Moon wins top honours at Athens
by Joseph Proimakis
UK director Duncan Jones’ debut feature Moon [+see also:
film profile], starring Sam Rockwell as a lone space-man caught between Solaris and 2001: A Space Odyssey while working on a lunar base, won top honors at the Athens International Film Festival.
Sweden’s Fredrick Edfeldt also scored big, for his debut feature The Girl [+see also:
interview: Fredrik Edfeldt
film profile], winning both the Audience Award and Best Director. The jury of young film students from throughout Europe also praised the team behind the witty satire of Armando Iannucci’s In the Loop [+see also:
film profile]’s, by giving them the Best Screenplay prize.
In an effort to capitalize on the recent upheaval in local cinema (see news), the festival debuted a new series of awards, celebrating first-timers. Best Debut Director was shared by Argyris Papadimitropoulos and Panagiots Karamitsos for Bank Bang and Tenderness, respectively, while Best Debut Actor went to Thanassis Tsaltabasis (Loafing and Camouflage: I-4) and Best Debut Actress to Raschmie Soukouli (Tenderness).
Trying to bring filmmakers close to their policy-makers, the fest set up a talk between representatives from the country’s leading political parties and journalists from wide-selling newspapers.
However, what was meant to be a political debate about the future of Greek cinema turned into a fight, when members of the rogue group calling itself Filmmakers in the Mist accused the Greek Directors Guild of being interested in securing their political standing rather than solving filmmakers’ issues. Dozens of Guild members resigned on the spot.
Guild president Harry Papadopoulos went on to accuse his counterpart at the Greek Film Center, Yiorgos Papalios, of embezzling government funds and manipulating filmmakers in order to create the group and turn it against Papadopoulos. Heated argument and name-calling followed, publicly demonstrating the local industry’s state of turmoil.
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