Category Archives: People

Reflections by Sara Broos, in competition in Krakow

The director Sara Broos takes her mother, Karin Broos, a famous Swedish painter, on a seaside birthday trip, to Latvia, hoping to close the silent gap between them.  Out of this experience came an intimate and poetic film exploring the innermost recesses of the human mind and the complexities of the mother-daughter relationship.  A cinematic catharsis through evocations of daily life, dreams, archival material, diary notes, the mother’s paintings and captivating footage. A glimpse into the unconventional world of an artistic family in the countryside of Nordic Europe, set to a soundtrack that draws you into the story.
1st June 19.30  Małopolski Ogród Sztuki (MOS 1) and 3rd June 14.30  Małopolski Ogród Sztuki (MOS 1) in Krakow, at the Krakow Film Festival.

Watch the trailer.

Bugs for dinner?



Hmm, I was thinking, “What to cook for dinner?" Then I received Salma Abdalla’s email: Bugs? Ben and Josh, the two young chefs from the Nordic Foodlab founded by NOMA's Rene Retzepi, investigate the eats and tastes of insects around the world – said to be the future of food. First, I will see the film, which premiered 16/4/1016 at Tribeca! Then I will taste and come back to you. In the meantime, I can tell you that the first reviews say that its the best food film since Food Inc!

Directed by Andreas Johnsen (Ai Wei Wei – The Fake Case), produced by Sigrid Jonsson Dyekjær (recently awarded Best Danish producer and the Producer´s Guild Award).

Have a bite! and watch the trailer:


Exotica Erotica Etc. wins two Hellenic Film Academy Awards 2016

Evangelia Kranioti's Exotica, Erotica Etc. won the Best Documentary Award and the Iris First-time Director Award (ex-aequo with Yorgos Zois for Interruption) at the Hellenic Film Academy Awards 2016.

Watch EXOTICA, EROTICA, ETC. on Sunday 3/4/2016 at 15.45 at Danaos Cinema.

Evangelia Kranioti will attend the screening and reply to questions.

The documentary is distributed in Greece by CineDoc.

For more EXOTICA, EROTICA, ETC. click here.

Talking about Audience Development

Dimitra Kouzi (Kouzi Productions, CineDoc) on the right with Eva  Križková on the left (Filmtopia - KineDok Slovakia) and Lea Krišková (KineDok Slovakia) in the middle.

Audience development, communication strategies and a variety of ideas on alternative distribution of documentaries based on my 7-year experience with co-organising CineDoc –  that was the topic of my recent visit to Slovakia, invited by Filmtopia and KineDok. The last trip for work in 2015! Read all about it in Kinečko, the visually fantastic Slovak magazine about cinema while practising your Slovak or using Google Translate.

Why diversity?

After ‘Why democracy’ and ‘Why poverty’, I think that it would only be natural for a series titled ‘Why diversity?’ to be made by the EBU, examining diversity in Europe, especially in the Media. I talked about diversity programming with Erik Hogenboom, chief editor at the Diversity Department of the Dutch public broadcaster NTR, who coordinates weekly TV programmes with a focus on diversity. He is also the executive producer of the international coproduction City Folk by the EBU-Intercultural Diversity Group, featuring portraits of ordinary people of different ethnic backgrounds and as such reflecting the intercultural melting pots of the big cities around the world. He was also Coordinator of the Jury Group for the Prix Europa TV IRIS category.

Patience, Patience You'll Go To Paradise! by Hadja Lahbib (Belgium, 2014, 85 min.)

