Greek box-office sensation Little England tapped for Oscars
by Joseph Proimakis
- Pantelis Voulgaris’ multi-award-winning box-office phenomenon has been chosen as Greece’s official submission for the Academy's consideration
After having taken the Hellenic Film Academy (HFA) Awards by storm with six wins and achieving a hat-trick at the Shanghai International Film Festival a few months later, Pantelis Voulgaris’ period drama Little England [+see also:
film profile] now sets sail for the Oscars, as the film has been selected as Greece’s official submission for the Foreign-Language category of the upcoming Oscars.
Staged by a collective including non-film professionals who had confidence in the veteran director’s vision, the €2 million production saw its budget swiftly recovered by box-office receipts, as the film reached record-breaking numbers. With over 360,000 tickets sold, Voulgaris’ film ended its theatrical run as one of the country’s biggest domestic successes in years, as well as one of the year’s greatest hits, surpassing such behemoths as Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity [+see also:
Focusing on the struggles of the seamen community of Andros in the 1930s and 1940s, when the majority of the male population had no choice but to embark on merchant ships and sale around the world to fend for their families, the film revolves around the growing apart of two dissimilar sisters secretly falling in love with the same man.
Shot entirely on location, the film is based on Ioanna Karystiani’s best-selling novel of the same name, the author having co-written the script with husband and collaborator Voulgaris. The movie’s newcomers Penelope Tsilika and Sofia Kokkali were faced with a split vote at the HFA, which failed to choose the leading ladies during its awards ceremony. However, Tsilika was one of the winners at Shanghai, where the film also picked up the Best Director and Best Film Awards, adding to its six HFA awards, including Best Picture and Best Cinematography.
Celebrating its fourth Oscar entry in the company’s seven years in business, local distributor Feelgood Entertainment is hoping that Little England will become its second film to make the Oscars shortlist, following 2009’s Dogtooth [+see also:
interview: Yorgos Lanthimos
film profile] by Yorgos Lanthimos.