The competition programs of DISFF 46

The competition programs of DISFF 46

4 – 10 SEPTEMBER 2023

During the press conference that just concluded at the Greek Film Archive Foundation, an event honoured by the presence of General Secretary of Modern Culture Eleni Doundoulaki, the artistic director of the Drama International Short Film Festival Yannis Sakaridis along with Yorgos Demertzis, President of the Festival, announced the competition programmes (NATIONAL, STUDENT NATIONAL, STUDENT INTERNATIONAL, and GREEN) of the 46th Drama International Short Film Festival, which will be held between the 4th and 10th of September, 2023. They also introduced the Festival’s new visual identity, as well as the newly-established Short Film Hub segment, which will further strengthen the Festival’s longstanding partnership with the Greek Film Centre.

The 46th Drama International Short Film Festival will project a total of 76 Greek film across all its competition programmes, all of which will premiere on a national and, in most cases, an international level.

This year, the Festival is moving on to the next level; as it was announced a few days ago, the films receiving the top distinction in both the National and International Competition programmes will be automatically securing the coveted “ticket” to participate in the Oscars® Academy Awards. This connection with the Academy Awards® will give the Drama International Short Film Festival the push it needs to fulfil its role in the best way possible.

In the press conference, the first one to speak was Margarita Alexomanolaki, Head of the Directorate of Performing Arts and Cinema of the Ministry of Culture, representing the Ministry of Culture. “We are happy to see the institution grow. The Ministry of Culture has always been an ardent supporter of the celebration of short films. This year we are supporting the Festival of Drama through the Recovery Fund in order to ensure stability for the Festival, with funds exceeding €800,000. Thus the festival can guarantee better planning and outreach, without the insecurity of obtaining funding from the regular Ministry budget. By joining the Recovery Fund this year, the Drama Festival increased its budget and secured stable funding until the end of 2025. But even after 2025, the Ministry will remain a supporter of the institution” she mentioned.

As Yannis Sakaridis mentioned, “festivals are a classic fixture in the field of cinema, offering a platform where new talent can surface, artistic ideas can be exchanged, and creative diversity can be encouraged. Furthermore, festivals never stop! Just one week after the end of last year’s Drama International Short Film Festival, we presented the films of the National Competition programme, and we welcomed Paweł Pawlikowski in a Cinematherapy Session at the Greek Film Archive Foundation. The long journey of the award-winning films of the National Competition programme began at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, from where they “travelled” on to many cities of both Greece and abroad”.

This year “we have the honour to welcome director and actress Elena Mavridou to our team, who will take over the new KIDDO programme, which will host films created for and by children; additionally, Yanna Sarri has taken over the creation of the Short Film Hub programme, which aspires to form ties between talented directors, screenwriters, and directors and the domestic film industry. Led by Denise Nikolakou, our Cinematherapy programme visited the schools of Drama for a second year in a row, while it also travelled to two top Greek cinema festivals in Berlin and Los Angeles, with which our organisation has now started collaborating. The Festival’s team watched and assessed more than 3,000 films, and is now inviting you to join it in discovering new voices, journeying in subversive worlds, and delving deeply into the Art of cinema. I am both happy and proud to be able to welcome you to the 46th Drama International Short Film Festival!”

Taking the floor, President of the Festival Yorgos Demertzis noted:

“2023 is a milestone year for the Festival, as it brings many new and important developments: Just a few days ago, the American Film Academy announced our success in achieving this top distinction. Two tickets to participate in the Oscars ceremony will be given to the winning films of the National and International Competition programmes of the Drama Festival.

This distinction did not happen in a vacuum; together with Yannis Sakaridis and the Festival’s team, we acted in a coordinated, systematic, and persistent manner, in order to eliminate past obstacles and rebuild previously lost bridges of communication both in Greece and abroad. With my full support and under the guidance of our inspired artistic director, the targeted, creative, and outgoing growth pattern of the Festival in the past few years which aimed to benefit the creators of short films greatly contributed to this success.

I will continue by talking about the beginning of this special year, when the Undergraduate Department of Film Studies of the Hellenic Open University started operating, offering directing workshops in our city. This was a long-held dream, and the mayor of our city greatly contributed in its realisation. As its main inspirer, the Drama Film Festival will develop collaborative programmes and actions with the School, in order to maximise the benefits for aspiring filmmakers.

