63rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival – The Awards: Best Feature Film – Golden Alexander «Theo Angelopoulos» to the Film «I Have Electric Dreams» by Valentina Maurel & Audience Award to the Film «Narcosis» by Martjin de Jong

The 63rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival helded from Thursday 3 to Sunday 13 November 2022, both in physical spaces and online. Within the framework of the 63rd TIFF, 199 full-length and 68 short films will be screened in the time-honoured home ground of the Festival, theatres Olympion, Pavlos Zannas, the theatres situated in the Port of Thessaloniki, Frida Liappa, Tonia Marketaki, John Cassavetes, Stavros Tornes, as well in the movie theatre Makedonikon. In addition, the audience had the chance to watch 93 films online, through the digital platform of the Festival. Multifaceted and stunning Charlotte Gainsbourg attended the Festival, on the occasion of the screening of her film, Passengers of the Night by Mikhaël Hers, within the framework of the Open Horizons section of the 63rd TIFF. Moreover, lifelong friend of both the Festival and the city of Thessaloniki, Fatih Akin, landed in Thessaloniki to greet the audience in the screening of his latest film, Rhinegold.

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION AWARDS

The International Competition Jury of the 63rd Thessaloniki Film Festival is composed of Nicolas Selis (producer-founder of Pimienta Films, Mexico), Tomasz Wasilewski (screenwriter-director, Poland) and Penny Panagiotopoulou (filmmaker, Greece).

The Best Feature Film Award – Golden Alexander “Theo Angelopoulos”, accompanied by a 10,000-euro cash prize, is bestowed to the film: I HAVE ELECTRIC DREAMS by Valentina Maurel, Belgium-France-Costa Rica, 2022

The Special Jury Award – Silver Alexander, accompanied by a 5,000 euros cash prize, is bestowed to the film: A PIECE OF SKY by Michael Koch, Switzerland, 2022

The Special Jury Award for Best Director – Bronze Alexander, supported by the Festival’s Grand Sponsor, COSMOTE TV, with a cash prize of 3,000 euros, is bestowed to: CHIE HAYAKAWA for the film PLAN 75, Japan-France-Philippines-Qatar, 2022

The Best Actress Award is bestowed to: ROSY McEWEN for her performance in the film BLUE JEAN by Georgia Oakley, UK, 2022

The Best Actor Award is bestowed to: REINALDO AMIEN GUTIÉRREZ for his performance in the film I HAVE ELECTRIC DREAMS by Valentina Maurel, Belgium-France-Costa Rica, 2022

The Best Artistic Achievement Award is bestowed to the film: THE DAM by Ali Cherri, France-Lebanon-Sudan-Qatar-Germany-Serbia, 2022

A special mention is bestowed to the film: NARCOSIS by Martjin de Jong, The Netherlands, 2022

MEET THE NEIGHBORS AWARDS

Meet the Neighbors competition section showcases directors from the wider region of Southeastern Europe, Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, who take part in the Festival with their debut or sophomore film. Meet the Neighbors Jury is composed of Tonia Mishali (director, producer, Cyprus), Avi Nesher (director-screenwriter, Israel) and Joyce Pierpoline (producer-cofounder of the Women’s Impact Network, USA).

The Golden Alexander Meet the Neighbors award, accompanied by an 8,000 euros cash prize is bestowed to the film: KLONDIKE by Marina Er Gorbach, Ukraine-Turkey, 2022

Reasoning: This film is a shattering cinematic experience, which takes one into the very heart of darkness of war and its consequences. It keys on one woman’s plight into the madness that surrounds her and her attempts to remain human among the devastation. We salute all the filmmakers and actors involved in this masterful film. The Best Full-length feature film Award – Golden Alexander goes to Klondike, directed by Maryna Er Gorbach.

