As Greece and other countries remain under lockdown, Greek film institutions such are looking at ways to overcome the challenges.

The Hellenic Film Academy – created in 23 November 2009 in Athens – decided to run the Iris Awards online, while the Thessaloniki International Film Festival assigned the Iris nominees some ‘homework’.

This year’s award nominations, given the restrictions posed by the coronavirus pandemic, were live-streamed by filmmaker Yorgos Tseberopoulos, the President of the Hellenic Film Academy, following the secret ballot by the members of the academy, which was held between 12 and 15 March, 2020.

Five films were nominated best feature films. These were: “Defunct” directed by Zaharias Mavroidis; “Not to be Unpleasant but we need to have a serious talk” by Giorgos Georgopoulos; “Eftyhia” by Angelos Frantzis; “The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea” by Syllas Tzoumerkas; and “Winona” by The Boy (Alexandros Voulgaris).

“For No Reasons: Meetings with Yorgos Maniatis”, directed by Stavros Psylakis, “When Wagner Met Tomatoes” by Marianna Oikonomou and “Irving Park” by Panagiotis Evangelidis are this year’s nominees for best feature documentary award.

“Index”, dir. Nicolas Kolovos (2019)

“The Distance Between Us and the Sky” directed by Vassilis Kekatos and awarded at the Cannes International Film Festival, “Postcards from the End of the World” by Konstantinos Antnopoulos, “All the Fires the Fire” by Efthymis Kosemund Sanidis, “Electric Swan” by Konstantina Kotzamani and “Index” by Nikolas Kolovos winner of the Golden Dionysos award at this year’s Drama Short Film Festival) are the nominees for Best Short Feature Film.

The nominees for best short feature animation film are Antonis Noussias for his awarded in Drama “Violent Equation”, Fokion Xenos for “Heatwave” and Paraskevi Markatou and Pinelopi Bekiari for “The White Wings”.

Angelos Frantzis, Syllas Tzoumerkas and The Boy (Alexandros Voulgaris) are the nominees for the directing award for their respective films “Eftyhia”, “The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea” and “Winona”, while Minos Nikolakakis, Stavros Pambalis and Rinio Dragasaki are the nominees for best Newcomer Director Award for their films “Entwined”, “Siege on Liperti Street” and “Cosmic Candy”, respectively.

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The nominees for best screenplay are Zaharias Mavroidis for “Defunct”, Giorgos Georgopoulos and Maria Fakinou for “Not to be Unpleasant but we need to have a serious talk” and Yioula Boudalia and Syllas Tzoumerkas for the “The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea”. Finally, the nominees for best Cinematography award are Yannis Drakoularakos for his work in “Eftyhia”, Christina Moumouri for “Zizotek” and Simos Sarketzis for “Winona”. See the full nomination list here (in Greek).

The members of the Hellenic Film Academy will vote for the Iris awards winners from 9 to 12 April and the results will be live streamed on 14 April.

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Stay-at-home audience

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival is using the possibilities that the Internet has to offer in order to overcome the challenges posed by Covid-19 and offer an outlet for cinema-loving audiences.

With everyone urged to stay home, the Festival has assigned eleven Greek directors to shoot a film up to three minutes long, at home, in order to comment on the new reality that we live in. The idea is to create a film at home, using the environment, the people or the animals in that space. The only outdoor areas that may be used are outdoor living spaces, such as the terrace, the garden, the balcony and the stairwell. The project will be named “Species of Spaces” from the book by Georges Perec and it can be used as a source of inspiration.

The directors are the Hellenic Film Academy award-nominees in the best film, best director, best newcomer and documentary feature categories. The directors (in alphabetical order) are: Rinio Dragasaki, Marianna Economou, Panagiotis Evangelidis, Angelos Frantzis, Giorgos Georgopoulos, Zacharias Mavroeidis, Minos Nikolakakis, Stavros Pamballis, Stavros Psillakis, Syllas Tzoumerkas and Alexandros Voulgaris (The Boy). Soon the films will be available in the Thessaloniki Film Festival YouTube channel.