After thirty years, a Greek film won the Golden Alexander “Theodoros Angelopoulos” – Award for Best Feature Film of the 64th Thessaloniki Film Festival. The film Animal by Sofia Exarchou, along with the award, also receives a cash prize of 10,000 euros.
The director received the award on behalf of the committee from Elina Psykou, who emphasized that the Golden Alexander is given to a Greek film for the first time since 1993, when it was awarded to the film “From the Snow” directed and written by Sotiris Goritsa . “I am very happy and moved to receive this award here, in Thessaloniki, at my most favorite festival in the world, where I have been coming for so many years to see films and learn about cinema and where I have been coming before I even dared to say to myself that I want to make movies too,” said Ms. Exarchou during the awards ceremony, which for the first time was held separately from the closing film, at noon on Sunday, at the warehouse C’ of the Port.
“The committee was impressed by Animal and its non-stereotypical depiction of a Greek island in summer, as well as the unseen artists who are there to entertain tourists. This polyphonic film condenses the feeling of finding a sense of family, love, but above all sadness”, refers to the reasoning of the committee of the International Competition Section of the 64th FKTH, which consists of Diana Elbaum (producer), Dieter Koslick (journalist and former Director of the Berlin International Film Festival) and Elina Psykou (director, producer)
In the meantime, the star of the movie Animal Dimitra Vlagkopoulou, received the Best Actress Award in a half-length with Joanna Arnow, from the movie “The feeling that the time for doing something has passed “, directed by herself.
In addition, the film Animal received the independent award Crew United, which comes with a five-year free subscription as a Premium Member to the eponymous online platform for connecting Europe’s audiovisual industry professionals.
The presenter of the awards ceremony, Vassilis Terzopoulos, in the pleasant and friendly atmosphere, set the pace for the song “Yes sir, I can boogie, boogie woogie all night long…”, performed by Dimitra Vlagkopoulou in the film, and they responded by singing it loud contributors and audience.
Argyros Alexandros – Director Award
Joanna Arnow, took to the stage for the second time to receive the Silver Alexander – Director’s Award, supported by a cash prize of 5,000 euros from COSMOTE TV, for her film “The feeling that the time has passed to do something / The feeling that the time for doing something has passed”. It is a film in which “the jury appreciated the humor and element of absurdity in this bittersweet comedy centered on a woman, her body and the concept of sexuality”, as pointed out in its reasoning.
The Best Actor Award went to Kostas Koronaios for his participation in the film “The last taxi driver” by Stergios Paschos.
Finally, the Screenplay Award of the International Competition was awarded to the film “The lost boys”, by Zeno Graton.
Meet The Neighbors+ awards and accolades shower for… Slayer
The expanded Meet the Neighbors+ competition section, which includes first or second films from the 36 countries of SE Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, was presented this year upgraded, with more prizes awarded.
The Golden Alexander of the specific department, which this year was renamed the “Michel Dimopoulos” Golden Alexander in honor of the memory of Michel Dimopoulos, who broadened the horizons of the institution, making its internationalization a reality, accompanied by a cash prize of 10,000 euros, was awarded to the film “Ama Gloria” by Marie Amatsoukelli.
Accordingly, the Silver Alexandros – Director’s Award accompanied by a cash prize of 5,000 euros, went to Cedric Sutsivali and the film “Notes on a summer”.
The Best Actress award went to Muna Hawga for her performance in Amjad Al Rashid’s Inshallah a boy, while the Best Actor award went to Richard Langton for his performance in Never Were modern / We have never been modern” by Maciej Hlupastek and Soma Sandro for his performance in the film “Suffocation / Without air” by Katalin Montovai.
