Athens International Film Festival

28th Athens International Film Festival: Press Conference

On Wednesday the 21st September 2022 the press conference of the 28th Athens International Film Festival took place at ASTOR cinema, held by the Festival’s Artistic Director, Mr Loukas Katsikas, in the presence of the Chair of the Athens Film Society, Mrs Maria Bobola.

The Managing Director of the Athens International Film Festival, Ms Tatiana Pappa and Artistic Director, Mr Loukas Katsikas welcomed those attending in person as well as the audience watching the press conference live through the Festival’s social media pages.

Watch the video of the Press Conference 

Ms Tatiana Pappa welcomed the audience and began the event by expressing her joy that “the Festival, this cinematic dream, started with love, patience and persistence, was embraced by its audience, professionals from the film industry, the institutions, international institutes and the Republic. Taking over from a rich and impressively popular Athens Open Air Film Festival, which began with the glamorous Greek premiere of LOST DAUGHTER in attendance of American actress Maggie Gyllenhaal and the actor Peter Sarsgaard, the festival continued its journey with 21 screenings in Athens as well as on Aegean islands, all with free admission attracting almost 10000 viewers. For the second year running the AOAFF continued its collaboration with 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture holding the first Documentary Festival in Elefsina titled “Mystery 23_Cine Eleusis: IN SITU realities”. The 28th Athens International Festival could not take place without the undying support of the government. We would like to give our profound thanks to the Regional Authority of Attica and  City of Athens Cultural, Sport and Youth Organisation (OPANDA) without whose invaluable financial support as well as that of the Ministries of Development and Culture the Festival is able to continue to steadily progress and continue its journey. The 28th event of the Festival will once more contribute to the culture and social life of Athens with 12 days of screenings, 142 films, more than 100 collaborators and suppliers and 50.000 viewers”.

At this point she invited the Governor of the Attica Region, Mr Giorgos Patoulis, to the podium to give a brief address during which he emphasised the importance of “culture, which is not a luxury, but a fundamental element of good living and a necessity to modern man both from an educational as well as psychological point of view” and he  went on to renew the Region’s commitment to continue to support the institution of the Festival as “ noe of the largest and greatest Festivals in Southeast Europe” with the hope that “after two years of the pandemic we all have the chance to relive the unique mysticism, the emotive way the audience interacts with the directors’ work inside the cinema venue”.

The president of OPANDA, Ms Niki Arampatzi, was not able to attend but she sent a message stating that “ The Municipality of Athens and OPANDA love film and the Festival. Besides, we actively prove it, by being co-organisers since its inception. This year, and after the difficulties the industry went through during the past two years, the Festival promises an even greater wealth of events and unique cinematic experience on the screens of indoor cinemas. I sincerely hope the venues are overcome by viewers, because the experience of film in a cinema is much stronger and cannot be compared to any other form of screening. I hope this year will reward all those involved in the film industry and that any difficulties the industry ran into are behind us. I wish the best of success to this event of the Festival and may we all be present at our city’s biggest cinematic celebration!”

Following on, Ms Tatiana Pappa, welcomed onto the stage Ms Agapi Kefalogiannni, the Senior Programme Manager at NOVA, the new Main Sponsor of the Festival, who noted that “NOVA loves film, we love the Festival and wish to broaden the horizons of our collaboration and are therefore very happy to be starting this collaboration and contributing to  this international Festival which adds colour to our days with beautiful films. We are very much looking forward to getting people back into cinema venues and getting them talking about film”.

Before giving the floor to the Festival’s Artistic Director, Mr Loukas Katsikas, for the complete presentation of the programme, Ms. Pappa thanked the sponsors of the event for their invaluable support (NOVA the Main Sponsor,  Fischer the  Sponsor of the Audience Award, Jameson the Events Sponsor, AEGEAN the Sponsor of Air Transport thanks to their support 30 inter thanks to who we will welcome 30 international guests this year, Citroën the Transportation Supporter, ZOLOTAS jewellery stores, Metropolitan College, City Link, Athens Concert Hall, Pallas Theatre).

Mr Loukas Katsikas thanked the audience and noted that before starting the presentation of the programme of the 28th event of the Festival “the official Film Festival of Athens is naturally linked to what goes on in the city. And it survives through troubled times and social tensions. It is worth noting that today is the black fourth anniversary of the murder of activist Zak Kostopoulos, known as ZackieOh. From our side, we express our support for the march that has just about started on Gladstonos street.  Film is also memory and us who serve film, must not forget.