‘How do European societies cope with growing ethnic and religious diversity?
How will Fortress Europe tackle the increasing flow of desperate refugees? How do we deal with a growing Muslim population in a basically profane society? As a consequence, there is an increasing responsibility of (public) broadcasters, filmmakers and reporters to deal with diversity issues in their stories.’
What are diversity programmes? What does a diversity chief editor do?
Diversity programmes are programmes that somehow tackle issues related to cultural diversity in European societies. Diversity is of course a rather broad definition: it concerns gender, dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. In TV IRIS we focus on the dimension of race and ethnicity. So, diversity programmes in this dimension are about all issues related to the fact that European societies are becoming more and more multicultural/diverse. Concrete issues are:  migration issues; refugees; illegality; fortress Europe; history of migration; position of minorities; ethnic conflicts; racism/anti-racism; position of Roma people; Islam in Europe; second and third generation of migrants; integration of minorities; regional minorities; coexistence and/or clashes of religions, etc. Programmes that mainly focus on such themes can be defined as ‘diversity programmes’.
A ‘diversity chief editor’ task is to commission these kind of programmes and bring them on TV (or radio and Internet of course). To find new, interesting and relevant subjects related to diversity and find programme-makers to make these programmes, judge them and finally schedule them on TV, or any other medium.

Another task can be to try to make the personnel of media institutions more diverse, by hiring and/or employing journalists, technical staff, producers, etc. of a different ethnic/cultural background.

Another task can be to organise special events to stimulate diversity (in programming and personnel) in the media (e.g. the Innoversity Show that we are currently organising for April 2016).

Why do we need diversity programmes in public broadcasters in 2015?
The increasing diversity in Europe creates frictions, tensions, conflicts (racism, discrimination, resistance against mosques, unemployment in young people of a different ethnic background). Diversity programmes can contribute to knowledge and insight about different values and cultures and may encourage tolerance and understanding. So, as long as diversity is not yet an accepted value, special diversity programmes are important to promote the benefits of diversity.

What are the opportunities for diversity programme funding? Are there special budgets for that? Which broadcasters commission diversity programmes?
At NTR we have had (for the past 20 years) a special budget for diversity (and time slots on day time in the weekend). After 1 January 2016, we lose this special budget and will have to fight for money for each new projects. Some broadcasters in Europe have special diversity departments and budgets, e.g. HRT-Croatia, WDR-Germany, the BBC.

Where should producers look for money?
Difficult question. It depends very much on the local/national situation. In the Netherlands, freelance producers can apply for money to special funds, e.g. to produce an expensive documentary or series. But these are mostly general media funds, not special ones for diversity.

How was the experience of this year’s Prix Europa? Can you tell us something about the winning film?
I think we had a great TV IRIS this year. A large Jury group and a mosaic of interesting diversity programmes. In general, it is quite amazing that TV IRIS has been running successfully for so many years, with constant input of entries from all over Europe.
The film “Patience Patience, you’ll go to Paradise” is a really great winner. The situation of older migrant women is an important diversity theme, and this film is great because of its humoristic tone. It shows that people can free themselves of restraints even when they are older. It also provides insight into the world and thoughts of elderly migrant women.

Veton Nurkollari, Artistic Director DokuFest Kosovo interviewed

On my way to Prizren to present a case study on Communication and Audience Engagement at the Balkan Documentary Centre workshop. Here is an interesting interview Veton Nurkollari, Artistic Director DokuFest, gave me in 2014.

EXOTICA, EROTICA, Etc. on DocStories

The film by Evangelia Kranioti was selected at the 56th Berlinale Forum, and Evangelia won  the Best Emerging International Filmmaker award at Hot Docs.  Next week Evangelia's film will be the opening film at the Syros International Film Festival (Greece) and will then travel to Karlovy Vary. The director was my guest at Hellenic Radio 3 (ERA 3)'s show DocStories on documentaries and storytelling last summer.  

It took Evangelia Kranioti nine years to complete the film research and shooting. She became a sailor herself,  travelling to 20 countries, from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea, venturing into the Atlantic, the Magellan Straight and the Pacific, from Panama to the Baltic, all the way to the North Pole. The material – 450 hours of video footage! – was edited by Giorgos Lambrinos.

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"Exotica, Erotica, Etc. navigates centuries-old trade routes and speaks to the universal orientation towards exploration, expression and affection. But above all, it is a love note to the forgotten, hidden and ignored men and women whose long sojourns, dangerous travels and bouts of loneliness are paradoxically essential for societies to function. Exotica, Erotica, Etc. is a documentary conceived as an endless journey, an ongoing dialogue between man and woman, nature and the world. The film's non-linear narrative embraces the rhythm of merchant ships in perpetual motion and unfolds like a landscape, an archipelago : a retired woman of the night reflects on encounters with past lovers long gone, perhaps lost at sea. We listen to her as she longs for one to return and fulfill the final romantic chapter of her life. The voice of an old captain coming from faraway –the solitude of the ocean or the hotel room of an unknown port– becomes an echo to her monologue. Both characters are real and their personal narratives, kept intact, eventually weave a dense discussion on longing, memory and loss."

