collage hfaAs Greece and many other countries are under lockdown, which has inevitably influenced the cinematic communities, Greek cinematic institutions boast inventiveness in coping with an unprecedented situation. In this context, the Hellenic Film Academy decided to run the Iris awards bestowment procedure online, while the Thessaloniki International Film Festival assigned the Iris nominees with homework.

The Hellenic Film Academy (HFA) was founded on 23 November 2009, in Athens, in order to gather under the same roof all the film industry people of Greece who consistently shape the country’s “filmscape”. The HFA leads and supports initiatives regarding the development of domestic film production, and outsources research projects aiming to improve national film policy. The HFA is also active in film education and training. It holds open discussions and lectures for film professionals (Riding the Greek Wave) and organizes seminars and workshops for film students or/and anyone who’s interested in film art and practice (Film Factory).

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"Index", dir. Nicolas Kolovos (2019)

In collaboration with the European Film Academy and other film Academies of Europe, the HFA organizes international film events, such as the EFA Young Audience Awards, the French Academy’s Golden Nights etc. As a member of the Film Academy Network of Europe, the HFA contributes to the discussion on the future of Europe’s film industry and policy.

The HFA’s primary focus is the Iris Annual National Film Awards event. The Academy awards achievements in a wide variety of categories. All films, as defined by national policy, are eligible for Academy Awards consideration – whether Greek productions or co-productions – as long as they have obtained the corresponding certification and have received their first public exhibition in a motion picture theatre between January 1st and December 31st of the previous year.

This year’s award nominations, given the restrictions posed by the coronavirus pandemic, were live streamed by the President of the Hellenic Film Academy, film maker Yorgos Tseberopoulos, following the secret ballot by the members of the Hellenic Film Academy held 12 to 15 March, 2020.

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Angeliki Papoulia, "The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea" dir. Syllas Tzoumerkas (2019)

Five films were nominated best feature films: “Defunct” directed by Zaharias Mavroidis, “Not to be Unpleasant but we need to have a serious talk” by Giorgos Georgopoulos, “Eftyhia” by Angelos Frantzis, “The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea” by Syllas Tzoumerkas and “Winona” by The Boy (Alexandros Voulgaris).

“For No Reasons: Meetings with Yorgos Maniatis”, directed by Stavros Psylakis, “When Wagner Met Tomatoes” by Marianna Oikonomou and “Irving Park” by Panagiotis Evangelidis are this year’s nominees for best feature documentary award.

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"The Distance Between Us and the Sky" dir. Vassilis Kekatos (2019)

"The Distance Between Us and the Sky" directed by Vassilis Kekatos and awarded at the Cannes International Film Festival, “Postcards from the End of the World” by Konstantinos Antnopoulos, “All the Fires the Fire” by Efthymis Kosemund Sanidis, “Electric Swan” by Konstantina Kotzamani and “Index” by Nikolas Kolovos winner of the Golden Dionysos award at this year’s Drama Short Film Festival) are the nominees for Best Short Feature Film.

The nominees for best short feature animation film are Antonis Noussias for his awarded in Drama “Violent Equation”, Fokion Xenos for “Heatwave” and Paraskevi Markatou and Pinelopi Bekiari for “The White Wings”.

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"Violent Equation" dir. Antonis Noussias (2019)

Angelos Frantzis, Syllas Tzoumerkas and The Boy (Alexandros Voulgaris) are the nominees for the directing award for their respective films “Eftyhia”, “The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea” and “Winona”, while Minos Nikolakakis, Stavros Pambalis and Rinio Dragasaki are the nominees for best Newcomer Director Award for their films “Entwined”, “Siege on Liperti Street” and “Cosmic Candy”, respectively.

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Konstantine Markoulakis, "Siege on Liperti Street" dir. Stavros Pambalis (2019)

The nominees for best screenplay are Zaharias Mavroidis for “Defunct”, Giorgos Georgopoulos and Maria Fakinou for “Not to be Unpleasant but we need to have a serious talk” and Yioula Boudalia and Syllas Tzoumerkas for the “The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea”. Finally, the nominees for best Cinematography award are Yannis Drakoularakos for his work in “Eftyhia”, Christina Moumouri for “Zizotek” and Simos Sarketzis for “Winona”. See the full nomination list here (in Greek).

The members of the Hellenic Film Academy will vote for the Iris awards winners from 9 to 12 April and the results will be live streamed on April 14th.

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Omiros Poulakis, “Not to be Unpleasant but we need to have a serious talk” dir. Giorgos Georgopoulos (2019)

Meanwhile

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival is using the possibilities that the Internet has to offer, in order to provide an outlet for the audience that loves cinema, in the unprecedented circumstance of the COVID-19 era. With everyone urged to stay home, the Festival has assigned eleven Greek directors to shoot a film up to three minutes long, at home, in order to comment on the new reality that we live in. The idea is to create a film at home, using the environment, the people or the animals in that space. The only outdoor areas that may be used are outdoor living spaces, such as the terrace, the garden, the balcony and the stairwell. The project will be named “Species of Spaces” from the book by Georges Perec and it can be used as a source of inspiration. The directors are the Hellenic Film Academy award-nominees in the best film, best director, best newcomer and documentary feature categories. The directors (in alphabetical order) are:  Rinio Dragasaki, Marianna Economou, Panagiotis Evangelidis, Angelos Frantzis, Giorgos Georgopoulos, Zacharias Mavroeidis, Minos Nikolakakis, Stavros Pamballis, Stavros Psillakis, Syllas Tzoumerkas and Alexandros Voulgaris (The Boy). Soon the films will be available in the Thessaloniki Film Festival YouTube channel.   

Read also: Giorgos Georgopoulos on a deadly virus and toxic masculinity, Stavros Pamballis on national trauma, family drama and Mediterranean Western, Nicolas Kolovos on artistic freedom and the power of love in the darkest moments, Angelos Frantzis: Whodunit is of little concern to me, Syllas Tzoumerkas on successfully getting out of quagmires, Vasilis Kekatos takes his Fish to Sundance, George Frentzos on the Art of Cinematography in Greece.

F.K.