Commenting on the “important, definitive, unimpeded, and -for the first time- steady collaboration with the Ministry of Culture”, Yorgos Demertzis noted that said collaboration, which has been in place since 2020, has brought:

“Uninterrupted funding for the Festival, via a three-year planning contract which was renewed a few months ago, providing safety and resources for us to continue our work.

The utilisation of the former Andrikakis military camp, through “the creation and operation of a creative hub for audiovisual arts in Drama”, which transformed it into a reference point of the Drama Film Festival. Aided by the Recovery Fund and with funding of up to 7 million Euro by the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Administrative Region, this plan is in development and will operate in combination with the cultural and developmental master plan for the growth of Drama, which aspires to contribute to the economy and growth model of the wider region.

The modernisation of the infrastructure of the Drama Municipal Music School and the Olympia Cinema, both venues where the Festival takes place, with funding of up to 1.5 million Euro by the Recovery Fund.

Furthermore, and with the aid of the Ministry of Culture, the educational “Cinematherapy” programmes were implemented for the past three years, which were met with great success in Drama and will continue to be held.

The artistic director and the team of the Festival have wrapped up the preparations for the 46th event of the Drama International Short Film Festival with love, maturity, sincerity and passion. Fresh, innovative choices and new co-operations with important bodies and people of the field of cinema both in Greece and abroad compose this year’s Festival, aiming to strengthen the connection between the film industry, young talent, and film students from both Greece and abroad, in an effort to ultimately upgrade the festival’s image and offering.

We are very thankful to the Ministry of Culture, the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Administrative Region, the Drama Municipality, the Greek Film Centre, the National Centre of Audiovisual Media and Communication (EKOME), the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT), the Onassis Stegi Foundation, RAYCAP, Cyclops, Finos Film, COSMOTE TV, and all bodies of cinematic creation, both Greek and foreign, for their support, love, and excellent co-operation in the task of promoting short films and their creators.  

We wish our Festival the best of luck!”


Upon presenting this year’s visual identity, designer and Head of Branding at the Drama International Short Film Festival Dimitris Papazoglou (DpS Athens) noted:

“We are both happy and honoured to be presenting the visual identity which will accompany the 46th Drama International Short Film Festival; in doing so, we have finally completed the design trilogy we announced back in 2021, when we first took over the redesigning of the organisation’s visual identity.

As such, in 2021 we focused on the format, the technical qualities of the medium, the short duration (the short film narration) and the density of meaning, all typical elements of this type of filmmaking.

Following that, in 2022 we focused on the community of short film creators, bringing the creators at the forefront of visual communication. By using the verbal creation “A Flm By” and incorporating their names in the design process, we underlined and highlighted their contribution as a vital, creative part of our Festival.

Our work on the Festival’s visual identities for both 2021 and 2022 received important distinctions, the most important one being the Golden Award for Design during the Greek Design Awards for Visual Communication (EVGE Awards), as well as the Merit of Typography for the 2022 publications of the Festival during the same event. Additionally, the total work of the two years has received recognition by multiple design platforms and design-related publications, not only in Greece, but also abroad, something that contributed significantly to the establishment of the Drama Film Festival among international cinematic festivals.

This year’s visual identity draws inspiration from and honours the long, upward trajectory of the Festival. In terms of branding, the Festival’s name is strengthened and dispersed, gaining more exposure as it is promoted more and more abroad, in events such as the Los Angeles GFF, the Festival de Cannes, the Clermont-Ferrand Festival, the Torino Short Film Market, and others.

On an international level, an important proof of the strengthening of our institution, the validation of its identity, and its contribution in the world of short film making is the fact that the Drama International Short Film Festival now becomes an Oscar®-qualifying festival, officially providing a ticket to the Oscar® Awards competition to the two award-winning films of the National and International competition programmes.

This, of course, is an extraordinary circumstance, which makes this year’s visual identity even more pertinent. The verbal creation “Focus on DISFF” challenges us to “see” – and, therefore, to think – both carefully and in depth about the Drama International Short Film Festival, ponder the meaning of its vision, and examine the principles and qualities which typify it as it grows, disperses, and travels, gaining more and more prestige on the international map of film festivals”.



