46th Drama International Short Film Festival

46th Drama International Short Film Festival


4-10 SEPTEMBER 2023

With a diverse program of 182 films from 41 countries, the 46th Drama International Short Film Festival will take place on September 4-10, 2023 in Drama.

The 46th DISFF has everything: 64 Greek films, seven (7) competition sections, student films, Cinematherapy, Short Film Hub, networking, workshops, green films, films for kids, films by kids… and two “tickets” to participate in the Oscars® Academy Awards! From the 4th to the 10th of September we see the future of cinema, in Drama…

This year, the President of the Jury of the National Competition Programme will be the director Lefteris Charitos and the International Competition Programme will be chaired by the documentary filmmaker Eva Stefani, while the programme includes, among others, a tribute to German cinema, Ukrainian queer short films, animation screenings from Portugal and Spain, and the “LAGFF Travels to Drama” project.

The Festival begins its 46th edition with the realisation of a long-held dream: the operation, since a few months ago, of the l Undergraduate Department of Film Studies in Drama by the Hellenic Open University, which offers distance learning and live workshops in the city of Drama.

In addition, we have wonderful news: from this year onwards, the films that receive the top awards- Golden Dionysos and the Grand Prix in both the National and International Competitions will automatically secure the coveted “ticket” to participate in the Oscars®. The affiliation with the Academy Awards® will grant DISFF the extra impetus it needs to fulfil its role to the utmost.

The National Competition Programme and the International Competition are once again complemented by the International Student Programme and the National Student Programme. At the same time, International Animation and Short & Green Competition Programmes continue their successful course, while last but not least is the innovative Cinematherapy Programme, which joined the schools again this year and travelled within and beyond the borders.

This year marks the launch of the new KIDDO competition programme with films for and by children and the Short Film Hub, which aspires to form ties between talented directors, screenwriters and producers with the international and domestic film industry –while there is an even stronger presence of the Greek Film Centre.

This year’s edition, with Yannis Sakaridis as artistic director and Yorgos Demertzis as president for the fourth year, will be held simultaneously in physical spaces and online. Through the platform the films will be accessible, with free admission, throughout Greece.

The 46th DISFF will take place at the Olympia Cinema and the Municipal Music School of Drama (Antonis Papadopoulos Hall), at the open-air cinema Alexandros, in the garden of the Cyclops Cultural Centre, and at the Eleftheria multi-purpose café (at the junction of Venizelos and Kountouriotou streets).

In the coming days, the festival will utilize the former Andrikakis military camp, which will be transformed into a state-of-the-art centre for audiovisual arts in Drama, while the modernisation of the infrastructure of the Municipal Music School and the Olympia Cinema is underway.

The Drama Festival collaborates with: Greek Film Centre (EKK), the National Centre of Audiovisual Media and Communication (EKOME), RAYCAP, CYCLOPS,  Green Pixel,  the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT), Cosmote TV,  Onassis Culture and many other bodies, with the full support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, the Hellenic Parliament, and of course the Municipality of Drama.

Here you will find the daily programme of the festival:


The Drama Festival honours the 46 years of the National Competition Section with a nostalgic short film that is this year’s official trailer.

Four characters, 46 years old, representing their generation, reminisce, converse with themselves and other people in their lives, aspire and continue to dream, during a short personal journey, on foot, focused on a deeply internal reflection, as a film shot would be.

The film “INTERNAL – Reflection” makes a symbolic reference to all the Greek filmmakers, who in the long course of the Festival, took their first timid but crucial steps in Drama, evolved, returned or even flew even higher and further. 62 indicatively selected films from the first Festival, up to last year’s 45th Festival, which have been screened and competed, stand next to the 35 new films of this year’s National Competition, and together they become part of this story.

