22nd TDF: Greek Program


Greek Program

27 short and 51 feature Greek documentaries will be screened in the 22nd Thessaloniki Documentary Festival in the International Competition section Feature Length, Newcomers and Film Forward and in the Open Horizons, From screen to Screen and Platform sections.

In addition, the 22nd TDF presents a tribute to the late Greek filmmaker Stavros Kaplanidis. It, also, organizes a special screening of the Mourning Rock by Filippos Koutsaftis, a film which 20 years ago changed Greek documentary filmmaking.

Here are the films:

Feature Length Films

…IMITATION ACTION by Michalis Lykoudis describes the preparation for the staging of Euripides’ tragedy Alcestis at the ancient theater of Epidaurus, in 2017.

1,000 m2 of Time by Maro Anastopoulou follows an international team of archaeologists that have been constructing the distant past of the acropolis of Ancient Geronthrai in Geraki, Laconia, a village in Southern Greece.

Alterations: Kō Murobushi by Basile Doganis explores Kō Murobushi’s dance and inner world, with purely cinematic means.

Chained (Agora II) by Yorgos Aygeropoulos explores the Greek crisis, unfolding the country’s tumultuous situation over the last five years and raising crucial questions for the future of Greece and Europe.

Express Scopelitis by Aimilia Milou travels on Express Scopelitis’ deck, entering the marine life of the Small Cyclades.

In-Mates by Iakovos Panourgias and Nikos Voulgaris documents the relationship between dogs and inmates, during an innovative program introduced by the non-profit organization Save A Greek Stray.

Mendil by Chrystalla Avgousti tells the story of Leila and Maria, two women – symbols of Cyprus. Turkish Cypriot Leila’s husband is missing; Greek Cypriot Maria is a refugee.

Transfer by Elias Giannakakis documents the preparations for the transfer of books from the National Library of Greece, amidst a city that resembles a battlefield.

In Sundays by Alethea Avramis a Greek Orthodox priest in the US decides to leave the Church. His daughters turns the camera on him, revealing secrets about his past.

Tongue by Panagiotis Achniotis and Andreas Anastasiades traces the life of activist Costis Achniotis, exploring the history of the Cypriot radical Left and the bicommunal movement for reunification.

Athos, The World’s Brightest Peak by Argyris Liapis travels through the Mount Athos and reaches pristine places. Three monks share their thoughts about faith and monasticism, about their lives.

In From a Thorn Comes a Rose: Kick-Off by Nicole Alexandropoulou Hestia F.C., the first football team of women refugees, has become a small homeland for three young players.

Babel – From Silence to the Explosion by Meletis Miras tells the story of the legendary Greek comics magazine Babel and the international comics festivals it organized.

Tied by Tassos Morfis captures the struggle of 320 unpaid workers of NEL Lines, one of Greece’s most historic maritime companies, in 2015. With many trapped in the company’s vessels in Drapetsona, a part of the Piraeus port, and away from the spotlight, the camera captures their efforts to receive their wages for 7 months during the most critical times in Greece’s modern history. To this day they have received less than half of the wages owed to them and their case is still before the court of appeal.

DIONYSUS, Τhe Return by Spyros Tsiftsis follows theater director Thodoris Terzopoulos from his home village in Northern Greece, all the way to the Berliner Ensemble, Russia, China, the US, Attis theater in Athens, and finally, Delphi.

Foreigner or Local? by Yorgos Giannopoulos follows Bardul, a hardworking Albanian immigrant living in Greece.

Genesis of Medicine – Disease and Cure in Ancient Greece by Grigoris Karantinakis explores ancient Greek Medicine from the Neolithic Age to the Late Antiquity.

In The Music of Things by Menios Carayannis a musician, a carpenter, and a photographer invite us to their world and reveal the most sensitive aspects of their work.

Gate of Darkness by Manolis Sfakianakis outlines the longest siege of a city (Candia) ever recorded in history, during the Fifth Ottoman-Venetian War, in the 17th century.

In The Last Night by Yorgos Gikapeppas the fictionalized life story of Ioannis Kapodistrias, distinguished politician and diplomat, who left an indelible mark on the history of modern Greece, unfolds through a series of re-enactments of the events that led to his assassination.