He went on to mention the totally safe and successful events of the Festival,  in a hybrid format during the years of the pandemic,  and emphasised that the 28th edition of Festival will be hosted EXCLUSIVELY in indoor cinemas, signalling the return of the Athens International Film Festival to normality, back to beloved indoor cinema venues, with the addition of yet another historic cinema venue- ASTY.

The Festival’s Artistic Director took to the floor once more to speak about this year's programme which will host 142 films, 3 Competition Sections, 4 major Tributes, long-awaited premieres, side events and special screenings. Continuing the presentation, Mr. Katsikas referred to the opening and closing films of the 28th Athens Film Festival  and talked about the award-winning and long-awaited premieres that will be screened at this year's Festival. Ruben Östlund’s "Triangle of Sorrow'', this year’s Palme d'Or winner at Cannes, was given a special open air pre-festival premiere screening on the beach of Chiliados in Evia, in the presence of the director. The Athens International Film Festival will have the pleasure of screening the well-deserved Golden Lion winner at this year’s Venice Film Festival, which was awarded to Laura Poitras’ documentary "All The Beauty And The Bloodshed", paving the way for the excellent film to the upcoming Oscars.  Also from Venice comes the winner of Best Screenplay and Best Actor (Colin Farrell) “The Banshees of Inisherin“, the newest (and best) film by Martin McDonagh, director of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”. This year’s audience will also have the opportunity to watch the highly daring, much-talked-about Winner of the Golden Leopard award at the Locarno Film Festival, Júlia Murat ‘s  “Rule 34”. However, among the most anticipated art films this season, by a respectable and award-winning director, is the Secret Screening taking place on Friday October 7th, details of which will be announced soon.

Finally, the 28th edition of the Festival will be screening the official foreign film Oscar submissions of Denmark (“Holy Spider” by Ali Abbasi), Ireland (“The Quiet Girl” by Colm Bairéad), Cambodia(“Return to Seoul” by Davy Chou ), Serbia (“Darkling” by Dusan Milic), France (“Both Sides of the Blade” by Claire Denis ) and Poland (“EO” by Jerzy Skolimowski) alongside this year’s Opening and Closing Films chosen as the Festival’s favourites for the Best Foreign Film Oscar.


The 28th Athens International Film Festival will make a celebratory start on Wednesday 28th September at PALLAS theatre with the Greek premiere of the most recent film by the acclaimed Park Chan-wook (“Oldboy”, “The Handmaiden”) titled DECISION TO LEAVE, which won the Best Director award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

We thank CINOBO for kindly allowing us to screen the film.

The curtains will fall on Saturday 9th October 2022 with the Closing Ceremony and Presentation of Awards of the various Competition Sections of the 28th Athens International Film Festival at IDEAL cinema with the Greek premiere of a film which both the audience and the critics thought stood out as a favourite and the rightful winner of the Palme d’Or: the touching CLOSE by  Lukas Dhont (“Girl”), which won the Grand Jury Prize and is its country’s official submission for Best Foreign Film at the upcoming  Oscars.

We thank AMA Films for kindly allowing us to screen the film.

Mr Loukas Katsikas went on to invite Tassos Mallios, one of the Guest Office Coordinators to introduce the members of the International Jury and the Awards they will present, as well as some of the special guests.


The jury which will present the INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION awards is made up of: President Nadav Lapid, recipient of the Golden Bear for Best Director and screenwriter, and  members: Louisa Arkoumanea, theatre critic, Arnaud Valois, actor, Diana Elbaum, producer and Alexis Juncosa, president of the Europa Film Festivals network.

The jury of the STRANGER THAN FICTION/ IN COMPETITION section is made up of: President Stavros Psyllakis, award-winning documentarian and members: Dora Anagnostopoulou, journalist, Marina Danezi producer and director, Samir Ljuma, cinematographer and Gabriela Bussmann producer.

The international awards GOLDEN ATHENA for BEST FILM and GOLDEN ATHENA for BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM are accompanied by a cash prize of 2,000 Euros and the award statuettes are kindly sponsored by ZOLOTAS jewellery stores. Our juries also present the CITY OF ATHENS BEST DIRECTOR AWARD and BEST SCREENPLAY AWARD, while the FISCHER AUDIENCE AWARD is also presented as part of the  International Competition Section.