The Festival’s Artistic Director Yannis Sakaridis is the director and editor, while the script was written by Vasilis Terzopoulos. The four characters are voiced by, alphabetically: Phoebus Delivorias, Aris Dimokidis, Nadia Kontogeorgi, Denise Nikolakou. The music is composed by 10-year-old composer and piano soloist Stelios Kerasidis, and is kindly provided by the composer and Minos EMI, a Universal Music Company. The titles and post production were edited by I.M. Christodoulou. The Festival cordially thanks all the filmmakers who willingly provided their films. A production of the Cultural Organization –Drama’s Short Film Festival.

You can watch the film “INTERNAL – Reflection” at the following link:



Those who wish to attend the 46th DISFF online, should visit the festival platform https://www.dramafilmfestival.gr/online-festival/ (they can also access it via the website https://www.dramafilmfestival.gr from the link online festival) and follow the instructions. The films will be available from 9/4.

Admission is FREE for all online festival content including the seven (7) competition sections. The award-winning films will remain available on the platform until September 11.


The National Competition Programme, with Yannis Sakaridis as head programmer, features 35 films directed by 26 men and 13 women. You will find the list here:


Dozens of popular actors star in the films, which this year surprise with their theme and aesthetics. Indicatively we mention:

Antonis Tsiotsiopoulos (with a record number of participations), Romanna Lobach, Efthalia Papakosta, Argyris Pandazaras, Homer Poulakis, Andreas Konstantinou, Elena Topalidou, Kostas Vassardanis, Vassilis Koutsogiannis, Sofia Kokkali, Haris Fragoulis, Penelope Tsilika, Yiannis Papadopoulos, Ivonni Maltezou, Sofia Seirli, Despina Kourti, Giannis Tsortekis, Karafil Shena, Christos Sugaris, Giannis Anastasakis, Dimitris Kapetanakos, Smaragda Smyrnaiou and Dimitra Vlagopoulou, who has just returned from Locarno after receiving the award for best acting performance in the film “Animal” by Sofia Exarchou.

Also appearing: Aris Servetalis, Nikolakis Zeginoglou, Alexandros Logothetis, Angeliki Papathemeli, Katerina Zisoudi, Thanos Tokakis, Aris Troupakis, Katerina Misichroni, Panagos Ioakeim and many others.

New directors, who are going to be discussed, are competing, as well as several festival’s familiar faces who have been distinguished in the past and have even won the Golden Dionysus -such as Neritan Zinxhiria and Manolis Mavris.

There is also a comeback to the genre of the short form by directors who have long since moved on to feature films, such as Alexandros Voulgaris (The Boy), Panagiotis Fafoutis and Giorgos Servetas.

In addition, this year, we will also see some young filmmakers who are following in the artistic footsteps of their fathers, forming however their own personal style (as Alexander Voulgaris has been doing from his first steps): from Nikolas Kouloglou and Antigoni Kapaka, to Phoebus Imellos and Nick J. Pelecanos, son of the famous writer George Pelecanos, who even co-wrote the script of his son’s English-language film.

There will also be some well-known directors who play or appear as actors: from Fotos Lambrinos (in a leading role), to Giannis Soldatos and Giorgos Fourtounis. But also actors making their debut as directors, such as Aeneas Tsamatis and Katerina Mavrogeorgis, or theatre directors, such as Martha Bouziouri.

The writer and screenwriter Kallia Papadaki also makes her debut as a director – and speaking of writers, we will see a film based on a short story by Giorgos Skabardonis, another one based on a screenplay by Konstantinos Tzamiotis, and another inspired by an article by Stathis Tsagarousianos.

The exploration of sexuality, erotic relationships between women, the “first time”, as well as separation, occupy an important part of this year’s films. Family relationships, especially the son-mother relationship, friendships that are tested, loss and coping with grief, childhood memories and childhood trauma continue to inspire short film directors once again; as do the burning social issues that plague modern Greece: racism, suicides, seas washing up the bodies of immigrants, women’s trafficking, femicide, police violence, obscurantism and bigotry, terrorism, prison. The Calvary of today’s young actors trying to survive is also present and period films, even of the Civil War era, are not absent, while comedies a la Greek remain scarce.