I Remember The Nazi Massacre by Kostas Vakkas writer Vangelis Sakkatos remembers the Nazi massacre of the Italian soldiers in Cephalonia.

Good Morning, Mr Fotis by Dimitra Kouzi follows Fotis, a teacher at a public elementary school in the classwork, as he inspires and challenges the children towards their rite of passage.

They Sing, They Mate, They Keep on Singing by Nikolas Dais is a portrait of Phainie Xydis, as she stares at the lens and speaks about her friends and her life.

Moving Sand/Topos by Floros Floridis and Jeanine Meerapfel combines film images, graphics with documentary text modules, to point out how the progress of data and technology colonizes human existence.

Labyrinth by Dimitri Athanitis is a documentary about the labyrinth of the arcades and the people living, working, and creating in there, for more than three generations.

Markos by Nikos Skarentzos is a documentary about the influence of Vamvakaris on the contemporary soundscape of Europe.

Lost in the Woods by Lefteris Fylaktos is the portrait of Costantinos Pittas, who took a solo journey across Europe, where he shot 30,000 black-and-white photographs. His aim was to capture the human core of the people living on both sides of Europe’s Iron Curtain.

Nikos Kavoukidis: The power of the camera by Menelaos Kirlidis documents the life and work of Greek filmmaker Nikos Kavoukidis, through personal stories and documents.

Nikos Karouzos – Poems on a Tape Recorder by Yannis Karpouzis delves into the eventful life and the unexplored work of preeminent Greek modernist poet, Nikos Karouzos.

Yiorgos of Kedros by Yiannis and Yiorgos Kolozis takes a journey in time through the eyes of two generations of filmmakers, at the same remote island in Greece from the 70s up until now.

Mozart in the Centaurs Mountain by Yiannis Karapiperidis is a film about the Pelion Festival, featuring skillful musicians, plenty of food and lots of cellos!

The New Plastic Road by Angelos Tsaousis, Myrto Papadopoulos follows Davlat, a Tajik merchandiser and a humble father of three children.

Spiros and the Circle of Death by Dimitrios and Lino Kafidas is human portrait of a motorcycle acrobat, an old-school lover of speed in a rapidly changing world.

The Fourth Character by Katerina Patroni. The parallel monologues of three people, strangers to one another, bring to light issues such as loss, guilt, faith, and the pursuit of atonement.

The Unknown Athenians by Angeliki Antoniou follows the daily routine of stray dogs struggling in the center of Athens and the people who take care of them, in the course of five years.

Dogs That Change Lives by VICE Greece is a documentary about Service Dogs in Greece featuring personal stories of people who have identified their lives with these four-legged companions.

The weavers by Dimitris Koutsiabasakos is the documentary for a model weaving center in Vlasti, a mountainous village in Northern Greece. A bittersweet glance at the past, raising thorny questions about the future of the Greek countryside.

Wherever People Are by Nikos Megrelis is a documentary about the medical humanitarian non-governmental organization “Doctors of the World Greece”, based on rare visual material and the stories of its members who participated in dozens of missions in Greece and around the world.

Birds or How to Be One by Babis Makridis is a film about flying and falling, the human need to fly, fear of heights, vertigo, utopia, Gods and man. Inspired by the ancient Greek comedy Ornithes by Aristophanes and the Nikos Karathanos’s theatre performance of the same title, which was staged at the Onassis Stegi.

Square of Dreams by George Zervas takes us to Syntagma Square in Nafplion, which has left its mark in today’s city and in the history of Greece.

Primarolia by Panagiotis Kakavias is about the journey of black raisin, the “black gold of Greece”, as it is widely known, from the past to the future.

Romaniotes, the Greek Jews of Ioannina by Agnes Sklavou and Stelios Tatakis is about the distinct Greek-Jewish community in the city of Ioannina, with customs and traditions that differ from those of the Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews. Their traces are lost in the depths of time.

Silent Fish by Thodoris Chondrogiannos and Andreas Loukakos captures the lives of fishermen who struggle to make ends meet and are at risk of becoming an “endangered species” due to bankrupt EU and national policies on overfishing.

Wings of the Great War by Dimitris Chatzimalis tells the story of fearless men (Greek and foreign), who, in the First World War, defeated the fear of the unknown, defied death, and flew with primitive flying machines made of cloth and wood.

