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Director Elina Psykou receiving her awards 

Elina Psykou’s “The Son of Sofia” was the big winner at the at the Iris Hellenic Film Academy Awards on April 23, having garnered five prizes (best Feature Fiction Film, Director, Screenplay, Supporting Actor, and Production Design).

During the event that took place at the Onassis Cultural Centre, Hellenic Film Academy Chairman, Vassilis Katsoufis, expressed the cinema community’s satisfaction over the positive steps that have been taken for the development of Greek cinema (the establishment of the National Center for Audiovisual Media & Communication (EKOME S.A.), the cash rebate incentive for the attraction of investments in audiovisual production etc.). He also stressed the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture to design a comprehensive framework for the development of Greek cinema, starting with cinematographic education and concluding in the creation, promotion and distribution of Greek films.

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Director Lefteris Charitos receiving best Documentary award for "Dolphin Man"

Lefteris Kretsos, General Secretary for Media and Communication was among the artists, journalists, scientists and important figures of the Greek film industry who presented the awards to the winners. “Polyxeni” by Dora Masklavanou and “The Last Note” by veteran Greek director Pantelis Voulgaris, won four awards each. More specifically, Polyxeni was awarded for best Actress, Supporting Actress, Cinematography, and Original Music Score and the “Last Note” for best Actor, Costume Design, Sound, and Make-up.

Dolphin Man”, by Lefteris Charitos received best Documentary award, while “Copa Loca”, by Christos Massalas was awarded best Short Film.

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Music Composer Alexandre Desplat receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award

The highlight of the event was the bestowment of the Lifetime Achievement Award to this year's recipient French music composer Alexandre Desplat for his outstanding contribution to cinema. Desplat, Oscar winner for this year’s best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score) for “The Shape of Water”, referred to his Greek origin, stressing that Greece is always in his heart through its music, films, poetry and tradition and urged Greek filmmakers to keep making and screening films.

The awards are not accompanied by a cash prize and they are voted forby the regular and honorary members of the Hellenic Film Academy. The Academy proposes the Best Feature Film winner to the Ministry of Culture as Greece’s official entry to the Foreign Language Film Category of the Academy Awards (Oscars).

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Founded on November 23, 2009 by people working in the Greek film industry, the Hellenic Film Academy (HFA) has the Annual National Film Awards as its major focus, but it also leads and supports initiatives in the development of domestic film production, and outsources research projects aiming to improve national film policy.

The HFA is also active in film education and training. It holds open discussions and lectures for film professionals (Riding the Greek Wave) and organizes seminars and workshops for film students and those who are interested in film art and practice (Film Factory).

Read also: Director Dora Masklavanou on giving voice to the outcasts, Film Director Elina Psykou: Riding on the winds of fantasy through dark times, EKOME President Panos Kouanis explains why Greece is your next filming destination (and yes, it has to do with money), One more reason to film in Greece: A new legal framework of economic incentives, General Secretariat for Media and Communication boosting Greek Gaming & Animation, Lefteris Kretsos on bringing Greece on the global map of the Game and Film Making Industry, 10 Reasons to film in Greece, “Filming Greece”: our new series of interviews on Greek Cinema.

F.K.