A celebration of cinema and culture will be set up for the 5th consecutive year on the edge of the Aegean Sea, on the idyllic island of Castellorizo, Greece. The 5th “Beyond Borders” International Documentary Festival to be held from August 23rd to August 30th, under the auspices and with the support of of the General Secretariat for Public Diplomacy and Greeks Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is going to make once again Castellorizo the point where documentaries meet History and Culture.

Prof. John Chrysoulakis

John Chrysoulakis, Secretary-General for Public Diplomacy and Greeks Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will represent the Greek PM, Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the opening ceremony of the Festival

«Beyond Borders» is organized by the Hellenic History Foundation, in co-organization with Ecrans des Mondes (Paris) and the Society for the Restoration of Megisti, Castellorizo (Sydney), held under the auspices of the General Secretariat for Public Diplomacy and Greeks Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, of the Municipality of Megisti, and the Embassies of Australia, the U.S., and Israel in Athens. The main sponsors are the Hellenic Parliament, the General Secretariat for Public Diplomacy and Greeks Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the General Secretariat for the Aegean and Island Policy, the National Centre of Audiovisual Media and Communication (EKOME Media), the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation and the Greek Film Centre. John Chrysoulakis, Secretary-General for Public Diplomacy and Greeks Abroad, will attend the opening ceremony of the Festival on August 23rd, representing the Greek PM, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Ο Λαβύρινθος Labyrinth

“Labyrinth” (2019), dir. Dimitris Athanitis

The Festival has now established itself as an institution of international scope, as more than 300 nominations from around the world – despite the difficult conditions created by the COVID 19 pandemic – have been submitted to Festival’s preselection committee. Their final selection includes a total of 24 documentaries (18 feature/ medium length and 6 shorts) from 18 different countries such as the USA, France, Australia, Israel, etc., among which are “Blessings and Vows” by Voula Germanakou-Kopsini and “Labyrinth” (2019) by Dimitris Athanitis.


In this year’s edition, the Festival will inaugurate three new awards. In addition to the Best History Documentary, Best Socio-Political Documentary Awards – both a kind courtesy of the Hellenic Parliament – and the Special Award for Mediterranean Friendship, sponsored by National Centre of Audiovisual Media and Communication (EKOME Media), the jury will award prizes for the Best Short Documentary, the Best Greek Documentary, sponsored by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Greek Film Centre, as well as the Special Award of “Odyssey”, sponsored by the General Secretariat of Greeks Abroad. The establishment of the “Ulysses” Special Award for the best historical documentary created by a Greek expatriate was an initiative of the Secretary-General for Public Diplomacy and Greeks Abroad Ioannis Chryssoulakis, aiming to highlight the work of expatriate filmmakers who work and excel abroad.

The difficult award process is undertaken by distinguished members of the international film community, chaired by the producer and director Barbara Wackernagel-Jacobs. The jury will be completed by Panagiotis Iosifelis, Margje de Koning, Aris Fatouros, and Stelios Kymionis. For its commendable contribution to the new generation of Greek filmmakers, the School of Film, Faculty of Fine Arts, Aristotle’s University of Thessaloniki will be this year’s Academic Partner of Honor, while for its contribution to free press and objective journalism, the first private television station in Greece,  MEGA CHANEL, will be this year’s  Media Partner of Honor.

Ευλογίες και Τάματα Blessings and Vows

“Blessings and Vows” (2020), dir. Voula Germanakou-Kopsini

At the opening ceremony, visitors of the island will have the opportunity to enjoy a special tribute to the “patriarch of Rebetiko”, Markos Vamvakaris, with the screening of the documentary “Markos”, directed by Nikos Skarentzos, which participated in the 22nd TIDF and received great reviews. A concert by Sofia Papazoglou will follow at the end of the opening ceremony. A great surprise awaits the spectators at the closing ceremony, as the excellent documentary “Saving North” by Mitchell Johnson will be a world premiere screening. A Dimitris Bassis concert will follow at the end of the closing ceremony. 

Within the Festival two Panels of discussion will take place, one international on  Whistleblowing and a professional one on how to make movies that matter. In addition, there will be two online Pitching Forums for all stages of film making from the conception of the idea to the completion of the production. All discussions will be attended by Storyville, BBC Commissioning Editor, and Beyond Borders’ Ambassador Mandy Chang.

Ο Γιώργος του Κέδρου Yiorgos of Kedros

“Yiorgos of Kedros” (2020), dir. Yannis and George Kolozis

The “Panorama” section and the special screenings of the Festival, in which  14 documentaries will be screened,  will discover and highlight the continuity, the past, the present and the future of world documentary production. Among them an  Oscar nominee for Best Documentary and Best Foreign Language Film, “Honeyland” by Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska.

Throughout the festival, the photography exhibition by Christos Simatos “Castellorizo, where time stops”, will be hosted at the Municipality Hall of Megisti, while visitors of the island will have the opportunity to enjoy the sculpture exhibition of the “Saint” of the island, Alexandros Zygouris. The music breaks in between the film screenings will be undertaken by the duet World Music Ensemble,  Dimitris Hatziplis, and Vasilis Karamalis.

KastelorizoThe organization will also be interesting for the Castellorizian youth, as in collaboration with the National Historical Museum of Greece, they will have the opportunity to process recyclable materials and construct Karagiozis figures. Alexandros Melissinos’ Shadow Theatre will give them plenty of joy and the award-winning freediving instructor Roberto Calich will seek out among them the next diving champion.

Attendance in all educational and cultural events held by the 5th Beyond Borders International Documentary Festival of Castellorizo, is free.

For more information, please visit the Festival’s official website: www.beyondborders.gr/en

Read the full Festival program here.

Read also: “BEYOND BORDERS” International Documentary Festival, Castellorizo: From the edge of the Aegean to the world, Kastellorizo: Greece’s remotest island, The Official Program of the 5th “Beyond Borders” Documentary Festival (Castellorizo August 23rd -30th, 2020)

Watch the advertising spot of the 5th “Beyond Borders” 2020: