Xenia wins big at the Hellenic Film Academy Awards
by Joseph Proimakis
- Director Panos Koutras refuses to take home his Best Director, Screenplay and Film Awards, half of the film’s six-trophy harvest
The year in film was celebrated on Monday evening at the Hellenic Film Academy’s shortest awards ceremony to date, where Panos H Koutras’ Un Certain Regard contender Xenia [+see also:
interview: Panos H. Koutras
film profile] earned top honours, winning six awards, including the golden trifecta of Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay.
Though thankful to the Academy, Koutras refused to take his trophies away with him, stating that he would “take them home when the bill regarding second-generation immigrants is passed through Parliament”, referring to the over 100,000 immigrant children born and raised in Greece who are being denied Greek citizenship.
Xenia, a film that went through unbelievable tribulations to secure its funding and make it into theatres, follows a duo of brothers born in Greece to an Albanian mother, as they trek through the country seeking their Greek father, hoping that he will identify them as his sons and will thus secure their citizenship.
In what was arguably one of Greek cinema’s most successful years, the HFA’s nomination list was ripe with international film-festival contenders. The Berlinale-screened Stratos [+see also:
interview: Yannis Economides
film profile], Yiannis Economides’ fourth feature, took home four of the 15 accolades that it was vying for, including a Leading Actor Award and a Supporting Actress Award for Vangelis Mourikis and Vicky Papadopoulou, respectively.
Its fellow Berlinale entry At Home [+see also:
film profile], by Thanassis Karanikolas, secured the Leading Actress Award for Maria Kallimani, while Xenia’s Angelos Papadimitriou was frenetically cheered on stage when he received the Supporting Actor Award.
The Locarno contender Norway [+see also:
film profile] tied with Stratos with its four wins, including Best Newcomer for director Yiannis Veslemes and the Cinematic Innovation Award. Thodoris Atheridis’ box-office sensation Out of Love won the newly minted Audience Award, decided by an online voting system inaugurated this year.