*The jury of the National Competition Programme is composed of:

  1. Lefteris Charitos (President), director
  2. Alexia Roider, artistic director of the Cyprus International Short Film Festival
  3. Menos Deliotzakis, director
  4. Alexandra Matthaiou, director/screenwriter
  5. Asimina Proedrou, Director/screenwriter

*The jury of the International Competition Programme is composed of:

  1. Eva Stefani (President), director
  2. Philip Ilson, Artistic Director of the London Film Festival
  3. Marie-Pauline Mollaret, Head of the short film selection segment of the Cannes Film Festival/cinema critic

*The jury of the International Student Competition Programme is composed of:

  1. Florian Fernandez-Canto, coordinator of the Cannes Court Métrage – Rendez-vous Industry
  2. Anne Gaschutz, artistic director of Filmfest Dresden
  3. Thanos Tokakis, director/actor

*The jury of the National Student Competition Programme is composed of:

  1. Kyriakos Aggelakos (President), director/producer/screenwriter
  2. Ilektra Venaki, video editor
  3. Maria Komninou, Chairperson of the Board of the Greek Film Archive Foundation

*The jury of the Short and Green Programme is composed of:

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

*The jury of the Animation Competition Programme is composed of:

  1. Jutta Wille, director of AGKurzFilm/producer
  2. Alekos Papadatos, animator/director
  3. Anthi Samartzidou, cartoonist

*The jury of the KIDDO programme is composed of children and teenagers between the ages of 11-18:

  1. Petros Georgiadis
  2. Tatiana Mavridou,
  3. Anna Panagiotopoulou,
  4. Christos Sapanidis,
  5. Vasiliki Stefanidou



  1. Unorthodox by Konstantinos Antonopoulos
  2. My name is Anti by Andreas Vakalios, Fili Olsefski
  3. White Christmas 1948 by Antonios Vallindras
  4. Good Girls Club: A Virginity Odyssey by Lida Vartzioti, Dimitris Tsakaleas
  5. Antilopi by Alexandros Voulgaris aka The Boy
  6. Light of Light by Neritan Zinxhiria
  7. Arizones by Giorgos Iliopoulos
  8. Wings by Fivos Imellos
  9. A piece of liberty by Antigoni Kapaka
  10. End of August by Antzelika Katsa
  11. Τhe armchair on the pavement by Mary Kolonia
  12. Aerolin by Alexis Koukias-Pantelis
  13. Super by Nikolas Kouloglou
  14. Pick a hand by Stavros Kostopoulos
  15. Please wait by Karina Logothetis
  16. Midnight Skin by Manolis Mavris
  17. If I tell you my memories by Maria Elena Mitrodima
  18. Flux by Giorgos Bougioukos
  19. À deux voix by Martha Bouziouri
  20. Athalassa by Argyro Nicolaou
  21. Deep sea by Kallia Papadaki
  22. Bearcave by Krysianna Papadakis, Stergios Dinopoulos
  23. Firebug by Alexandros Papathanasopoulos
  24. Short draft by Spyridon Papaspyrou
  25. Mailman by Nicholas G. Pelecanos
  26. The thief by Matteo Pizzocaro
  27. Until you see me by Eleanna Santorinaiou
  28. Walls by Christos Sarris
  29. Cargo by Yorgos Servetas
  30. Womb by Themos Skandamis
  31. Buffer Zone by Savvas Stavrou
  32. Dyosmos by Alexandros Georgios Sotiropoulos
  33. The first setting sun of summer by Asteris Tziolas
  34. Crossing by Aineias Tsamatis, Katerina Mavrogeorgi
  35. Fracture by Panagiotis Fafoutis

As Yannis Sakaridis notes, “35 films participate in the National Competition Programme, directed by 26 men and 13 women.

“Short film directors stand apart for their creative intelligence, their sensitive approach in communicating with the audiences, and their ability to convey multiple experiences and emotions in just a few minutes. Short films allow directors to approach deep and important subjects, and to capture them in strong, compact scripts. In this case, direction is a challenge, seeing as directors must choose the moments which will successfully convey the full picture of their story. The direction of short films demands precision and narrative economy.

As my dear predecessor and fellow director Antonis Papadopoulos wrote, a short film is a film of “immediate return”. A short film that can be realised within a short time span records the social, economic, and mental state of the country, transforming the screens of the Drama International Short Film Festival into a mirror of society, both in realistic and lyrical ways.

