The Athens Academy is awarding Greek film director Costa-Gavras the Distinction of Fine Arts, a decision which caused a stir because for the first time the Academy’s actions are in tune with the general public’s feelings. Costa-Gavras’s latest film, «Amen,» together with the tribute at the Thessaloniki Film Festival, brought to the forefront the director’s work and his particular style. The ceremony will take place on March 24, during the Academy’s celebratory session in commemoration of Greece’s Independence Day, March 25. According to the Academy’s announcement, Costa-Gavras’s work stands out for its honesty and clarity, and the bravery he has shown in dealing with contemporary problems at all levels is remarkable. Costa-Gavras was born at Loutra Iraiou in Arcadia in 1933. He was forced to leave Greece at the age of 19 in order to avoid the political prosecutions of that time. He studied cinema at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinematographiques (IDHEC) where European cinema was largely shaped. Ever since his establishment as a film director after his movie «Z» and until his latest, controversial film «Amen,» Costa-Gavras has been following his own path, at times when it was not easy to do so.