The 28th event will welcome in Athens the recent Cannes Film Festival award-winner, director Jerzy Skolimowski, who will present his new, highly-talked-about film EO, the Golden Bear winner and Oscar nominated for her film,  ON BODY AND SOUL,  Ildikó Enyedi, with her new film, THE STORY OF MY WIFE, as well as Marco Morricone, son of the legendary composer, Ennio Morricone, who will be visiting us for a unique event, about which more will be made known soon.

See the members of all juries HERE and the international guests HERE.

Next, the Artistic Director invited onto the stage his colleagues Thodoris Karamanolis and Nektarios Sakkas, Programmers  of the Athens International Film Festival, to present the films of the  International Competition and the  Stranger Than Fiction / In Competition sections.

See in detail the films of the International Competition section HERE and the films of the Stranger Than Fiction / In Competition section  HERE.


Straight after, Panos Gkenas, Head of the Greek Short Stories In Competition Section and Editor-in-Chief of, took to the stage to present one of the most beloved, popular and dynamic sections of the Festival. Mr Gkenas mentioned that “the Festival’s third competition section has brought the Festival in contact with the creative, active, lively, daring and enthusiastic part of Greek cinema, that of short films, having presented more than 550 big short films. This year out of 277 submissions, we have selected 40 Greek short stories which will compete for the sections awards and which are characterised by multidimensional fiction, social commentary, queer explorations, pandemic trauma, pionneering animation, exciting performances and experimental ideas”.

Panos Gkenas then went on to present the section’s Jury which is made up of: director  Georgis Grigorakis as President, Antinoos Albanis, actor, Tamila Koulieva, actress, Christina Liapi, Heretic Sales Agent and Alexandros Papageorgiou, film critic. He then spoke about the Section’s Awards, the cash prizes which have risen from 5.000 euros to 11.500 euros and new collaborations with previous and new institutions (Greek Film Centre, ANT1 Screenwriting Academy and the Onassis Award) and incited Ms Ifigenia Vlahogianni, member of the Greek Film Centre Executive Board, who expressed her great joy at “being all here together and seeing cinema venues full again” and emphasised the long-standing support of the GFC towards the Greek Short Stories section “as the GFC supports new directors and their progression into feature films through the Micro Budget programme as well as Advisory Workshops organised through  the MEDIA | Culture and Creativity office”.

You can see a detailed list of the films of the GREEK SHORT STORY section, the AWARDS and the jury HERE.



After Panos Gkenas completed his presentation, the Festival's Artistic Director invited Ms Andy Dimopoulou, General Coordinator of the Athens International Film Festival, to reveal the special reason why the Festival will be welcoming Marco Morricone, the son of the great composer Ennio Morricone, which is none other than the great tribute to the unrivalled composer titled MONDO MORRICONE.

A tribute which includes the Greek premiere of the ENNIO documentary by Giuseppe Tornatore along with  a concert by the «Stavros Lantsias Quartet» at the Athens Concert Hall on Saturday 1st October, in the presence of Morricone’s son, Marco, an art exhibition and the presentation of Morricone’s biography. The tribute was realised thanks to the contribution and participation of the Greek Cultural Association Friends of Ennio Morricone's Music, the Italian Embassy and the Italian Cultural Institute. Ms Andy Dimopoulou gave her special thanks on behalf of the Festival to the Italian Embassy for their support and invited Ms Suzanna Slein, Counselor of the Italian Embassy to speak about the Tribute. Ms Slein was very eager to mention the long-lasting and mutual collaboration with the Festival and the months-long preparation for the Tribute to the iconic Morricone, who "needs no introduction having made music for more than 300 films and having won the greatest international awards with his work and I hope that the Tribute will remain in our hearts, just like the immortal melodies of Ennio Morricone".

See more about the tribute to the great composer HERE.


