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Paris-based photographer and visual artist Evangelia Kranioti is the 2015 recipient of the Best Emerging International Filmmaker Award at the Toronto Hot Docs International Film Festival and has been shortlisted for the Photography Award of the French Academy.
Her documentary essay “Exotica, Erotica, Etc.” had its world premiere at the65th Berlinale and is currently shown at various film festivals around the world. It also participated at the recent London Film Festival as well as at theThessaloniki International Documentary Festival.
“Exotica, Erotica, Etc. is a sensational debut from Evangelia Kranioti. Visually stunning and poetically beautiful, the film marks the emergence of a director that audiences should keep a close eye on in the future.” (Cinemaaxis Reactions Review – April 2015)
At the heart of Evangelia Kranioti’s research are the notions of desire, wandering, and return to one’s origins. Inspired by the work of the sailor and poet Nikos Kavvadias, Kranioti questions the male-female relationship through the fleeting loves of sailors in ports, terrae incognitae where the magic of wandering still operates. “Exotica, Erotica, Etc.” is the culmination of a long-term project worked on for years, during which Kranioti followed Greek merchant navy crews around the world and spent months in the company of the women sex workers they frequented. In the film a prostitute’s reflective monologue is paired with that of an old captain’s maritime stories. Kranioti has an affectionate eye for this prostitute and the men she’s met, as well as for her free, yet romantic idea of love.
As Kranioti puts it in her latest interview for Indiewire “The whole world may be mapped from end to end, but intimacy remains the last “terra incognita.” In ports, sailors mingle with other people overwhelmed by a primary need to feel alive. Erotic desire is the most significant expression of this urge. For a few moments, all barriers — ideological, cultural, political, ethical or social — disappear, and a human being is standing naked in front of another human being…”