The Thessaloniki Film Festival looks back at the Memoirs of General Makriyannis and revives the battles in which he took part through the e21 application, offering an unprecedented experience to anyone who wants to experience that era. The Festival’s purpose is to convey the atmosphere of the 1821 Revolution to the culture, art and technology of today.
The impetus for this initiative was the timeless and inexhaustible power of the Memoirs of Ioannis Makriyannis. Makriyannis himself instructed the popular painters Panagiotis and Dimitris Zografos to depict scenes from the battles and events of the Revolution, as he remembered and recorded them in his Memoirs. The result was 24 paintings crafted by Panagiotis and Dimitris Zografos, which narrate fascinating episodes from the Revolution of 1821. The paintings are accompanied by detailed memoirs, through which Makriyannis narrates, comments and highlights unknown aspects and events of the Revolution.
The Festival turned the 24 paintings to 3D, gave them movement and highlighted wonderful details that might not be visible at first sight. These 3D works of art are the basis for the e21 application. Right now you can explore eight paintings, while, gradually, all 24 will be developed in AR.
The users can download the application for free, wherever they are, and get acquainted with the story of Makriyannis, his Memoirs, their illustration, but also find out more about the 80 locations where the real battles that are depicted in the works, took place: from the Acropolis and the Gravia Inn to Missolonghi, Arta, Samos, Crete, Navarino, Tripoli, Karpenissi, Faliro, Thebes, Hydra, Spetses etc.
Through the screen of their mobile phone or tablet, and with the power of augmented reality, the users can browse in each one of the paintings and virtually experience the battles in the true locations of historical events, but also wherever they are, in Greece or abroad. Augmented reality has no geographical limitations, but applying it in the historical sites creates an unprecedented experience.
At the same time, with a set of headphones, the user can listen to excerpts from the Memoirs of Makriyannis, read by ten up-and-coming Greek actors.
“In our times, technology bridges all distances and brings history to life right before our eyes, allowing us to travel along its space-time continuum”, says the general director of the Festival, Elise Jalladeau. The works of P. and D. Zografos “are early graphic novels or documentaries on canvas, fifty-nine years before cinema was invented”, according to the artistic director of the Festival, Orestis Andreadakis.
The Festival develops, also, an educational program, which will enable students of all ages to get in touch with Makriyannis' Memoirs and the three-dimensional experience of the works that accompany them. At the same time, the Festival is exploring the possibility of making the application available in iconic places around the world.
The app is designed and developed by Babis Venetopoulos, Assistant Professor at AUTh’s School of Fine Arts, and is curated by the Festival’s artistic director, Orestis Andreadakis.
The paintings for the development of the app were kindly granted by the Gennadius Library.
The paintings of P. and D. Zografos
The Greek actors who read excerpts from the Memoirs of general Makriyannis are: Konstantinos Georgopoulos, Chara Mata Giannatou, Pavlos Iordanopoulos, Ioko Ioannis Kotidis, Georgina Liossi, Kostas Nikouli, Natalia Swift, Mihalis Siriopoulos, Dimitra Vlagopoulou, Nikos Zeginoglou.
The actors worked under the guidance of actress and scriptwriter Youla Boudali.
How to use the app
About the Greek War of Independence
Since the early 11th century, the Ottoman Empire had already conquered the geographical area, which now constitutes modern Greece – the fall of Constantinople in 1453 conventionally marks the beginning of Ottoman occupation.
Alexander Ypsilantis – a Greek who served as an officer in the Tsarist Army and headed the Society of Friends (Filiki Eteria) – was the first to envision the outbreak of the Greek Revolution on March 25, 1821, associating it with the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the uprising that “annunciated the political redemption of the Greek state.”
The first battles took place in February 1821 when Ypsilantis invaded the Moldo-Wallachia territory (the Danubian principalities in Eastern Europe). Although his campaign failed, in the following month the uprising flared up throughout the Greek region. Regardless of the date’s strong symbolism, many insurgencies grew in numerous areas and the revolutionary Greek armies soon prevailed over the Peloponnese, Central Greece and many islands of the Aegean Sea.
The spark of the revolt was followed by a six-year period of great historical importance. Battles occurred concurrently in cities, fortresses, the mountains and at sea, and often wavered from victories to defeats.
The Greek Revolution raised a great deal of awareness amongst the European politicians, the military, diplomats and artists, who combinedly formed a powerful philhellenic movement. The naval battle at Navarino bay in October 1827 was the decisive point of the Revolution, as the joined naval forces of the English, the French and the Russians destroyed the Turko-Egyptian armada.
In the same year, the Third National Assembly elected Ioannis Kapodistrias as the first Governor of the Greek State. Kapodistrias arrived in Nafplio, the first capital of Greece, in January 1828. Greece officially proclaimed its independence from the Ottoman Empire under the London Protocol, signed on 22 January 1830.
Contributors to the e21 app
The Thessaloniki Film Festival is the most important film institution in Greece. It was founded in 1960 and is associated to innovative filmmaking and to currents that change the audiovisual landscape worldwide. The institution organizes the Thessaloniki International Film Festival and the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, while its annual activity includes the Thessaloniki Cinema Museum, the Thessaloniki Cinematheque, the operation of four theaters with screenings and tributes throughout the year, as well as educational programs. The Thessaloniki Film Festival is public-benefit, nonprofit, Legal Entity Under Private Law, overseen by the Ministry of Culture and Sports. This year, the Festival celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution by utilizing the tools of the modern audiovisual spectrum: cinema, art, technology and their coupling through augmented reality.
Contributors of TIFF App
“e-21: Virtual Journey to the 1821 Revolution”
Curation Orestis Andreadakis
Art Director Babis Venetopoulos
General Coordination Nikos Zachariadis
Coordination Thanos Stavropoulos, Natassa Pandi
Production Minotaur Digital Arts
Production Manager Thodoris Akritidis
Technical Director Yorgos Venetopoulos
User Interface Design Yannis Karlopoulos, Virginia Christakos
3D Modeling and Animation Department
Modeling and Animation Supervisor Babis Venetopoulos
Lead Modeling and Animation Artist Konstantinos Andrias
Digital Painter and Shading Supervisor Yannis Vogiatzopoulos
Modeling and Animation Artist Lefteris Tastsoglou
Modeling Artist Vasso Antonoglou
Additional Modeling Yorgos Drosos
Additional Modeling Rigas Kougolos
Additional Modeling Dimitris Mathios
Application Development and Programming Department
Application Development and Programming Supervisor Yorgos Venetopoulos
Application Development and Programming Natasha Chatziangeli
Graphic Designer Yannis Vogiatzopoulos
Sound Design Lefteris Yannopoulos
Copy Editing and Proofreading Kostas Konstantinou
Audio Recordings of the Memoirs
Readings Konstantinos Georgopoulos, Chara Mata Giannatou, Pavlos Iordanopoulos, Ioko Ioannis Kotidis, Georgina Liossi, Kostas Nikouli, Natalia Swift, Michalis Siriopoulos, Dimitra Vlagopoulou, Nikos Zeginoglou
Acting Coach Youla Boudali
Translations Thanos Stavropoulos
We wholeheartedly thank the Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens for granting access to 24 paintings of Zographos. The paintings’ legend was first published in the book Ioannis Makriyannis. Vital Expression (Kapon Editions) by historian-archaeologist Dr. Maria Papadaki and historian Anna Tsokani, under the editorial guidance of Dr. Maria Georgopoulou, Director of the Gennadius Library.
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Thessaloniki International Film Festival Publications
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Person Legally Responsible
festival director Elise Jalladeau