A message from the Artistic Director Yannis Sakaridis
It is an honor to take the reins of my beloved festival in these strange times for everyone, but also at a fortunate conjuncture for short film in Greece. For 43 years, the Drama Film Festival has been open to all cinema trends. It is a product of collective vision and work, which relies on the experience and expertise of the filmmakers who take part in organisation and qualifying committees.
For the first time this year we have an online platform where all films will be screened, we launched the International Student Programme, Focus on Animation in conjunction with the University of West Attica, as well as the Cinematotherapy workshop with Pawel Pawlikowski, who is a member of the International Competition committee.
Education, in all its forms, is of great importance to all of us. Be it online or live, throughout the year, for all ages.
Thus, we designed educational programmes with award-winning filmmakers, actors, producers, and technicians, who took part and distinguished themselves in previous years. We scheduled 6 Greek films for the International Competition, acting on our conviction that Greek short films are at the top of international cinema.
This is demonstrated by their continual participation in great film festivals around the globe and, obviously, by the awards and distinctions they achieve.
The big absentee this year is Antonis Papadopoulos, who, in his 20 years as Artistic Director, was the heart and soul of the festival, and the man who raised it to an international level. As the merest tribute to his memory and contribution, we are renaming the main event hall of the Municipal Conservatory of Drama to “Antonis Papadopoulos Hall”.
Yannis Sakaridis studied Photography and Art History at London College of Printing and film direction at the University of Westminster. He has been a member of London Film Makers Co-Op for many years, where he started to direct short films as BUSKERS (1995), SQUADDING IN HACKNEY (1995), DOGKILLERS (1996), MAUSOLEUM (1998), and also some experimental films, such as PARIS (1993), DECAY (1996). He kept on working as a professional film editor for feature films in Greece and Great Britain, such as SCREAMIN’ JAY HAWKINS: I PUT A SPELL ON ME by Nikos Triantafyllidis (2001), THE KING by Nikos Grammatikos (2002), A WOMAN IN WINTER by Richard Jobson (2006), for film trailers for Warner Bros, such as MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL by Clint Eastwood (1997), THE GENERAL by John Burman (1998), EYES WIDE SHUT by Stanley Kubrick (1999), and also for many British TV documentaries, such as VELVET GOLDMINE for Channel 4, CLASH OF THE TITANS: RANGERS/CELTICS for BBC2, CARNIVAL FACES for National Geographic.
After 18 years in London, he wrote and directed the short film TRUTH (2006), which was the first film he shot in Athens, where he lives since 2007. His first feature film as a director, WILD DUCK (2013), starring Themis Bazaka and Alexandros Logothetis, was premiered at Toronto Film Festival and traveled to festivals around the world.
His second feature as a screenwriter/producer/director, AMERIKA SQUARE (2016) starring Yannis Stankoglou, Makis Papadimitriou, Themis Bazaka and Vassilis Kukalani was produced by Greek National Television and the Greek Film Center. It was awarded in many international festivals and it was the official selection of Greece for the Academy Awards (2018). The film was distributed in the USA, China, Spain, Eastern Europe (HBO), England, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus.
Hollywood Reporter wrote for this film: “Amerika Square is overall one of the best European films to date on the subject of immigration in all its painful implications”. He has participated two times in Drama Film Festival with fiction shorts: MAUSOLEUM (1998), TRUTH (2006, Special Award for Fiction, Best Music Award) He has been a member of its national juries twice. He has also been a member of an Advisory Committee for Short Films at the Greek Film Center.
Filmography (as a director):
Amerika Square (2016) Scriptwriter-Director-Producer.
Audience Award at the 7 th Peking Film Festival. Erasmus Youth Jury Award, Trieste Film Festival. Best Film Award at Los Angeles Greek Film Festival. Best Editing Award by the Greek Film Academy, Best Film Award Open Frontiers Contest. FIPRESCI Award at the 57 th Thessaloniki IFF, Special Mention for Vassilis Kukalani at the 57 th Thessaloniki IFF, Youth Award at the 57 th Thessaloniki IFF, Audience Award at the 3 rd Burgas FF, New Directors Competition, 52nd Chicago Film Festival. Flash Forward Competition, 21st Busan International Film Festival.
Wild Duck (2013) Scriptwriter-Director-Producer.
Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF 2013), Raindance Film Festival, Busan Film Festival (Flash Forwrd), Chicago Film Festival, New Directors Competition, Mostra – Sao Paulo, In Competition, Thessaloniki IFF, In Competition, International Film Festival of India, Goa.
Truth (2006, short film) Scriptwriter-Director.
47Th Thessaloniki IFF Θεσσαλονίκης (Special Mention in Quality Awards), Raindance Film Festival (Tiscali Best Shorts Selection), 29th Short Film Festival in Drama (Special Award, Best Music Award).
Mausoleum (1998, short film) Raindance Film Festival, Drama International Film Festival, Orange Best Shorts.
Dogkillers (1996, short film),
Decay (1996, short film),
Buskers (1995, short film),
A poem for 4 countries (1995, short film),
Squadding in Hackney (1995, short documentary),
La Valeta (1994, short film),
Paris (1993, short film).