Loukas Katsikas continued the presentation of this year’s Festival Tributes, mentioning an invaluable tribute titled "QUEER BRITANNIA: WHEN ENGLISH CINEMA CAME OUT OF THE CLOSET" and invited to the stage Ms. Maria Papaioannou, Head of Arts of the British Council Greece without whose significant support the tribute would not have been possible. Maria Papaioannou praised the ongoing and commendable collaboration of the two institutions (British Gothic, British Flare) and emphasised her joy for this collaboration, warmly thanking the team for the "excellent selection of films for the tribute as they are all milestones in terms of emancipation and claiming of human rights, through a historical review of British cinema" and went on to express her hope that "the tribute will help us realise the importance of total equality and inclusion of LGBTQI  people not only in Britain and Greece but also in the whole world".

See more about the QUEER BRITANNIA Tribute HERE.

Mr Katsikas also spoke about the third and also significant tribute to a director who committed suiced, JEAN EUSTACHE, the caustic and uncompromising director, to the point of ending up unclassified in the canon of French cinema. On the occasion of their re-release in theatres abroad, the Festival presents the two fiction films that Estache managed to shoot, THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE and MES PETITES AMOUREUSES, both restored in glamorous 4K.

And it was finally time for the presentation of the main tribute of this year's event titled «The REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED: ΤΟ ΝΕΟ ΧΟΛΙΓΟΥΝΤ ΚΑΙ ΤΟ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΑΝΙΚΟ ΣΙΝΕΜΑ ΤΩΝ SEVENTIES», about which the Artistic Director characteristically mentioned: "While the quality of Hollywood today is at an all time low, it is paramount that we remember the decade which  went down in history as the last golden age of American film and as the only age during which big studios temporarily gave directors control of the reigns, embracing young new directors and giving rise to older ones to thrive in a climate of absolute freedom. For a short but exciting  period spanning a decade or so, some of the most important films ever made, without exaggeration,  were released in cinemas. Most of them you know, some you will meet for the first time. But what is certain is that you will see them impressively restored and more dazzling than ever. The reason for the great tribute is the worldwide celebration of 50 years since the first release of THE GODFATHER, a monumental film for New Hollywood and for the entire history of cinema."

Read more about the main tribute on NEW HOLLYWOOD HERE.

The presentation of the programme was completed with the unveiling, by the Festival’s Communication Coordinator, Ms Maria Nathanael, of two more special events as part of this edition of the Festival, the screening of the musical documentary of the year, the dazzling MOONAGE DAYDREAM, about the great hero and patron saint of the Festival, DAVID BOWIE, the Greek premiere of which will take place at the imposing VMAX SPHERA venue of the Village Cinemas, at The Mall, on Friday September 30th September, an intense audio-visual experience, a screening that our enthusiastic viewers will remember for a long time.

The celebration of the love relationship between music and film comes full circle with the screening of the masterpiece NOSFERATU, on the occasion of the reaching a century since its release, accompanied by live, original music by the musician NIKOS VELIOTIS, one of the greatest composers of our country , on Friday 7th October  at TRIANON.

See all side events of this year’s Festival  HERE.

See our parties  HERE.

Ending his speech the Artistic Director of the Athens International Film Festival expressed his wish that everyone have a “Great Festival, with the return to indoor venues, a return to great film” and thanked the supporters and especially the Italian Embassy and the Italian Cultural Institute, the British Council, the French Institute in Greece and the French Embassy in Greece, the Embassy of Poland in Greece, the Embassy of Ireland in Greece, the Embassy of Israel in Greece, the Embassy of Australia in Greece, the Embassy of Switzerland in Greece, the Embassy of Norway in Athens, the distributors AMA FILMS, CINOBO, DANAOS FILMS, FEELGOOD ENTERTAINMENT, ODEON, ROSEBUD.21, SPENTZOS FILM, STRADA FILMS, TANWEER, TULIP ENTERTAINMENT, WEIRD WAVE, TROUT Creative Hub for creating our spot this year, our photographers and videographer, Vassilis Mexis for designing the posters, the hotel ST. GEORGE LYCABETTUS LIFESTYLE HOTEL for its kind sponsorship, XFLOOR ROOFTOP BY ELECTRA restaurant for sponsoring our guests’ meals, ELECTRA HOTELS & RESORTS for accommodating our guests, and Viva Wallet for the issuing of tickets and film passes  as well as all the volunteers of the organisation for their valuable help.

The Press Conference was held with the concurrent interpretation in the Greek sign language by Ms Androniki  Xanthopoulo

JAMESON welcomed the audience at the Press Conference with a cinephile cocktail.




    Publication date: 2022-09-23 15:03:13