24th Athens International Film Festival

"71" wins the Golden Athena at Opening Nights!

The curtain came down on the 20th Athens International Film Festival with a brief and informal ceremony, followed by the European Premiere of "Gone Girl" by David Fincher on Sunday, September 28th.

The curtain came down on the 20th Athens International Film Festival with a brief and informal ceremony, followed by the European Premiere of "Gone Girl" by David Fincher on Sunday, September 28th.

Instead of delivering a lengthy speech, artistic director Orestis Andreadakis gave the podium over to the festival's core team, whose members introduced the various awards, the juries and the winners' video messages, while also thanking the festival's sponsors and associates.

The festival's top honors, the Golden Athena for the Official Competition Section, was awarded to "71" by Franco-German Yann Demange for his "idiosyncratic directorial perspective and his ability to place the viewer right in the middle of the action, getting a genuine feel of the era and the circumstances," said the president of the Jury.

The award was collected by producer Angus Lamont on behalf of Yann Demange, who sent the festival a video message.

Yann Demange's thank-you speech / '71

The City of Athens Best Director Award went to Jonas Alexander Arnby for "When Animals Dream" thanks to his "solid representation of the subject-matter and the unique imagery he created," as noted by the Jury.

Jonas Arnby's thank-you speech / directing award

The Best Screenplay Award went to "Blind's" Eskil Vogt for "his individual storytelling style and the elaborate structure of the action and the characters".

Eskil Vogt's thank-you speech / screenplay award

The Audience Award went to "The Way He Looks" by Daniel Ribeiro, who also thanked the festival via a video-message.

Daniel Ribeiro's thank-you speech / audience award

After the Official Competition Section Awards were handed out, the President of the Music & Film Jury, Briony Hanson, took the stage, announcing there were two films that stood out in this year's Music & Film Competition Section before awarding the Golden Athena to "20,000 Days on Earth" by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, for its "excellent depiction of songwriting and for practically inventing a new music genre".

Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard's thank-you speech

The Jury also handed out a special mention to "Pulp: a Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets", which "delivered a brilliant and affectionate portrait of the band and the city it was born in," according to Hanson. The award was collected by director Florian Habicht

The photo coverage award - a Sony A6000 E-mount, courtesy of SONY Hellas - was awarded to Maria Saltaoura, while the top honors in the "Directing Greece" competition, accompanied by a full scholarship to the IEK AKMH Vocational Training Institution, was awarded to Michalis Michalakos for his film "Lazarus".


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