29th Athens International Film Festival: Closing Ceremony and Awards Ceremony
The curtain fell on the 29th Athens International Film Festival Premiere Nights with major sponsor Nova, in a celebratory atmosphere on Saturday, October 7, in the packed TRIANTI hall of the Athens Concert Hall, with the Closing Ceremony and the Awards Ceremony of the institution, in the presence of the president of Athens ilm Society. Maria Bobola. The attendance at the cinemas was truly overwhelming.
Alexandros Perros welcomed the audience of the Premiere Nights and thanked the Athens Concert Hall for its hospitality, while also referring to the rare privilege of the Festival to screen one of the most anticipated films of the year, Hayao Miyazaki's ‘The Boy and the Heron’, in its Greek premiere simultaneously with all the major festivals in the world.
Then he enthusiastically stressed that the audience was impressive this year, summing up the screenings of the 29th AIFF in two words: sold out! At the moment when the cinemas in the center of Athens are disappearing one after the other, the residents of the capital rushed to show us how much they need these cinemas.
As IDEAL is about to ingloriously close its doors, after 102 years of operation, the Festival supported it with the moving attendance of thousands of spectators and with a series of events in its honor. He went on to express how important this turnout was. ’It gave life to the city center, proving how necessary it is right now to protect our cultural heritage, our cinemas, because that's where we want to be. Because our fondest memories and experiences were created there.
All the socializing, all the happy chats before and after each screening, during the Festival, all these wonderful urban tribes are the soul of the city. It is the connective link that once again thanks to AIFF proved that, despite the growing introversion we are experiencing, our city needs its cinemas as much as it needs to take interest in its tourism development".
Without cinema, there is no culture. Without culture, there is no city.
The ceremony was presented by actor Alexandros Perros, and Panos Gkenas, head of the GREEK SHORT STORIES Competition Section and editor-in-chief of cinemamagazine.
Alexandros Perros Panos Gkenas
Maria Bobola, President of Athens Film Society
Afterwards, the Awards of the Competition Section of Greek Short Films ceremony took place by the Jury with president Angelos Frantzis, director and screenwriter, and members Orfeas Augustidis, actor, Poly Lykourgou, film critic, Marilena Karamolegou, publisher and Vicky Micha , producer and the big winner of the evening was the film Light of Light by Neritan Zinxhiria, which was awarded the GOLDEN ATHENA.
Neritan Zinxhiria, Director, winner of Golden Athena
In the International Documentary Competition, the Golden Athena went to the film THE MOTHER OF ALL LIES by Asmae El Moudir, and two special mentions, to the film QUEENDOM by Agniia Galdanova and to the film 20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL by Mstyslav Chernov, were awarded by the Committee members, President Karin Riwkind Segal, Artistic Director of Docaviv FF, and producer Apostolia Papaioannou. Stefan Candea, journalist, Sofia Papaioannou and Jan Rofekamp, producer, also members of the committee, contributed to the selection of the award-winning films.
Special mention to Mstsyslav Chernov Asmae El Moudir, Director
This was followed by the International Competition awards. In the International Competition Section the awards were presented by the present members of the Committee, President Guy Lodge, film critic, Poka-Yio, visual artist and exhibition curator, Christelle Younes, co-founder of Bee On Set Productions and Siamak Etemadi, director and producer, with Molly Manning Walker's film HOW TO HAVE SEX winning the Golden Athena. The Greek Film Critics Association Award was presented by its member, Christos Skyllakos for the film RICHELIEU by Pier-Philippe Chevigny, which also won the Fischer Audience Award, presented by Brand Manager Fischer & International Premium Brands, Andriani Alexopoulou.
Guy Lodge and Giorgos Karnavas Director Molly Manning Walker
Andriani Alexopoulou and Pier-Philippe Cheviny Christos Skyllakos and Pier- Philippe Cheviny
The Artistic Director of the Athens International Film Festival Loukas Katsikas, closed the Ceremony with his speech, warmly thanking his colleagues and the spectators expressing his gratitude that the AIFF large audience responded to the call of their beloved Festival and filled the halls. As he said, ‘we are preparing to celebrate its 30 years soon’, and he expressed his wish ‘that this could happen in the ATTICON, APOLLO, OPERA and IDEAL cinemas’ believing that the message of the need to preserve, especially, the historic movie theaters was strong, expressed by the impressive turnout at the 29th Athens International Film Festival.
He concluded by asking us to regard our anxieties and problems in perspective of current world affairs and expressed his wish that we move through life with kindness and love.
Loukas Katsikas, Artistic Director AIFF
The ceremony took place with simultaneous interpreting in Greek Sign Language by the Festival's collaborator, Nefeli Radou, and with simultaneous translating into English by the Festival's interpreter, Irini Sarli Theofylaktopoulou..
The glamorous evening was concluded with the screening of the movie ‘THE BOY AND THE HERON’ by Hayao Miyazaki, followed by an after-party at ROMANTSO, with delicious Jameson drinks.
Melia Kreiling, actress
Panos Gkenas and actress Ephie Kantza
International Competition jury members
GREEK SHORT STHORIES Jury