ELIAS GIANNAKAKIS


Born in Athens, Greece, in 1968, he is a screenwriter, director and producer of documentary and fiction films.23 MG 3029 960x742

In total, he has written and directed over 150 documentaries and 2 fiction films, while in numerous instances he acted as the producer as well.

His documentaries and fiction films have earned him more the twenty awards in international and Greek festivals. Many of his documentaries have been shown in special screenings in Greece and abroad, and have been selected by many international festivals.

From 2000 to 2013 he was one of the regular directors working in the famous TV documentary program “Paraskinio”, produced by Cinetic for ERT (Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation).

He is specialized in the arts-related (theatre, literature, cinema etc), historical and sports documentary.

In the season 2002- 2003 he co-hosted together with poet Sotiris Kakisis a radio program for ERA SPORTS, titled “Mythomania”, interviewing major sports personalities in Greece.

His preoccupation with the subject of sports within a broad historical and the social context led to the publication of a collection of essays in a book, entitled “The Football Novel”, in 2005.

In the season 2009-2010, he directed a 15-episode documentary series for SKAI television, titled “Forever Champions” and in the season 2013-2014, he made a documentary series for ERT, titled “In the Fever of the World Cup”. He has developed a specialty in the field of the sports documentary, since his relationship with football, basketball and athletics has long grown far beyond that of the average sports fan.

Theatre documentaries hold a considerable part in his filmography, as he has directed over thirty films spanning the entire spectrum of Greek theatre, and dedicating many months of filming to each of his subjects, in most cases handling the camera himself, in order for his work to have a more personal character.

Next to all these he has worked extensively in history documentaries, dealing with periods of controversy, such as the German occupation or the Greek Civil War, in a spirit devoid of the bias of the past, highlighting different aspects and opposite sides equally and considering facts and events through the human dimension.

For a period of five years he was involved in planning and organizing major retrospectives in cinema clubs and special tribute screenings. Furthermore, he has been writing articles on the history of cinema for over 15 years.

In the last twenty-five years, he has gathered together a rich and expanding collection, audiovisual (of films, documentaries, newsreel, television programs, substantial unseen footage shot for his documentaries in the last fifteen years) as well as printed material (books, rare magazines and newspapers, documents and photographs of historical value).

FILMOGRAPHY

1996 “The last act” (12 min). Award for Best Fantasy Film from the Kotronis Foundation.

1999 Patagonia” (30 min). Merit Distinction from the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Greek Film Centre. Best Sccreenplay Award from the Kotronis Foundation.

2000 “The kids at the traffic lights” (15 min). For the educational section of ERT (Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation).

2000-2013 A number of 35 50-minute documentaries, for the famous television program "Paraskinio".

2004-2011 Thirty 50-minute documentaries for ERT and ERT Digital (“The Antennas of our times”, “Mathimata - Pathimata”, “Portraits and paths of Greek architects”, "Landscapes of silence", "New insights into the Greek cinema", "12 women monologues", “Docville", etc)

2004 Yannis Kouros – Forever running” (73 min). A documentary for the legendary ultra-marathon runner and world record holder Yannis Kouros. (Second Prize at the Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival in 2004) (His own production)

2004 Alemaya”, (100 min). Fiction film co-produced with the Greek Film Centre. It premiered at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, in 2004. (His own production)

2005 «Walter the Greek» (65 min). A documentary about the world famous director of photography Walter Lassally, who won the Academy Award for “Zorba the Greek” by Michalis Kakogiannis. (Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival 2005).

2006 “What is our country?” (50 min). A television documentary tackling the sensitive subject of the relation of the Greek Church and the educational process, as expressed though the History teaching curriculum.

2008 Makronissos – Exile Island” (90 min). A documentary feature, co-directed with Evi Karabatsou, about the Greek island of exile, Makronissos. Co-produced by ERT and the Greek Film Centre. (Audience Award at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival in 2008). (His own production).