The Festival, which this year marks 29 years since its internationalisation, will screen 20 films from all over the world (from Canada to China, and from Australia to Tanzania).

You will find the full list here: https://www.dramafilmfestival.gr/festival/international-competition/

This year, the International Programme, with Yorgos Zois as head programmer, features five (5) Greek films that are worthy competitors of international festival highlights:

*Light from Light, signed by Neritan Zinxhiria, is a film that premiered at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam and takes us on a journey to the mystical atmosphere of Mount Athos.

*Nikolas Kouloglou’s Super is about a love with unexpected aspects, in a supermarket.

*Unorthodox by Konstantinos Antonopoulos with the (anti-)hero being a heretic Forerunner, forgotten by the Byzantine authorities, who tries to survive by appealing to the kindness of strangers.

*A satirical stop motion animation, Ready by Eirini Vianelli, which introduces us to the unknown world of the Greek Parliament and its employees.

*And also Midnight Skin by award-winning director Manolis Mavris, with Romanna Lobach in a surprising role – a film that comes to us from the Cannes Film Festival Critics’ Week.

Same Old, a Canadian realistic drama set in New York, is also coming from Cannes, while the French, disarmingly human drama Les chenilles – which won the Berlin Golden Bear – is coming from Berlinale.

The programme also includes an imaginative short documentary from Tanzania, Apostles of Cinema, which brings us into contact with the country’s unique film culture, as well as poetic documentaries from Spain, such as the International Film Festival of Rotterdam’s favourite Aqueronte, and some moving premieres such as Open House and Hold On For Dear Life.


On the Festival’s website https://www.dramafilmfestival.gr you will find all the films participating in the competitive sections of the Festival along with the texts accompanying them. Here you will get an idea:



Fourteen (14) films will be screened, including two (2) Greek films, in which animals dominate this year: lizards, cows, fish, sea urchins, and their relationship with humans. Lots of love, but also violence. In addition, we will see films about the much-discussed diversity and human sexuality in its various manifestations. Other entries head down more timeless paths, subject wise, talking about burning political issues, while others are about human relationships and their difficulty.

Head Programmer of the International Student Competition Programme: Thanasis Neofotistos



The programme includes 25 films from eleven (11) educational institutions in Greece and abroad; public and private, of undergraduate and postgraduate education. Among them are fiction, documentary and animation films. They represent almost every technical and aesthetic approach to audiovisual storytelling, while they cover a particularly wide range of themes – stories of relationships, identity, inclusion and isolation, social criticism and self-criticism, trauma management, personal and social responsibility.

The film Justis by Aggelos Barai and Nikitas Sifonios, an interview with the father of Nikos Sambanis, who was shot dead after a police chase, will be screened out of competition, bringing to the fore the tragic consequences of prejudice and racism towards a vulnerable social group.

Head Programmer: Panagiotis Iosifelis



Fifteen (15) films, which stood out from the total number of submissions to the Festival, constitute -each with its own form, visual perspective and approach to the thematic axis (environment) that intersects the specific programme- a chain of stimuli and concerns, attempting, not to wag a finger at the viewer, but to take the viewer on a less ordinary cinematic journey, and implant a small seed of redefining his or her relationship with the natural environment.

The Greek entry, Eirini Tzoulia’s Lumen, takes us to Mati, on 23 July 2018 – the site of the second deadliest fire in the history of the 21st century…

Head Programmer: Vasilis Terzopoulos



Kiddo, the new section of the festival, features fourteen (14) films – including two (2) Greek films made by young people and children. Films that address issues such as racism, diversity, life motivation in young people, animal rights and the environment. An ambitious programme that we hope and believe will flourish and develop into an important programme for the children competing and for the children of the city of Drama who will attend.

Head Programmer: Elena Mavridou



Seventeen (17) animation films will be screened, including four (4) Greek ones, created with a variety of techniques and aesthetic trends, in genres ranging from fiction to experimental animation and documentary. Films that delve into human relationships, highlighting various aspects such as loneliness, old age and the exploration of sexuality, as well as films that delve into the relationship between man and his environment.