This year we watched films that touched upon deep social and psychological issues, with an emphasis on solitude, abandonment, abuse, and toxic masculinity. The exploration of one’s sexuality and sexism occupy big part of this year’s subject matter, while problematic family relationships, breakups and the management of grief seem to once again inspire short film creators. Furthermore, we watched some excellent comedies, as well as experimental films and powerful documentaries.

The Drama International Short Film Festival received certification for the Oscar nominations in the category of short films, for the award-winning films of the National Competition Programme (Oscar®-qualified).

We hope that once again this year, the Festival will uplift Greek cinema and will become a source of positive energy”.


  1. A diary of sexual solitude by Nina Alexandraki
  2. The Parade by Michalis Galanopoulos
  3. Greenhouse by George Georgakopoulos
  4. Góos by Flora Ilia
  5. Ketchup to your mustard by Ifigeneia Theodoridis
  6. Days of a lilac summer by Ariadni Angeliki Thyfronitou Litou
  7. Athens, my love by Dimitris Kechris
  8. A very small gentleman by George Kleanthous
  9. The chaos she left behind by Nikos Kolioukos
  10. Scorched earth by Markela Kontaratou\
  11. Why won’t you dance? by Penelope Mavropsaridi
  12. Love is a heavy load by Marianna Bozantzoglou – Katerina Roussiaki
  13. Little doggie by Giorgos Ntounis
  14. The legend of Kavalawood by Melina Xypolitaki
  15. Unicorns do exist by Milena Perdikari
  16. The knock by Ismini Proiou
  17. Farewells by Savvina Samioti
  18. Sea urchin by Alex Scholz
  19. How to light a cigarette without burning yourself by Constantinos Spanoudakis
  20. One and a half by Odysseas Spyropoulos
  21. Birds don’t look through the windows by Eirini Tampasouli
  22. Eau en noir / Water in black by Vanessa Ferle
  23. Lou by Antonina Frokou
  24. Watering hole by Fivos Chalkiopoulos
  25. Justis by Aggelos Barai, Nikitas Sifonios [out of competition]

24 films participate in the National Student Competition Programme (an extra film will be screened outside the competition), directed by 10 men and 14 women. Panagiotis Iosifelis is Head Programmer of the programme (screenwriter, screenwriting professor at the Film Department of the School of Fine Arts of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki). There was a 60% increase in this year’s submissions compared to the previous year, and films from 12 schools were selected. This year’s subject matter revolves around issues such as abuse, femicide, and self-identification. The creation of the Student National Programme succeeds in filling a significant gap in the field of student short film creation.


  1. Klette by Michael Abay,  Belgium
  2. Bad kids with saint names by Vicky Anastasiadou,  Greece
  3. Phalène by Sarah-Anaïs Desbenoit,   France
  4. Kokuryo: the untold story of bb. Undas 2019 by Diokko Manuel Dionisio,   Philippines
  5. δ by Julia Diệp My Feige,   Germany
  6. Carp xmass by Anna Heribanová,   Czech Republic
  7. Suitcase by Saman Hosseinpuor – Ako Zandkarimi,    Iran
  8. Xiaohui and his cows by Xinying Lao,   China
  9. Ánima by Manuel Mateo,  Cuba
  10. The things to come   by Santiago Ráfales,   Spain
  11. I asked him to take me dancing by Hillel Rate,   Israel
  12. Sea urchin by Alex Scholz,   Greece
  13. Dancing on the grave by Ana Šiškov,   Croatia
  14. Opening night by Sara Szymańska,   Poland

14 films from 13 countries participate in this year’s Student International Programme, directed by 8 men and 7 women. Director Thanasis Neofotistos, Head Programmer of the Student International Programme, envisions to create a student campus in the city of Drama. This year’s films address various social and political matters, and touch upon issues such as diversity and human relationships.