2009 “A belated thank-you” (65 min). A documentary about women prisoners on death row at the Averof Prison and the people who put their own lives at risk in order to save them.

2009 Six 50-minute documentaries for ERT on six well-known Greek cinematographers.

2009-2010 A 15-episode documentary series of of 45 and 90 min. each (short and extended versions) for SKAI television, entitled “Forever Champions”, on the history of football and basketball in Greece.

2011 “Μedusa” Four short videos that were part of a theatrical performance directed by Thomas Moschopoulos, as part of the Athens Festival.

2011 “St George – Lycabettus” (45 min). An observational documentary film recording the every day life on the historic athenian hill, Lycabettus. It was part of the television program Docville, on ERT.

2012 “Hara” (Joy) (80 min). Fiction, black&white. Co-produced by ERT, the Greek Film Centre and NOVA. The film premiered at the International section of the Thessaloniki Film Festival and went on to screen at 12 international festivals (Karlovy Vary, Edinburgh, Shanghai, New York, etc).It has won Special mention at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, an Award for
best actress (for Amalia Moutoussi) by the Hellenic Film Academy and a best actress Award (Amalia Moutoussi) at the Alexandria Film Festival.

2013-14 “Kalavryta – People and Shadows” (110 min). A documentary about the Kalavryta Massacre. It won the FIPRESCI Award at the Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival (2014), an award for Best Historical Documentary at the International Film Festival Aegean Docs, in Mytilene and screened at the Greek Film Festivals of Los Angeles and New York and at the London Greek Film Festival.

2014 “In the fever of the World Cup” A television documentary series for ERT, comprising of four episodes on the history of the Greek national football team and another four about the history of the World Cup. (His own production).

2014 Golfo in Epidaurus” (78 min). A documentary on the staging process of the renowned production of Nikos Karathanos at the Epidaurus Ancient Theatre, made for the Athens Festival.

2014 Two short documentaries dedicated to the famous theatre actor and director Lefteris Vogiatzis.
The first one, of 15 minutes in duration, titled “Lefteris Voyatzis discusses light” was shot in 2005 and completed in 2014.
The second, a 10-minute short film, entitled “Last time on stage” features Voyatzis in his very last performance in Pinter’s “Hothouse”, in May 2011. It is an assortment of highlights from the play and Voyatzis’ private moments of preparation before the performance.

2014-15 Aristeia Program of the Hellenic University of Peloponnese. 30 filmed interviews of the most accomplished Greek historians made in association with Antonis Liakos and Vangelis Karamanolakis destined for the University’s web platform.

2015 “Michael Marmarinos in Faust's workshop”, 87 min.
         “Hamlet in the mind of Yannis Houvardas”, 88 min.
         “The cherry orchard, Mickey Mouse and Nikos Karathanos”, 110 min.

         “Akyllas Karazisis meets Horvath with Faith, Hope, Charity”, 65 min. (co-directed with Apostolia Papaioannou)
Four documentary feature films, for the Onassis Cultural Centre, that chronicle the staging process of four productions, from the fist day of rehearsals until the premiere.

 

2016-17

Since April 2016 he's been shooting a full- length documentary, entitled "The Transfer", recording the whole process of the preparations for the relocation of the National Library of Greece from its historic building in the center of Athens to its brand new and completely modern home, sponsored by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
It is an observation documentary whose shootings are going to last until the opening to the public of the new National Library in the middle of 2018.
It's recording all the preparations in detail, besides with the city's pulse of the social and financial crisis. While recording one of the most important cultural actions of the last fifty years in Greece, the recent history of the country's tremendous crisis is imprinted at the same time.

In the meanwhile, he has started the writing of his new feature film, entitled "Machi" (greek female name, which also means "battle"). Should everything goes well, the shootings are planned for the end of 2018.

In April 2017, he started the shootings for a big documentary TV series, under the title "The adventures of the greek football", referring to the history of the greek football. The shootings are planned to last almost two years.

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