In Our Limits by Dimitris Yatzouzakis an athlete with an impairment drives his 7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son to run one of their first triathlon races, as he recalls the most difficult challenge he ever faced: an IRONMAN.

The Enigma of Keros by Kostas Machairas is about the excavations at Dhaskalio that have completely transformed our understanding of what was previously seen as a Cycladic enigma.

The Trace of Time by Dionysia Kopana is a film about time, memory, and nostalgia, a film about the beauty of archeology and excavation, conveyed through the postmortem portrait of archeologist Yannis Sakellarakis.

Broken Greek by Penny Panayotopoulou is the portrait of Nassia from Moldavia. Nassia speaks, sings, cries; all in broken Greek, in a language peppered with grammar mistakes that reveal savage truths.

Y1 – The Silence of the Deep by Philippos Vardakas. Through the book of XO Elias Tsoukalas, secret documents, and crew members’ diaries, the documentary tells the story of the legendary submarine Y1 “Katsonis”, which was sunk in 1943 by a German submarine chaser.

Homeless – A Second Hand Bookstore for the Chronically Dispossessed by Xenophon Angelopoulos is the story of how Leonidas Koursoumis opened a pioneering bookstore run by and for the homeless.

Hommage by Spiros Alidakis is a tribute to the late theater director Lefteris Vogiatzis through images, documents, sounds, rare archival material, excerpts from his performances, memories, and interviews with his collaborators.

Guardian Angel by Dimitris Trikalitis follows Panagiotis Banouzas, a guard of the Greek village of Pachtouri.

Short films

7 Years in Germany by Simos Korexenidis is a confession from Garyfalia and Yannis who emigrated in 1970 from their village in

Drama (Northern Greece) to Germany, in search of a better life.

9+1 Moments of Loneliness by Kalliopi Katsidonioti focuses on the daily life of the director’s father, an 85-year-old man. It addresses the difficulties of old age, loneliness, fear of death, and grief prompted by the loss of a lifelong partner.

BadLand by Christos Pitharas. In July 2018, a fire broke out around the villages of Mati and Neos Voutzas, in Attica, Greece. People lost their lives. What remains are memories of sounds and sights of a black land.

Con Fuoco - A Strange Orchestra by Anastasis Dallis. Con Fuoco is an orchestra from Thermi Thessaloniki. With a wide range of age and learning and a unique way of working, it has managed to chart a very important music course over the last 20 years. It is an orchestra characterized for its pedagogical character by a conductor, Yiannis Polymeneris, who has kept it alive from 1999 until today despite all the difficulties that have occasionally occurred.

Crazy Dance by Yorgos Kyvernitis. An Italian family travels around Greece, setting up a moving funfair. Being routed in circus, the two brothers keep on the magical world of entertainment, wandering in the countryside and islands. Observing the procedure of build-up, we discover their everyday life behind the lights. The arrival of their mother and sister will warm them up, before they depart together for their new destination.

Girls in Flower by Konstanza Kapsali. A handwritten note to self. A vivid memory of women which were once girls. A film about time and femininity, questioning how the erotic body gradually becomes a body that insists, how time is registered within the promise of youth which becomes marital duty.

Homo Camcordus by Yannis Isidorou is a political and poetic visual essay about the passion of recording that is central to the way we experience and interpret the contemporary world.

Otranto by Jonian Bisai and Sotiris Tsiganos is a polyphonic narration by four female voices of the tragic story of “Katër i Radës,” the boat that sank in 1997 due to the naval blockade imposed by the Italian government on migration flows from Albania.

St. Viniri – The Sacred Forest by Konstantina Messini. The forest of Agia Paraskevi in Vovousa, a mountainous village in Western Greece, is one of the last remaining sacred forests. Untouched by the passage of time, it’s being preserved by the myths that comprise the village’s oral tradition, which in turn passes on from generation to generation.

Stefanos Rokos: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' No More Shall We Part by Rinio Dragasaki and Araceli Lemos documents three years in the life of contemporary Greek painter Stefanos Rokos, as he is working on the making of his exhibition, inspired by the life and work of Nick Cave.

