40 years before gender transition was legally recognized, Dimitris Stavrakas directed an emblematic hybrid short – part fiction, part documentary – depicting 24 hours in the life of a trans woman, based on the autobiography of Betty Vakalidou. Memories from her earlier life mingle with moments from the present day as it turns into night. Images of pastel beauty are interspersed with painful savagery in a profile of loneliness and power, where past and present collide. Betty talks about her childhood and her current struggles, as Stavrakas – in complete command of both style and narrative – expertly veers into essay film territory. This is a portrait of a heroine, a moment in time and a society in transition, all rolled into one. Shot in a country that was still healing from a seven-year Junta and a society completely unprepared to listen to LGBTQΙ+ voices, Betty was met with opposition but was immediately embraced by the queer community. It was only two years earlier that the government, led by Karamanlis, had passed a bill on the “Protection from venereal diseases and other relevant issues.” The film was rejected by the Competition Section of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival “due to the subject matter and not the aesthetics,” but received a special screening that was met with enthusiastic audience reactions. Betty was released theatrically the following season, opening for Federico Fellini’s Orchestra Rehearsal. (From the catalog of the restoration program Motherland, I See You)
Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Dimitris Stavrakas
Script: Dimitris Stavrakas (based on the book of the same title by Betty Vakalidou)
Cinematography: Stavros Hassapis
Editing: Yanna Spyropoulou
Sound: Marinos Athanassopoulos
Actors: Betty Vakalidou
Production: Mangos LP
Producers: Christos Mangos
Format: HD
Color: Color
Production Country: Greece
Production Year: 1979
Duration: 34'
Contact: Hellenic Film Academy
Awards/Distinctions: Best Short Film – Drama ISFF 1979, Best Documentary – Larissa FF 1979
The screening is followed by a discussion with Anna Konstantinidi Apergi, Special Counselor/Expert on LGTBQI+, Equality & Diversity matters – President of the Transgender Support Association, Member of the Greek National Commission for Human Rights.

Dimitris Stavrakas


1966 Gas (short)
1979 Betty (short)
1983 The Misunderstanding (fiction)
1999 The Canary Yellow Bicycle (fiction)
2006 Τhe Crossing (fiction)