on the 26th Athens International Film Festival in a joyous atmosphere on Saturday 3rd October at the open air cinema AEGLI SAPEIOU with the Closing Ceremony and Awards Presentation of this cinematic institution.

This legendary event is one of few to have taken place in its natural environment, in cinemas, combining eight open air cinemas and online screenings on a specially designed platform as part of this year’s hybrid design. 

During this celebratory evening Awards were given for the Greek Short Stories in Competition Section with ”The End of Suffering (A Proposal)” by Jacqueline Lentzou the big winner - having won the Golden Athena Award. 

The ceremony was hosted by the Coordinator of the Greek Short Stories in Competition section and editor-in-chief of cinemagazine, Panos Gkenas, and the awards were presented by the members of the jury comprised of: Antoinetta Angelidi, Director (President), Akis Gourzoulidis, Casting Director, Gerasimos Evangelatos, Lyricist, Translator and Author, Sofia Michailidou, Cultural Events Curator and actress Angeliki Papoulia. Aside from Mrs Angelidi who presented the award through an honorary video, the rest of the Jury members attended the ceremony in person. 

Next came the presentation of the awards for the International in Competition sections of the Festival, for Fiction and Documentary. The awards for the International Competition section were presented by the members of the Jury who were present, the President Michel Dimopoulos, Film Critic and Film Historian Pamela Hutchinson, Filmmaker and Film Researcher Anastasia Lukovnikova, Film Curator Olia Verriopoulou, and Actor Christos Stergioglou. The film “This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection” by  Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese won the Golden Athena award while “Josep” by Aurel won the Fischer Audience Award, with the latter being presented by the  Marketing Director of the Athenian Brewery, Mr Thanasis Spyridonis. 

In the International Documentaries Competition the Golden Athena was awarded to “Petit samedi” by Paloma Sermon-Daï while special mention was given to “In  a Whisper” by  Patricia Pérez Fernández and Heidi Hassan. The awards were presented by the members of the Jury present, President Mani Benchelah and the Director of Ethnofest, Konstantinos Aivaliotis. The other members of the jury were Rea Apostolidou, producer, Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami, Documentary Filmmaker, and Chloe Trayner, Open City Documentary Festival Director. 

The Artistic Director of the Athens International Film Festival, Loukas Katsikas,  ended the ceremony with his speech during which he gave his warm thanks to the collaborators, supporters, sponsors, viewers and volunteers of this year's event, hoping wholeheartedly that closed cinemas will soon function once more “as the ultimate cultural refuge in times of great need”, hoping that the local cinema season starts as smoothly as possible and finally wishing success to all of the country’s future festival events with the certainty that the message of a safe return and co-existence in cinemas, something which was accomplished with great success during the 26th Athens International Film Festival, will become an example to follow and a point of reference.  

With the successful completion of this year’s event, Mr Louka Katsikas’ wish comes true as he himself said at the Festival’s Press Conference: “In a clearly dystopian year, where film and cinema screens, themselves, almost became things of extinction, the Athens International Film Festival wished to defend, more than ever before, the importance of cinemas as a physical place and a participatory process, to bring audiences together again through a divine experience and to secure safe circumstances under which to watch films together. 

By the time the 26th Athens International Film Festival has completed its last screening for this year, I would like to believe that film and culture will have acted as a remedy. They will have beaten introversion and insecurity, they will have pushed away doom and gloom and will have reinforced audience members with exciting new images and a great reserve of optimism: the necessary supplies to go on”. 

 

The ceremony was followed with the screening of the closing film of the 26th Athens International Film Festival, “Undine” by Christian Petzold with both him and the glamorous star, Paula Beer, who was awarded the Best Actress Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, sending a video with greetings and a wish to soon meet again in cinema venues.  

The screening was made possible with the kind permission of ΑΜΑ Films. 

The programme of the 26th Athens International Film Festival has been extended by two days in appreciation of the interest and public demand exhibited by the audience for this year’s screenings in 10 days to be supplemented by five more screenings for the 5th and 6th October at t AEGLI and LAIS - the Greek Film Archive Foundation cinemas.

The Festival’s online screenings will continue until the 11th October. Find the whole programme and purchase your tickets here: online.aiff.gr

The 26th Athens International Film Festival takes place under the auspices of and with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. 



    Publication date: 2020-10-05 18:11:14

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