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Yannis Economides' KNIFER Tops Greek Academy Awards

Knifer, Yannis Economides
Yannis Economides' Knifer

Now in its second year, the Hellenic Film Academy Awards ceremony was held in Athens on May 4. Veteran filmmaker Michael Cacoyannis (Zorba the Greek, The Trojan Women) received an honorary award, while absentee filmmaker Yannis Economides' Macherovgaltis / Knifer was the big winner, taking home seven awards including Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay.

Knifer tells the story of a man who goes live with his uncle in the outskirts of Athens. Once there, one of his duties is the protection of two purebred dogs.

Syllas Tzoumerkas' first feature, Homeland, won five awards, including Best Directorial Debut and Best Supporting Actress (Ioanna Tsirigouli). Homeland follows a dysfunctional Greek family living in a dysfunctional country (that's Greece as well) from the 1970s to the present.

The Best Actress was Ariane Labed for her performance as a young woman attempting to cope with sex, death, and human relationships in Athina Rachel Tsangari's Attenberg. Labed was also chosen as Best Actress at last year's Venice Film Festival.

Curiously, the Hellenic Academy chose Attenberg -- not Knifer -- to represent Greece for the 2012 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

The Best Actor winner was Argyris Xafis for Sotiris Goritsas' satire of Greece's public healthcare system Welcome All Saints. Dimitris Imellos was the Best Supporting Actor for his work in that film.

The 2011 Hellenic Film Awards ceremony was dedicated to actor Thanasis Vengos, who died yesterday. Vengos, who was last year's honorary award recipient, was 84.

Via ioncinema.com and Screen International

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