  1. This is not a place for you by Ceyda Aşar,  Turkey
  2. A queen by Benjamin Behaeghel,   France
  3. Terra mater by Kantarama Gahigiri,   Rwanda
  4. Bumbumpapá by Alexis Gómez,   Mexico
  5. Fantasmagoría by Juan Francisco González,   Chile
  6. Luthier by Carlos González Penagos,   Colombia
  7. Nool by May Grosman,   Israel
  8. Strangers in the dark by Perttu Inkilä, Jenni Pystynen ,  Finland
  9. Bégan by Maria Jorge,   Portugal
  10. Time to live by Hawar Rehimi,   Kurdistan Region of Iraq – Iraq, Islamic Republic of Iran
  11. Happy by Laura Rindlisbacher,   UK
  12. Seagulls scream on the weekend by Maria Stuut, Frederik Stuut, Netherlands
  13. Lumen by Eirini Tzoulia,   Greece
  14. Eina by Michael Vella, Tommy Vella ,  Germany
  15. The wheat will not be golden   by Guoxin Wang ,, China

The Short and Green competition programme includes 15 films (directed by 10 men and 8 women) from 15 countries, covering all cinematic genres: fiction films, documentaries, and animation films. The programme is curated by Vasilis Terzopoulos.


The Drama International Short Film Festival has always been a space of expression for new creators and cinema professionals. It has historically served as a meeting point, where, come September every year, new connections are created, cinematic discussions held, ideas exchanged and future collaborations forged.

The Short Film Hub programme will be held for the first time this year, under the leadership of Yanna Sarri, and aiming to unite all film professionals that will be present in Drama; via discussions and panels, it will provide the opportunity to new creators to approach distinguished professionals in the field of cinema, in order to learn more about the unlimited potential of their art, the methods of promoting their work, the ways of developing a script and the creation of a network of connections.

The actions of the Short Film Hub will cover the entire duration of the Festival. Discussions will be held daily at the open air cinema Alexandros, on a variety of subjects: One talk will touch upon the most important festivals around the world, such as the Cannes Film Festival and its Marche du Film segment, while other discussions will be held regarding the country’s funding programmes and the development of a cinematic market during the past few years. We will address the process of acquiring music rights, which is a crucial element in the creation of a film. Finally, a discussion on the new platform by Crew United will be held, where renowned Greek and foreign professionals of the field will provide useful tools, while other talks will touch upon topics such as DIY cinema and the fascinating work of Frieda Liappa.

At the same time, the DIRECTOR’S CUT: A Cinema of Stills workshop will be held, led by Natasha Christia (curator, writer, and educator in the field of artistic photography). In this workshop we will try to incorporate photography and its theory into cinematic theory and practice, and create a useful and inspired toolbox to aid the conception, production, and promotion of a cinematic project.

The successful actions of the Pitching Lab will continue this year, celebrating its 10th anniversary and its collaboration with the Torino Short Film Lab. These two actions will be combined with constructive meetings between the participants and the professionals of the field.

Finally, the actions of the Meet the Experts programme will be held for the first time this year; these will be daily meetings with film professionals attending the Festival, who will be available for one-to-one meetings with the directors, screenwriters, and producers presenting their films within the official programme of the Festival.

Meet the GFC

The series of informative meetings “Meet the GFC”, which will be held for the first time this year within the Agora segment of the Festival, will strengthen the long-standing, strong bond between the Greek Film Centre and the Drama International Short Film Festival. From Tuesday, September 5th until Friday, September 8th, executives from all the departments of the GFC will inform directors and producers on the possibilities offered through the Centre’s funding programmes, as well as through its international connections.

Finally, we would like to add that, this year, the Drama International 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. This platform, which is now available in Greek as well, will be giving out three awards and will be presented at the Short Film Hub on Friday, September 8th.


After the very successful run of the programme from 2020 to this day, in Greece and abroad, a new project for the Cinematherapy programme, led by psychotherapist Denise Nikolakou, will be implemented by the Drama International Short Film Festival, under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and the Directorate of Contemporary Culture, reaffirming the impact and effectiveness of the innovative programme that has been running for three years in Greece and abroad.

For the first time this year, the new project is focused at the age group 18 to 30, with the goal of creating 5 mixed groups of 10 people each, with open flow, with a fixed duration of 90 minutes and a weekly meeting schedule. The duration of the program is set at a predetermined start and end date, from 28/8 to 30/12/2023.

The Programme will run in a hybrid format (in person and online). The kick-off meeting / introduction of the team with the coordinator and the participants as well as the closing meeting will be held in person. In the in-between period, the group meetings, under the curation and coordination by Denise Nikolakou, will be held via an online platform (Zoom).