Athens International Film Festival

27th Athens International Film Festival: Closing Ceremony & Awards

The curtains fell on the 27th Athens International Film Festival in celebratory fashion on Saturday 3rd October at IDEAL cinema with the Festival’s Closing Ceremony and Presentation of Awards.

The 27th event took place with fully attended open-air and indoor cinemas, with safety, proving that the audience can make a dynamic return to cinemas and enjoy the unique, collective cinematic experience of the big screen.

The ceremony was hosted by the “Greek Short Stories” selection coordinator and editor-in-chief of cinemagazine, Panos Gkenas, and the Festival Coordinator, Andy Dimopoulou.

At the start of the evening, the Executive Regional Councillor responsible for theatrical and musical events, Haris Romas, gave a brief address speaking about the importance and glamour of the art of film, promising that the State would be there to support the institution of the AIFF and to “celebrate 127 years, as all great things must go on, evolve, grow … like the newborn baby who is present here this evening and already a cinephile”.

The evening went on with the presentation of the Awards for the Greek Short Stories in Competition section by the jury headed by the President Sofia Exarchou, screenwriter and director and the members: Neritan Zinxhiria, director, Spyros Kribalis, screenwriter, script editor and creative producer, Penelope Tsilika, actor, Iosifina Grivea, entertainment editor, film critic and podcast host with the evening’s big winner of the Golden Athena being - the film - “HORSEPOWER” by Spyros Skandalou.

We would like to remind you that the Greek Short Stories section celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. Ten years of shorts which showcase Greek films as an up-and-coming narrative and contemporary force. For this year’s anniversary the Festival hosted, on its digital platform, all the Greek short films that had previously won the big award, and with the support of Creative Europe MEDIA Desk, the festival organised an advisory workshop on the future of Greek short films at big festivals headed by the International distributor Wouter Jansen and announced its collaboration with the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation with the aim of taking award-winning Greek films of this year's Festival event on a journey to museums of its network outside of Athens.

In the International Competition Section the Golden Athena was presented to the film “FAYA DAHI” by Jessica Beshir with a special mention being given to the film “COW” by Andrea Arnold. The awards were presented by the members of the jury present, President Marco Gastine, documentarian and producer, Thanasis Kampagiannis, lawyer, Katrine Kiilgaard, Director of Education at CPH:DOX , Noé Mendelle, director and producer and Aris Chatzistefanou, journalist and director.

The awards of the Festival’s International Competition Section followed. The awards were presented by the members of the jury present, president Babis Makridis, director and screenwriter, Dina Iordanova, film historian, Titus Kreyenberg, executive producer, Maria Nafpliotou, actress and Vangelis Raftopoulos, author. Tatiana Huezo’s film “PRAYERS OF THE STOLEN” was the winner of the Golden Athena. The Greek Film Critics Association Award was presented by a member of the association, Christos Skyllakos, to the film “GREAT FREEDOM” by Sebastian Meise, which also won the Fischer Audience Award which was presented by Alexandros Baltatzis, Marketing Manager Fischer and International Brands of the Athenian Brewery.

The Artistic Director of the Athens International Film Festival, Loukas Katsikas, closed the ceremony, with his speech, warmly thanking the collaborators, supporters, sponsors, viewers and volunteers of this years event, expressing his gratitude that the vast and touchingly loyal audience of the Festival heard the Festival’s call and returned en masse to indoor cinema venues after 2 years. He went on to express his hope that “we continue to celebrate cinema in the physical space for which it was created and on the biggest screens we can find”, in the full belief that the message of a safe return and co-existence in cinema venues, as proven by the impressive success and attendance to the 27th Athens International Film Festival, will become a prime example and a point of reference.

The glamorous evening was attended by the Artistic Director of the Municipal Theatre of Piraeus, Lefteris Giovanidis, directors Stavros Psyllakis, Nikos Perrakis, Konstantina Kotzamani, actors Themis Mpazaka and Christos Stergioglou and chef Sotiris Kontizas.

The ceremony was carried out with concurrent interpretation in the Greek Sign language by the Festival’s collaborator, Theodora Tsapoiti and with concurrent translation into the English language by the Festival’s interpreter, Irene Sarli – Theofylaktopoulou.

The evening came to an end with the screening of the closing film of the 27th AIFF, the highly-anticipated “DUNE” by Denis Villeneuve, a screening was made possible courtesy of Tanweer.

      : Photos