Head Programmer: Spyros Siakas


* The jury of the National Competition Programme consists of:

Lefteris Charitos (President), director, Alexia Roider, artistic director of the Cyprus International Short Film Festival, Menos Deliotzakis,  director, Alexandra Matthaiou, director/screenwriter, and Asimina Proedrou, director/screenwriter. 

*The jury of the International Competition Programme consists of:

Eva Stefani  (President), director, Philip Ilson, artistic director of the London Film Festival, and Marie–Pauline Mollaret, head of the short film selection segment of the Cannes Film Festival/ film critic.

*The jury of the International Student Competition Programme consists of:

Florian FernandezCanto, coordinator of the Cannes Court Métrage Rendez-vous Industry, Anne Gaschutz, artistic director of the Filmfest Dresden and Thanos Tokakis, director/actor.

*The jury of the National Student Competition Programme consists of:

Kyriakos Aggelakos (President), director/producer/screenwriter, Electra Venaki, editor, head of the Digital Lab of the Greek Film Archive, and Maria Komninou, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Greek Film Archive, Emeritus Professor of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, lecturer in the Postgraduate Programme “Cultural and Film Studies”.

*The jury of the Short and Green Programme consists of:

Yorgos Goussis (President), director, Sofia Stavrianidou, head of the Greek Film Festival Berlin and Natasha Christia, curator, writer and educator in the field of artistic photography.

*The jury of the Αnimation Competition Programme consists of:

Jutta Wille, director of AG Kurzfilm/producer, Alekos Papadatos, animator /director and Anthi Samardzidou, cartoonist/ illustrator.

*The jury of KIDDO consists of children and teenagers aged 11-18 years old:

Petros Georgiadis, Tatiana Mavridou, Anna Panagiotopoulou, Christos Sapanidis and Vasiliki Stephanidou.


For the tenth year, as part of DISFF’s active Educational Programme led by Barbara Dukas, a pitching workshop (6-8 September) and a forum (9 September) will be held.

Within the framework of the DRAMA LAB Educational Platform, the Drama International Short Film Festival organizes a workshop of pitching techniques (Pitching Lab) every year, which is completed with the presentation of the selected projects to potential financiers, producers, festival directors and industry experts (Pitching Forum).

Young filmmakers, screenwriters and producers from all over the world, whose projects are selected each year, participate in the Pitching Lab & Forum during DISFF, receiving further advice on the development of their projects and the completion of their original idea into a short film (fiction, documentary, animation, etc.)

At the end of the Pitching Forum, and with the cooperation of DISFF HUB, participants are given the opportunity to organise one-to-one meetings with potential financiers and stakeholders for their project.

Cash prizes are offered by Finos Film and the Greek Film Centre (EKK).

This year, twelve (12) projects (including 4 Greek projects) have been selected and will be presented at the Pitching Forum on Saturday, 9 September (11.30 am).

In addition, another eight (8) Greek projects will participate in a separate pitching workshop at the Festival’s traditional event at the Greek Film Archive at the end of October.

The PITCHING LAB team: Varvara Douka, Georgina Kakoudaki, John Stephens, Stathis Paraskevopoulos † (1963 – 2023).

Here you will find the projects participating in this year’s workshop:



The very ambitious Short Film Hub, with Yanna Sarri in charge, has its premiere this year. Through discussions and panels, the aim is for young filmmakers to form ties with recognized professionals in the film industry in order to learn the immense possibilities of their art, promote a film project, develop a script and create a network of contacts.

The Short Film Hub activities are spread throughout the Festival. Every day, at 11:00, at the open-air cinema Alexandros, the “Ask the Directors” open to the public discussions with the competing directors will be held, while at the same time, the DIRECTOR’S CUT: A Cinema of Stills workshop led by Natasha Christia will also take place, focusing on the integration of photography in cinematic theory and practice.