The Screenplay or Artistic Achievement Award went to the Film “Fonissa / Murderess” by Eva Nathena, which received a series of independent awards, such as the FIPRESCI Award (International Federation of Film Critics) for a Greek film premiering at the Festival, the first prize of ERT worth 3,000 euros, the Hellenic Cinema Center Award worth 5,000 euros, the Finos Films Award, which for the first time in its history awards a prize at the Thessaloniki Film Festival distinguishing a Greek film that premieres, worth 3,000 euros, as well as the Fischer Audience Award, for a film in the Meet The Neighbors+ competition section.
>>Film Forward and Immersive
The >>Film Forward section awarded its own Golden Alexander – Award for Best Feature Film, accompanied by a cash prize of 8,000 euros to the film “Samsara / Samsara” by Lois Patinio, while the Silver Alexander >>Film Forward – Award for Directing, which offers a cash prize of 4,000 euros, awarded in half to the films “All dirt roads taste of salt” by Raven Jackson and “The human surge 3” by Edward Williams.
The innovative Immersive competition section, which embraces creations that make use of the latest new technologies, chose as Best Immersive Film, which was awarded a Golden Alexander and a cash prize of 2,000 euros. “Finally me” by Marzio Sal.
The rest of the awards at 64The Film Festival
FKTH, one of the first film institutions in the world to host a podcast competition section, gave the Best Podcast Award to “Persistence of Memory” by Cordy Hope Therod and Rhiannon Kiara Vaughn, while a special mention was given to the podcast “As long as it lasts, I’ll be there!” of Dafni Anestis and Danai Dragoneas.
The Mermaid Award, awarded to the best LGBTI+ themed film of the official program, went to the film “The summer with Carmen” by Zacharias Mavroidis, which also won the Best Film Award of the Thessaloniki University Student Youth Committee, as well as the Fisher Audience Award for Greek Film “Mihalis Kakogiannis”.
The award of the… alliance of film festivals Smart7, accompanied by a cash prize of 5,000 euros, was awarded to the film “India / India” by Telmo Tsouros.
The “Human Values” award of the Hellenic Parliament was won by the film “Fingernails” by Christos Nikos.
For the second year, the Alpha Bank Accessibility Award was awarded to a personality or a film that highlights accessibility issues in the arts and is accompanied by 3,000 euros. This year it was won by Stavros Zafeiris for his performance in the film “Touched” by Claudia Rorarius.
The FIPRESCI prize for the best film of the International Competition was won by the film “In camera” by Nakas Khalid.
PEKK (Panhellenic Union of Film Critics) awarded its prize to the film “The last taxi driver”.
ERT, for the first time this year, also gave a second prize, that of Original Music, which is accompanied by the amount of 2,000 and was awarded in half to Yiannis Konsolakis for the film “Dolls of Dresden” by Alexis Tsafa and to Nikos Veliotis and Dimitris Karyofyllis for the film “Caterpillar nymph butterfly” by Kyros Papavasileiou.
The second prize of the Hellenic Film Center Location Award went to Petros Chytiris, location manager of the film “Little things that went wrong” by Haris Vafiadis.
The Ioannou F. Kostopoulos Foundation Award, established in 2019 on the occasion of its 40th anniversary, was awarded to the film “Polydroso / Polydroso” by Alexandros Voulgaris.
The WIFT GR (Women In Film & Television) Award was awarded to the film “All dirt roads taste of salt” by Raven Jackson.
The Special Prize of the Youth Committee of Thessaloniki University Students was given to the film “The Rhapsodist” by Nicolai Hamel.
The rest of the Fisher Audience Awards were given as follows: For film in the International Competition to the film “Anthropomorphic Vampire Seeks Suicidal Man” by Ariane Louis-Sez, for film in the Film Forward competition section to the film “Embryo larva butterfly” by Kyros Papavassiliou and for a film of the Open Horizons department in the film “A cup of coffee and new shoes on” by Gedian Kochi.
Present at the event was the ambassador of Agora Haris Alexiou.
The closing film “Fallen Leaves” by Aki Kaurismaki will be screened at 8 pm at the Olympian cinema.