The Silver Alexander Meet the Neighbors award, accompanied by a 4,000 euros cash prize, is bestowed to the film: VALERIA IS GETTING MARRIED by Michal Vinik, Israel, 2022

Reasoning: A highly original film, extremely well acted, written masterfully, directed with sensitivity, in a manner that takes the audience on a journey alongside these characters, in ways that were both surprising and intimate. This film celebrates the human experience with its various shades of light and dark, without ever being judgmental and shows us that reality is far more complex than one would imagine. The Special Jury Award – Silver Alexander goes to Valeria Ιs Getting Μarried, directed by Michal Vinik.

A Special Mention is bestowed to the film: BEHIND THE HAYSTACKS by Asimina Proedrou, Greece-Germany-North Macedonia, 2022

Reasoning: We unanimously felt the need to recognise three films, so we decided to also give a Special Mention to a film, which we found to be very impactful, and we would like to honor the great work of the director. We believe that it deals with an important subject matter that is extremely relevant today. The strong performances had great resonance, as the characters stayed with us long after the film was finished. The Special Mention goes to Behind the Haystacks, directed by Asimina Proedrou.

FILM FORWARD AWARDS

The newly established competition section brings forth the work of young and daring directors, who question our ties with reality, attempting to renegotiate its definition, beyond the boundaries of genre conventions. The Jury of the >>Film Forward competition section is composed of Kerem Ayan (director of the Istanbul Film Festival-film director), Yorgos Gousis (Greek director-comic artist) and Teona Strugar Mitevska (film director).

The Golden Alexander >> Film Forward award, accompanied by a cash prize of 8,000 euros, is bestowed to the film: RETREAT by Leon Schwitter, Switzerland, 2022

Reasoning: For its precise work in cinematic storytelling, its narrative sound design and evocative camera work, for the intellectual stimulation that it offers to the viewer and the precise comment on the world we are living in, the >>Film Forward jury decided to give the Golden Alexander to Retreat by Leon Schwitter.

The Silver Alexander >>Film Forward award, accompanied by a cash prize of 4,000 euros, is bestowed to the film: BASTARDS by Nikos Pastras, Greece, 2022

Reasoning: For its young, fresh and lively approach to the medium, its collaborative process that becomes the true power of the film, its playfulness and transgressive improvisations, the >>Film Forward jury gives the second prize, Silver Alexander, to BASTARDS by Nikos Pastras.

IMMERSIVE: ALL AROUND CINEMA AWARD

The Immersive: All Around Cinema Competition section of the 63rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival showcases new films that offer an exciting interactive viewing experience, transcending film genres and immersing the viewer in its artworks’ unique environment. The Golden Alexander, awarded to the best film of the section, is accompanied by a cash prize of 2,000 euros. The members of the Immersive Jury of the 63rd TIFF are: Alexis Alexiou (filmmaker, Greece), Dimitris Charitos (Associate Professor at the Department of Communication & Media Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece) and Eva Peydro (writer-journalist-film critic, Spain).

The Golden Alexander for Best Immersive Film is awarded to: FROM THE MAIN SQUARE by Pedro Harres, Germany, 2022

Reasoning: From the Main Square masterfully combines a new formal expression with traditional techniques of 2D animation towards a non-linear, multilayered, immersive work that proposes an original hybrid aesthetic. History and politics are beautifully interwoven through humor and tragedy. The film conveys a powerful story, carrying the fundamental issues of our era and the threats to our civilization.

PODCAST AWARD

The Festival explores the affinities between cinema and podcasts. The Podcast Award Jury is composed of Yorgos Mouchtaridis (director at Pepper 96.6 radio station-radio producer), Kyriaki Beioglou (journalist-podcaster), and Nina-Maria Paschalidou (film director-producer-journalist).

