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Orpheus Awards 2023

FEATURE

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BEST FEATURE FICTION

Orpheus Award Winner: Listen

by Maria Douza

This film sends a message of love and compassion and tolerance. It deals with important issues of the times from the point of view of the new generation that struggles to find its way amidst a desensitized adult world. At the same time, it is a story that is superbly acted, masterfully crafted and, most importantly, made with compassion itself.

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BEST FEATURE FICTION

Special Jury Award: IMAN

by Corinna Avraamidou, Kyriacos Tofarides

A film about humanity and controversial matters, extremism, corruption, violence, and at the core of it the lack of love. A well-crafted and directed film that we honor with the Jury Special Award.

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BEST FEATURE FICTION

Audience Award: Black Stone

by Spiros Jacovides
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Photo by Despoina Spyrou

BEST DIRECTOR

Orpheus Award Winner: Panos Koutras

for Dodo

The recipient of the Best Director award in the feature film category is no stranger to accolades, deservedly so. An accomplished director, screenwriter, and producer of five films, the first of which became an international cult hit, he has won festival awards throughout his career. We recognize not only the brilliant tragicomic vision of this filmmaker but also his dedication to social justice and advocacy of human rights. It is our honor to give the Best Director for a feature film award to Panos Koutras from Dodo.

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BEST DIRECTOR

HONORABLE MENTION: Spiros Jacovides

for Black Stone

We are pleased to give an Honorary Mention to an accomplished writer, director, and producer whose three short films were all festival selections and whose first feature film, made us laugh, cry and everything in between. Honorary Mention for Best Director in a feature film goes to Spiros Jacovides from Black Stone.

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BEST PERFORMANCE

Orpheus Award Winner: Efthalia Papacosta

for her role in Listen

This gifted young actress has already garnered over a dozen credits in film and television and has received two nominations and one win at three major Greek film festivals for her stellar performances. Her starring role in this film, showed the full range of her talents; her compassion and her depth are profound and her soulful eyes speak more than words can say. We are pleased to present the award for Best Performance in a feature film to Efthalia Papacosta from LISTEN.

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BEST PERFORMANCE

HONORABLE MENTION: Stephanie Atala

for her role in Iman

An accomplished actress singer, and dancer, this performer got her first acting role at 4 years old. Since then, she has starred in various theater productions, television series, short and feature films across Europe, and here in the U.S showing a great versatility across formats and genres. For her heart-wrenching turn as a young Arabic woman in Iman, which screened last night at our festival, we are pleased to give Honorary Mention for Best Performance in a feature film to Stephanie Atala.

DOCUMENTARY

THE OTHER HALF Giorgos Moutafis

ORPHEUS AWARD WINNER

The Other Half

by Giorgos Moutafis

Migrants and refugees undertake a perilous journey as they cross European borders in their quest for a life of dignity. This documentary, guided by a compassionate lens of photojournalist Giorgos Moutafis, unveils the untold stories of the otherwise lost and marginalized, shedding light on the systemic challenges and human rights violations embedded within the migration crisis. The gripping portrayal compels us to reflect on our responsibility as global citizens and serves as a powerful testament to the transformative power of storytelling rooted in our shared humanity. We proudly honor and recognize The Other Half with the award for Best Documentary.

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Honorable Mention

Queen of the Deuce

by Valerie Kontakos

In weaving together archival footage, audio recordings, and animation to deliver the raucous, fascinating, and multi-dimensional life story of a singularly badass woman, we applaud this filmā€™s commitment to the art of nonfiction storytelling. Delightful, outrageous, and life-affirming all at once, these filmmakers were able to permeate every frame with the unique humanity of Chelly Wilson. We are thrilled to present a Special Jury Award for Directing to Valerie Kontakos and the team behind Queen of the Deuce.

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Audience Award

Venizelos: the Struggle for Asia Minor

by Nikos Dayandas

SHORT FILM

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Orpheus Award Winner

Pebble

by Karina Logothetis

Two women in crisis find themselves together in a psychiatrist’s office, each one becoming the otherā€™s savior. This boldly comic film is sensitively directed, with extraordinarily compelling dialogue. The human connection and empathy displayed by both actresses is refreshingly anti-cynical and humanistic. The film elegantly shows how female bonding can be genuinely transformational. We recognize Pebble with the award for Best Short Film.

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Honorable Mention

5pm Seaside

by Valentin Stejskal

This film depicts the raw yet therapeutic relationship between two former military comrades who reconnect after many years for oneā€™s birthday. Reminiscent of Patroclus and Achilles, the actors give sublimely subtle and mature performances that demystify the cliches of masculinity. Because this movie stayed with us longest, we give an Honorable Mention to 5pm Seaside.

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Special Jury Award

Air Hostess-737

by Thanasis Neofotistos

This film takes flight with Vanina, an air hostess played by the talented Lena Papaligoura, whose inner turbulence parallels that of the aircraft sheā€™s working on. The provocative filming and editing style, which rarely leaves Vaninaā€™s face, is complemented by flawless production design, scoring, and editing. For this reason, we award Air Hostess-737 a Special Jury Award.

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Audience Award

Share For Me

by Alexander Georges

ANIMATION

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Orpheus Award Winner

My Mother the Sea

Director/animator: Aspasia Kazeli

Serene and fluid like the ocean itself, this beautifully executed film deals with grief and the passing of a loved one. Its wonderfully crafted, surreal animation style brings the viewer along on a very personal journey. The drawings flow into each other gracefully and carry with them a calming, contemplative narrative, further aided by the atmospheric sound design. We are very happy to choose My Mother The Sea for Best Animation.

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Honorable Mention

Trojan Horace

by Scott Graham

Inspired by classic cartoons of the past and taking full advantage of fast-paced animation, this movie tells the story of a group of Greek warriors who hide inside a giant wooden horse and try to trick their way through the walls of the great city of Troy. However, they meet their match in an oblivious Trojan guardsman. Told primarily through exaggerated physical comedy and visual jokes, Trojan Horace is Scott Grahamā€™s humorous take on the ancient story.