Older generation triumphs at the state film awards

The older generation of Greek filmmakers triumphed Monday night at the Greek State Cinema Awards ceremony, with 58-year-old Lakis Papastathis’s The Only Journey of His Life – a film based on the life of the 19th-century writer Giorgos Vizyinos, financially supported by the Greek Film Center and Eurimages – taking the lion’s share of the prizes. The grandiose ceremony, marking the official end of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, took place in the Thessaloniki Concert Hall and featured musical interludes, honorary prizes to actors Costas Hadzichristos and Dinos Iliopoulos, as well as a dance performance by Constantinos Rigos and the Oktana troupe. The first prize for a feature film with a fictional theme, awarding 30-million-drachmas, went to The Only Journey of His Life, which also received another 12 million drachmas in prize money for the photography by Yiannis Daskalothanasis, set and costume designs by Giorgos Georgiou, music by Giorgos Papadakis, sound engineering by Nikos Papadimitriou, and makeup by Evi Zafeiropoulou. The second main prize, worth 15 million drachmas, was awarded to The Seventh Sun of Love, directed by Vangelis Serdaris, who also received the award for Best Director (10 million drachmas) and Best Screenplay (5 million drachmas). The film also won Takis Koumoundouros the Best Editing award of 2 million drachmas. The third prize in the fictional feature film category (10 million drachmas) and Best Leading Actor award (4 million drachmas) went to Giorgos Horafas’s performance in Word of Honor, directed by Andreas Pantzis. In the non-fiction film section, the first prize, carrying a 6-million-drachma cash award, went to Stelios Haralambopoulos’s Log Books – George Seferis, and the second, worth 4 million drachmas, to Nikos Triandafyllidis’s Screamin’ Jay Hawkins: I Put a Spell on Me. The Best New Director award, worth 5 million drachmas, as well as the Best Supporting Actor award- for the role portrayed by Spyros Stavrinidis – (2 million drachmas) went to Ghost of a Chance, directed and written by Vangelis Seitanidis. Best Leading Actress (4 million drachmas) was awarded to Maria Zorba for her performance in Stratos Tzitzis’s Rescue Me and Best Supporting Actress (2 million drachmas) to Themis Bazaka for Christos Dimas’s The Cistern. In the short film section, the first prize (3 million drachmas) was awarded to Monica Vaxevanis’s The Dress, the second prize (2.25 million drachmas) went to Aris Bafaloukas’s See No Evil and the third (1.5 million), to Panayiotis Fafoutis’s Gogos. I received fierce criticism from the media over ‘Love is an Elephant.’ I felt crushed. The reception of ‘Rescue Me’ surprised me, but it is also a hopeful lesson for all those young directors who are disappointed during their first steps. Does he see himself as a member of a new, rising generation? If we can talk in terms of ‘hope of the nation,’ I would be happy to be included in that, along with Fagras.

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