The Podcast Award, accompanied by a 2,000 euros cash prize, is bestowed to the podcast: BORN GREEK by Katerina Bakogianni, Greece, 2022

Reasoning: Maria is one of the thousand children cut off from their families in the post-Occupation years. Katerina Bakogianni unfolds the story of Maria crafting a sound documentary with empathy, exceptional sensitivity and directorial mastery until its very end! The Podcast Award is bestowed to Born Greek by Katerina Bakogianni

A Special Mention is bestowed to the podcast: DAD by Nalia Ziku, Greece, 2022

Reasoning: A special mention is bestowed to Nalia Ziku for the podcast Dad, through which she shares with us, with humor, up-to-date tone and poetic touch, her relationship with her dad.

The Podcast in Development Award, in collaboration with iMEdD, is bestowed to the podcast: MUTE – THE SILENT VIOLENCE OF THE PARTING WALL by Andreas Vagias

Reasoning: For its contemporary and timely topic and its original approach, developed and documented on multiple levels.

MERMAID AWARD

The Mermaid Award is bestowed to the best LGBTQI+-themed movie of TIFF’s official program. For the first time this year, Mastercard supports the award with a monetary prize of 3,000 euros. The members of the Mermaid Jury of the 63rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival are: Arkaitz Basterra (director-writer-producer-film consultant), Marilena Orfanou (musician-composer-DJ) and Hannah Pearl Utt (director-writer-actor).

The award is bestowed to the film: MY EMPTINESS AND I by Andrián Silvestre, Spain, 2022

Reasoning: We were all deeply moved by this film. It is necessary, truthful, thought provoking and entertaining. A movie for everyone led by a truly revelatory performance from an actress we hope to see in many more roles. The director was able to tell a nuanced story with cinematic scale and tackle complex subjects while leaving us with a sense of hope.

ALPHA BANK ACCESSIBILITY AWARD

This year sees the introduction of the Alpha Bank Accessibility Award, accompanied by a 3,000-euro cash prize and awarded to either a personality or a film that highlights accessibility issues in the arts.

The Alpha Bank Accessibility Award is bestowed to: THE RITE OF SPRING by Fernando Franco, Spain, 2022

FIPRESCI AWARDS (The International Federation of Film Critics)

The Jury of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI), comprised of Alin Tasciyan, Helen Barlow and Robbie Eksiel, bestows two awards:

for the International Competition section to the film: PLAN 75 by Chie Hayakawa, Japan-France-Philippines-Qatar, 2022

Reasoning: For its exceptional insight and subtlety of style in creating a highly probable capitalist dystopia where human life is reduced to a commodity, the FIPRESCI Award in the International Competition goes to Plan 75 by Chie Hayakawa

for a Greek film taking part at the Greek Film Festival and celebrating its premiere at the 63rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival to the film: BEHIND THE HAYSTACKS by Asimina Proedrou, Greece-Germany-North Macedonia, 2022

Reasoning: For skillfully incorporating all elements of nature and civilization in depicting the hypocrisy of society and decadence of individuals in times of humanitarian crisis, thus creating a multi-layered narrative, the FIPRESCI Award for a Greek premiere goes to Behind the Haystacks by Asimina Proedrou

GREEK ASSOCIATION OF FILM CRITICS (PEKK) AWARDS
The Greek Association of Film Critics bestows its award to the film: BEHIND THE HAYSTACKS by Asimina Proedrou, Greece-Germany-North Macedonia, 2022

Reasoning: For the perceptiveness with which it explores the landscape of the Greek countryside, through the interlaced faults and dramas of family trapped into the social, political and religious web of this entropy, the Greek Association of Film Critics (PEKK) bestows its award to the film Behind the Haystacks by Asimina Proedrou.

“HUMAN VALUES AWARD” OF THE HELLENIC PARLIAMENT

The Jury of the Hellenic Parliament TV, comprised of Aris Fatouros (director-program consultant at the Hellenic Parliament TV), Vasilis Douvlis (head of the programme department at the Hellenic Parliament TV) and Kostas Dimou (programme collaborator at the Hellenic Parliament TV), bestows its time-honored “Human Values” award to a movie of the International Competition section: PLAN 75 by Chie Hayakawa, Japan-France-Philippines-Qatar, 2022

Reasoning: The Hellenic Parliament TV bestows its “Human Values” Award to an International Competition film that contemplates in a pervasive and sensitive way the inhuman treatment of the elderly in modern societies through a story of life and death that is skillfully set in a future dystopia.