The successful Pitching Lab/Forum activities, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary, and its collaboration with Torino Short Film Lab (TSFM Talent Development Workshop will take place on September 5-8 and TSFM Pitching on September 9, 10 am) will be continued, while Meet the Experts – daily meetings with professionals who will be in Drama, will be held for the first time this year.

Meet the GFC (Greek Film Centre)

The series of informative meetings Meet the GFC, which will be held for the first time this year within the Agora segment, will strengthen the long-standing strong bond between the Greek Film Centre (EKK) and the Drama Short Film Festival. From Tuesday (5/9) to Friday (8/9), executives from all the departments of the GFC will inform directors and producers on the possibilities and horizons offered through the Centre’s funding programmes and its international connections.

Crew United

Finally, we would like to add that the Drama Short Film Festival begins a new collaboration with Crew United, the top online platform for connecting audiovisual professionals in Europe, which started operating in Greece as Crew United Greece (https://www.crewunited.com/el/). The platform, which is now available in Greek, will be giving out three awards and will be presented at the Short Film Hub on Friday, 8 September.

See the detailed programme of the SFH here:



The Cinematherapy programme, inspired by the integrative psychotherapist Denis Nikolakou, continues, reinforced, at the 46th DISFF. Thematic axis of the Cinematherapy 2023 programme: “Human Relationships” (https://www.dramafilmfestival.gr/cinema-therapy/)

As Denis Nikolakou notes, “The Cinematherapy 2023 programme is centred upon the theme of Human Relations, their fluidity and rearrangement in the 21st century, as well as the various forms that assemble their structure. More specifically, the discussions of this year’s Cinematherapy edition will revolve around the very structure of human relations during these past years, both on a personal and family level. To what extent have our relations been affected by the economic crisis, the pandemic, and socio-political developments? In what ways are their form and our values being shaped in our days?”

In this context,

*on Friday 8/9 (20:00) at open air cinema Alexandros the film “Womb” by Themos Skandamis will be screened. A middle-aged man (Antonis Tsiotsiopoulos), on a break from a typical day, is talking to his mother on the phone when a stranger (Aris Troupakis) appears and announces some unexpected and terrible news that will change him and his sense of reality comically and tragically.

*On Saturday 9/9 (20:00) at the open-air cinema Alexandros the film “The Crossing” (Aeneas Tsamatis – Katerina Mavrogeorgis) will be presented. A railway crossing in the middle of nowhere. Two guards: solitary Yiannis who never leaves his post and cool Antonis who goes with the rhythm of the landscape. Every once in a while, a voice announces the passing of a train. The two guards manually lower the bars. Nothing seems to stir their daily routine until love charges in, crushing all certainties.

*On Thursday 7/9 (20:30) at the Cyclops Cultural Centre, the opening of the “Cinematherapy for young people 18 to 30 years old” programme will take place along with the first meeting with Denis Nikolakou and the participants. The implementation of the programme is carried out under the auspices and funding of the Ministry of Culture. There is no financial burden for the participants. This new activity, addressed for the first time to this age group, aims to create 5 mixed groups, which will meet on a weekly basis. The programme, which will be implemented in person and digitally (zoom), will last until 30/12/2023.


The parallel events of the 46th DISFF include:

*PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE: Ukrainian Queer Shorts (Olympia, Sunday 10 September, 17:00). A tribute to Ukrainian queer short films produced in 2022-23 by the first LGBTQIA+ film festival of Ukraine SUNNY BUNNY. Greek participation: On This Wondrous Sea by Kalliopi Legaki – a documentary about the important LGBTQ+ activist Maria Cyber.

*Focus on Germany (Alexandros, Friday 8 και Saturday 9 September, 20:00) Two programmes in cooperation with the AG Kurzfilm – German Short Film Association: Short Export -Made in Germany 2023 and Emerging Artists Contemporary Experimental Films and Video Art by Upcoming Artists from Germany.

*LAGFF Travels to Drama in collaboration with the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (Cyclops Garden, Tuesday 5 September, 20:30). After the successful collaboration of Drama Travels to Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, it is time for LAGFF to return the visit. A unique opportunity for Greeks of the Diaspora to participate in the great celebration of filmmakers in Drama.

*La Animaciόn Iberoamericana (Cyclops Garden, Tuesday 5 September, 20:30) Two animation projects from Portugal and Spain in collaboration with Animasyros 2023 International Animation Festival, the Cervantes Institute and the Animac Festival.

*Filmmaking workshop (Cyclops Garden, Wednesday 6 September, 20:30) The six (6) short films created by residents of Drama, in the framework of the month-long workshop held this year in the city, will be screened.

*Book Presentations (Alexandros, Friday 8  September, 18:00) presented and curated by the Drama-born poet Polyna G. Bana. The following books will be presented: “Her Transformation” by Amanda Michalopoulou and “Sun with bayonets” by George Skabardonis.

*Cine-inclusion in class, educational activity for our little friends in collaboration with the National Centre of Audiovisual Media and Communication (EKOME) (Wednesday 6 September, Municipal Music School  of Drama, 18.00). An experiential workshop based on EKOME’s guide to inclusive film literacy and aimed at primary school children aged 7 – 12 years old.

*Green Debate (Cyclops Cultural Centre, Tuesday 5 September, 18.30)

Open debate (in Greek) with the participation of academics and representatives of environmental organizations of Drama, on the topic “PEOPLE-Environment-CULTURE. In cooperation with Europe Direct Eastern Macedonia – Thrace. Speakers: Kostas Vidakis, Georgios Tsantopoulos, Georgios Paraskeviotis, Stella Andriopoulou. The event will be moderated by Vasileios Terzopoulos, Head programmer in the Short & Green Programme. At the same time and on the same day, in the park of Agia Varvara, the Greek Scouts, in cooperation with Europe Direct Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, will hold children’s experiential activities on the environment for children 6-12 years old (no pre-registration required).

*The award-winning films of the festival will be screened on Monday afternoon 11 September (18.00), at OLYMPIA Cinema.


For pre-booking tickets here:


See you in Drama, but also in Athens, on 26-29 October, at the Greek Film Archive, where the entire National Competition Programme of the Festival will be presented and a pitching workshop will be held.

The programme The Drama Festival Travels will continue next season to even more destinations, highlighting the dynamics of Greek cinema in Greece and abroad.


Here, you can select the photos you want from all sections:


And here from the Festival’s new visual identity:




The Drama Festival is a Cultural Organization of the Municipality of Drama and is co-funded by the Ministry of Culture & Sports, the Region of Eastern Macedonia & Thrace and the Municipality of Drama.

We thank the sponsors and supporters of DISFF:

Hellenic Parliament

Grand Sponsors

Greek Film Center


Finos Film
Onassis Culture
ANT1 Script School
Hariskos Greek Spirits

 Media Sponsors

ΕRΤ, ΕRΤ3, Deftero Programme 103.7, The Voice of Greece, ΕΡΤ3 102 Fm, ΕRΤ3 95.8 FM, ERΤ Kavala, ΕRΤ Serres
Television Station of the Hellenic Parliament
Real Fm 97.8
Αthens 9.84
Sto Kokkino 91.4
I Efimerida ton Synacton


Εuropean Film Academy
Torino Short Film Market
Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Olympia International Film Festival for children and young people
Hellenic Open University
University of West Attica
Ionian University
Neaniko Plano
Consulat General de France, French Institut of Greece &  French Institut of Thessaloniki
Instituto Cervantes
Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg
AG Kurzfilm
German Films
Los Angeles Greek Film Festival
Kyiv International Film Festival Molodist – Sunny Bunny
Greek Association of Film Clubs
Greek Association of Film Critics
Greek Union of Film, Television & Audiovisual Technicians
Directorate of Primary Education of Drama
Directorate of Primary Education of Serres
Crew United
Europe Direct Eastern Macedonia – Thrace