Wind of change sweeps through Greek short films

Short-film makers appear to have had a change of mood, making films with humor and finally turning their lenses upon everyday life. This change of mood was the message gleaned from the award-giving ceremony of this year’s Short Film Festival in the city of Drama, where over 150 films – by Greek and foreign artists – vied for a variety of awards. Of the 150-odd entries, 42 were directed by women, but this year there were only two documentaries in the running, forcing organizers to scrap the competition for this category. From the public’s point of view, there was a great deal of applause and an impressive 10,000-strong attendance. The biggest prize this year went to the film «Pilala» by Thodoris Papadoulakis, which received the first prize for a fiction film (the Jameson Film Award) and a cash prize of 6,000 euros, «for the humor, gushing narrative and sensitivity it gave to a Greece of misery,» according to the jury. The second fiction film award and a special award for cinematography went to Vangelis Marderakis’s «Grandpa and Grandma,» «for the excellent orchestration of the narrative and technical parts, which allowed for the subject’s poetic dimension to be successfully rendered.» The main prize of the international competition section went to the documentary film «The Wheel,» by Belarussian director Victor Asliuk, which was also selected by the panel of the Greek Film Union for its own prize, while the second prize in this category went to the German entry «My Parents.» In the Greeks of the World category, Athanassios Karanikolas received an award for his film «My Savior,» while in the student film category, Evthymis Pappas’s «Untitled» was selected «because he evoked, in an original cinematic manner, the angst of modern-day artists.» The actors who received awards for their performances were Mara Barola (for Dimitris Kanellopoulos’s «Fleeting Smile») and Andreas Varouchas (for Nikos Vouteniotis’s «Cuckoo»). Other films that received awards were «Non-People» by Elena Karathanassi (special award for a female director named after Tonia Marketaki), «The Adjuster» by Filippos Grammatikopoulos (Dinos Katsouridis Award for a first-time director), «Sensitive Spots» by Argyris Papadimitropoulos (editing), «Mona Lisa» by Ioakeim Mylonas (set design), «Irises» by Amalia Giannikou (special mention) and «Pure Youth» by Ektoras Lygizos (special mention), among others. Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis, who was present at the ceremony, stated that he would make comments concerning policy on cinema at November’s Thessaloniki International Film Festival, though he did commit to ensuring 120,000 euros’ worth of funding for the Drama on the Road program, which takes the films screened at the festival around Greece.