HELLENIC BROADCSTING CORPORATION (ERT) AWARDS

Within the framework of the Thessaloniki Film Festival, ERT bestows two awards:

The first award of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, accompanied by a 3,000 euros cash prize, is bestowed to the Greek film that won the FIPRESCI Award: BEHIND THE HAYSTACKS by Asimina Proedrou, Greece-Germany-North Macedonia, 2022

The second award of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, accompanied by a 2,000 euros cash prize, is bestowed to the Greek project that topped Agora’s Works in Progress section: ​POLYDROSO directed by Alexandros Voulgaris and produced by Nicholas Alavanos, Christina Stavropoulou – Filmiki Productions, Greece

GREEK FILM CENTRE AWARDS

Within the framework of the 63rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival, the Greek Film Centre bestows the Greek Film Centre Award, accompanied by a 5,000-euro cash prize, granted to a debutant director, in a Greek production having its premiere in the official selection (First Run) and the Best Location Award, accompanied by a 1,500-euro cash prize bestowed by the Hellenic Film Commission of the GFC to a location manager (or a director in case of no location manager in the film) of a film by a debutant director in in a Greek production having its premiere in the official selection (First Run). The Jury of the Greek Film Centre Award is composed of: Yorgos Angelopoulos (Director of Development and Production), Athena Kalkopoulou (Hellas Film Director), Maria Koufoupolou (Hellenic Film Commission Director). The Jury of the Best Location Award is composed of: Nikos Koumantarakis (location manager), Uberto Pasolini (film director-producer), Maria Koufopoulou (Hellenic Film Commission Director).

The Greek Film Centre Award is bestowed ex aequo to the films: BLACK STONE by Spiros Iakovides, Greece, 2022

and BEHIND THE HAYSTACKS by Asimina Proedrou, Greece-Germany-North Macedonia, 2022

Reasoning: Using the pseudo-documentary as a vehicle, Black Stone is casting a fresh gaze, with a sharp sense of humor to a genuine contemporary Greek comedy… a true feat for such a rare and difficult genre. With outstanding performances from the actors and a powerful emotional and heart-wrenching bond, it admirably balances between a satire of the Greek family and a social commentary on xenophobia.

Despite the rough issues portrayed in the film Behind the Haystacks, the director orchestrates with a delicate and precise handling a full-rounded cinematic composition. Displaying courageous narrative choices, wonderful performances and determination, the director masterfully guides a worthy team, rendering her directorial vision a reality.

The Best Location Award is bestowed to: GIORGOS BABANARAS for the film BEHIND THE HAYSTACKS by Asimina Proedrou, Greece-Germany-North Macedonia, 2022

Reasoning: And the very soul behind them is no other than the location manager, who has been harmoniously incorporated in the film’s team that recognizes his importance and contribution. We were charmed by the richness and the wide gamut of physical spaces, as well as of the way they are brought forth along the various seasons of the year, in areas that have not been explored or showcased. While all locations, both interior and exterior, have abided by the cinema rules and the ideal and optimal use of filmic light. The members of the Jury are: Nikos Koumantarakis (location manager), Uberto Pasolini (film director-producer), Maria Koufopoulou (Hellenic Film Commission director).

THE J.F. COSTOPOULOS FOUNDATION AWARD

The J.F. Costopoulos Foundation Award is bestowed to a film that presents a comprehensive aesthetic proposition, promotes the art of cinema and demonstrates its affinities with the other arts. The members of this year’s independent jury that will bestow the award to a Greek film celebrating its premiere at the 63rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival are: Rea Apostolides (producer), Georgis Grigorakis (filmmaker) and Christina Mourmouri (Director of Photography).

