| DIGITALWAVE Closing Ceremony|
DIGITALWAVE CLOSING CEREMONY
The closing ceremony for DigitalWave took place on Saturday night, November 25th in the packed Tonia Marketaki theatre, with the presentation of the first Digital Creation award. Attending the ceremony were the President of the Thessaloniki Film Festival, Georges Corraface, the Director of the Festival, Despina Mouzaki, the President of the Greek Film Centre, Yorgos Papalios, the vice-President, Dimitris Sofianopoulos and director Kostas Sfikas, pioneer digital filmmaker. Kostas Sfikas’ film Metamorphosis, closed the first official year of the DigitalWave section.
The evening began with the presentation of the 11 young filmmakers that participated in DigitalWave. The Jury was composed of: Yorgos Argiroiliopoulos, director of photography, Stella Theodoraki, director, Arsen Kalfayan, collector, gallery owner and General Secretariat of the State Museum of Contemporary Art of Thessaloniki, Yorgos Likiardopoulos, producer, Anna Masha, actress and Eva Stefani, director and lecturer at the Department of Theatre of the University of Athens.
The four following films received honorary mentions:
Alpha by Yorgos Loukakos and Madeleine Aktypi – for their exploration in the narrative borders of cinema, their experimental editing of the image and sound while taking full advantage of the medium’s capabilities.
Mr. Lumiere…I am back by Nikos Alevras – for his sectarian sense of humour and the creative use of the medium.
Summer country dreams by Yorgos Axeherlidis – for the enthusiasm and authenticity of his characters as well as his particular depiction of rural Greece.
A pink safety pin by Nikos Pomonis – for the way he dealt with social issues that concern youngsters, and for his efforts to simulate real time in cinema.
Next followed the presentation of the first prize, the Digital Alexander (15,000 euros) – a frame with a digital representation of the Golden Alexander award –which went to Evangelos Giovanis’ film, Land of Nod, for its liberated narration, its authentic characters, its grasp of literature, its underground aesthetics, its courageous handling of the issues, which are political at their base, its subtractive dialogue and its ability to arouse a wide range of emotions.
“This is the most interesting program of the Thessaloniki Film Festival as it rejuvenates the Festival itself as well as Greek cinema”, said Despina Mouzaki, the Director of the Festival and added: “The section is competitive, however, in a friendly atmosphere and we are extremely happy that this initiative was so successful in its first year”. Referring to Mr. Papalios, the President of the Greek Film Centre, Mrs. Mouzaki noted their connection in Kostas Sfikas’, The model, which was produced by Papalios while she was still only a young member of the audience: “It was the film that made me love cinema and gave me strength and hope. The films that participated in this year’s DigitalWave also make us hope for what will follow in the future”.
Next, Dimitris Sofianopoulos, vice-President of the Greek Film Centre, said: “We might have even been described as enemies of film after we instituted this award for digital cinema. On the contrary, we are friends of good cinema and serious filmmakers”, he said and added that serious filmmakers take advantage of the new technologies and mentioned Michelangelo Antonioni and Peter Greenaway as examples. He also mentioned the Greek Film Centre’s support for digital productions: “Of course it isn’t enough to just shoot digital movies, we have to show them as well. That’s why we have installed the appropriate equipment in the Greek Film Centre’s network of theatres so as to avoid the costly transfer of digital to film when screening digital films in theatres”.
Thanos Anastopoulos, Coordinator of the Greek Film section, also mentioned that the Festival is trying to promote the DigitalWave films outside of Thessaloniki with Athens being the first city on the list.
Yorgos Papalios, President of the Greek Film Centre said: “Today, we aren’t just honouring young filmmakers. We are experiencing a historical moment for cinema. And that’s because this year we organised the first DigitalWave festival for digital film production, in view of the future which brings only digital films. Mr. Papalios also noted that in years to come, this initiative of the Festival will be seen as the starting point of digital cinema in Greece. “I’m delighted to present the first award to the first director of the first DigitalWave and I’d like to thank Mrs. Mouzaki for the honour”.
Evangelos Giovanis was thrilled with his Digital Alexander award and thanked the Festival, the Jury and the audience saying: “When I was shooting the film I was working in a restaurant in the USA. The customers teased me saying ‘the pizza guy is nuts’, and I would answer ‘ok, I’m nuts, now let me make my film’. So when I make my third film I’ll tell them to be quiet and to look at my award hanging from the wall”. He also mentioned that all of the films in DigitalWave were outstanding and proposed to the rest of the participants to make a film together.
Closing the ceremony for DigitalWave was director Kostas Sfikas, the pioneer of new narrative forms, who introduced his new film, Metamorphosis: “Some scenes in the film contain events that are very closely related to horror, rape and the violence that surrounds us. Throughout my work, I’ve always removed the sound from these scenes. So please forgive me if I’ve done the same thing in tonight’s screening”, he said.