Soulmates by Vassilis Loules. In today’s Stuttgart, three old-timer immigrants from different countries, a German woman, and a newly arrived teenage refugee girl are sharing life stories of their beloved animal. Ordinary or unbelievable, funny or moving, these stories highlight the tender bond between humans and animals – a mutual love without limits.

The Return of Prometheus by Kyriakos Katzourakis highlights the perils of today’s energy policy in the so-called post-lignite era. At the heart of the research lies the concept of energy poverty.

The story of Yannis by Voula Germanakou Kopsini. The life journey of a Pontic refugee from Crimea, as seen through the eyes of his greatgranddaughter, two decades after his death.

Diaries from the Field by Daphne Tolis and Dimitris Mavroforakis. Against the backdrop of the Rohingyan humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh, the documentary follows Nicholas Papachrysostomou in his role as the head of the Médecins Sans Frontières emergency response.

Cleoniki by Anna Antonopoulou is the portrait of centenarian Cleoniki who lives in the mountains of Evrytania, singing and narrating stories from the past. Kostas and Giorgos, two of her eight children, live with her.

Losangele Athens and back in Athens by Haris Gioulatos. Thanks to the Internet, Greek stand-up comedians have managed to stand on their own feet. The documentary chronicles the vision of Kostas Maliatsis Salas who became known for his YouTube videos.

Plain Truth by Yorgos Bisdikis is the story of a shepherd who finds himself trapped in-between his everyday duties and his passion.

In I Only See in Me the Sea by Alexis Chatzigiannis, Yorgos Kyvernitis, Nefeli Oikonomou-Pantzou, Maria Sidiropoulou musician and songwriter Vangelis Germanos dives into an eternal summer, almost 40 years after the release of his first album.

The Arm Wrestler by Yorgos Goussis is the portrait of Panayiotis, a 30-year-old champion at arm wrestling and owner of a tavern in a remote Greek village.

Jesus Was Born in Rosiclare by Kostas Dimolitsas is an homage to Roziclair, one of the oldest and most notorious cinemas of Athens. Without fearing censorship, Roziclair hosted X-rated films.

On the Art of Pruning by Fani Bitou is the story of Hermann who is determined to look after the trees of Athens. A proponent of the artful grace of handiworkand the value of aesthetics in everyday life, he cares for the neglected urban greenery.

Go, Look, Listen by Mary Bouli is a documentary about the issue of accessibility in Greece and how persons with disabilities experience reality.

In Shots from Outside by Dionysia Kopana and Kostas Korres the camera opens a window to the outside world life for the detainees and students of the Second Chance School in the prison of St. Stefanos in Patra.

In Collecting Time by Christos Sagias. Dimitris Pistiolas, a retired Greek Post Office employee and the owner of the largest cinema museum in the world recounts his past, which is imprinted on his machines, hoping that memories are not forever lost.

Hands in Bleach by Ioanna Neophytou is the story of two middle aged women who talk, but never meet, while cleaning hotel rooms and contemporary art spaces.

Colors & Shadows by Andreas Hadjipateras explores the distortion of memory in old age, using footage from both the past and present of a man’s life.

The 22nd TDF organizes a tribute to director Stavros Kaplanidis who passed away recently, featuring three of his most important documentaries, as well as his last project.

Stavros Tornes: The Poor Hunter of the South attempts to approach Stavros Tornes life and work and capture the curriculum vitae of a filmmaker who was until the end consistent with what he saw, lived and believed.

Play it Again, Christos  is a documentary about the prolific artist Christos Vakalopoulos (1956–1993), film critic, radio producer, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and director of films.

Anna Wich – Photographer is a reflection on German photographer who was born after WWII, who was nurtured in a Europe where everything is cast into doubt, yet chose to live in an introverted place like Greece.

Teos and Stavros is the last documentary by Kaplanidis and deals with Exarchia and writer Theo Romvos, one of the faces of alternative culture.

TDF also organizes a special screening of the Mourning Rock by Filippos Koutsaftis, a film which 20 years ago changed the trajectory of the Greek documentary. Mourning Rock is a documentary about Eleusina. The past and the present, in complete antithesis, coexist in a place spoiled by modern industry but which long ago hosted the Eleusinian Mysteries, the secret ceremonies that initiated the ancient Greeks into the miracles of life, death and the afterlife.