The award is bestowed to the film: CAVEWOMAN by Spiros Stathoulopoulos, Greece-Colombia-USA

Reasoning: For a particularly inventive film that interweaves the ancient and historical drama with mythology, approaching a bigger-than-life story with a personal narrative and stripped down cinema means, achieving in extracting all the essence out of it. The J.F. Costopoulos Foundation Award is bestowed to Cavewoman, directed by Spiros Stathopoulos.

WIFT GR AWARD

The WIFT GR Award is presented by the Greek chapter of WIFT (Women in Film & Television) to a film taking part in the International Competition section or the Meet the Neighbors competition section or the >>Film Forward competition section, for the best woman contribution and presence in front of or behind the camera. The members of this year’s jury are: Katerina Kaskanioti (producer), Lena Rammou (A/V management consultant) and Maria Louka (documentary filmmaker-journalist).

The award is bestowed to the film: THUNDER by Carmen Jaquier, Switzerland, 92’

Reasoning: For a bold view on the classic, but yet contemporary subject of women’s bodies’ brutal restrictions and suppressed sexuality, and the struggle for the freedom of self-determination, love, and sexual pleasure. Marine Atlan’s masterful photography, offering a deep sense of mysticism to Thunder’s filmic universe, is worth a special mention.

YOUTH JURY AWARDS BY THE STUDENTS OF THE THESSALONIKI UNIVERSITIES

The Youth Jury, composed of students from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the University of Macedonia, bestows its awards to Greek films premiering at the Greek Film Festival of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. Youth Jury supervisor: Apostolos Karakasis, Assistant Professor in Film and Television Theory & History, at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The five-member jury is composed of Yannis Lafis (Head), Panagiotis Brovanos, Anastasia Doula, Despina Theodorakis and Angeliki Voutsina.

Best Film Award: BLACK STONE by Spiros Iakovides, Greece, 2022

Reasoning: The representation of the three key characters, especially the black-colored Michalis and Lefteris, dealing with disability problems, transcends their minority identity, placing emphasis on their true concern: the search for Panos. Using a fake documentary technique, Black Stone’s pseudo-realism succeeds in incorporating the audience in the narrative: We become part of the crew.

Special Jury Award: PARIS IN HARLEM by Christina Kallas, USA, 2022

Reasoning: The film’s directorial gimmicks, such as the multiple frames – 2, 4, even 6 – instead of creating a confusion, they allow the audience to follow the stories from multiple angles, even pick the point of view of its choice. With an inner narrative thread unfolded by jazz music, Paris is in Harlem connects its subplots, weaving a pattern of action that leads us to a subversive narrative closure.

FISCHER AUDIENCE AWARDS

The FISCHER Audience Award for an International Competition film of the 63rd Thessaloniki Film Festival is bestowed to the film: NARCOSIS by Martjin de Jong

The FISCHER Audience Award for a Greek film – “Michael Cacoyannis” Award for a film of the 63rd TIFF’s Greek Film Festival (premiere), is bestowed to the film: BLACK STONE by Spiros Iakovides

The FISCHER Audience Award for a Meet the Neighbors competition section film of the 63rd Thessaloniki Film Festival is bestowed to the film: BLACK STONE by Spiros Iakovides

The FISCHER Audience Award for a film of the >>Film Forward competition section of the 63rd Thessaloniki Film Festival is bestowed to the film: DIGNITY by Dimitris Katsimiris

The FISCHER Audience Award for a film of the Open Horizons section of the 63rd Thessaloniki Film Festival is bestowed to the film: BEAUTIFUL BEINGS by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson

The FISCHER Audience Award for a film of the Balkan Survey section of the 63rd Thessaloniki Film Festival is bestowed to the film: BURNING DAYS by Emin Alper

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