Watch the trailer.

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Evangelia Kranioti with Dimitra Kouzi at ERT 3rd Radio Programme's show DocStories on documentaries and storytelling

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Art in Greece amid the Crisis

THE REVIEW by Villa Mediterranée
THE REVIEW by Villa Mediterranée (International Centre for Dialogue and Discussion in the Mediterranean)

Here is an excerpt from the article I wrote for THE REVIEW of Villa Mediterranée, translated into English by Dimitris Saltabassis.

In a perceptive overview of the Greek cultural scene, Dimitra Kouzi talks about the current mix of gloom and hope in a country in a state of deep economic crisis.
Beyond the news and headlines, art reflects the political, economic and everyday-life changes. Hasn't art in Greece been always in crisis? What's the difference now? "Art is inconsequential without our insistence. It seems that there is a need for it; this explains its survival," says artist Alexandros Mistriotis.

Artists work in a stifling atmosphere. "Everybody works more or less for free, yet there is great solidarity for everything," Art Historian Denys Zacharopoulos, Director of the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, adds.
There is such proliferation of art events that one is hard-pressed for choice. And that means new venues. In addition to the expansion and renovation of the National Gallery in Athens, currently in progress, and the establishment of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, housed in the former Fix brewery, after many years of temporary housing, there are currently in operation about ten new independent art venues in Athens, often under the aegis of the municipality. Run by people who have studied abroad and have an international network of contacts, they provide the infrastructure for an independent art scene to flourish, hosting work by young artists in a variety of genres (theatre, music, visual arts, architecture, graphic and fashion design, workshops). Housed in a historical building, the former headquarters of the extremely popular magazine Romanzo in a central Athens area more reminiscent of a ghetto in recent times, the BIOS – Romanzo creative hotbed provides office space for creative young people and start-ups focusing on technology, art and culture, while also hosting exhibitions, concerts, performances, collective actions, workshops and seminars. The BIOS team managed to turn over the image and population makeup of the whole area. "All young people find it hard to turn their ideas into practice in today's circumstances. Perhaps people think more in terms of cooperation now; a feeling of collectivity may have become more developed. The need to participate in the commons is more intensely and consciously felt."

Amidst the crisis, Rosie Diamantaki decided to establish an experimental art venue – Anamesa Art Space. She enables budding artists to take their first steps, irrespective of the commercial appeal of what they do. She also supports upcoming musicians and showcases projects that combine music and the visual arts. "There is a new generation of artists in all genres who make a new proposition in Greece. In the visual arts, there are young artists' teams which join larger groups or run their own spaces, working on projects featuring public interaction with a view to increasing the participation of art in a public dialogue, rather than being galleries in the strict sense, such as Arbit City Group, or 3137." She points out that, "Even Art Athina, the largest foire in Greece has introduced Platform Project, an initiative for young artists."

....  If you want to read the complete article (in French or English) you can order a copy of the the magazine or contact me.

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Illustration: Yorgos Lanthimos The Uncrowned King by Jefferson Paganel


Halfway between a book and a magazine, the Villa Méditerranée’s The Review is, in its own way, an invitation to a new space to discover and examine the current issues of the Mediterranean world. In addition to the Villa’s missions, the Review seeks to bring together different interpretations of today’s most critical issues. This second issue questions the sustainability of a mobile world, public space, memory and conflicts, youth and identity issues, as well as the challenges facing tourism. It is available in English and in French.


Always Together at IDFA 2014 Competition for First Appearance

An interview with the Czech director Eva Tomanová, whose feature-length documentary Always Together, selected for IDFA 2014 Competition for First Appearance, premieres on November 20, 2014 in Amsterdam. Always Together is produced by Jiří Konečný (Endorfilm).


This is your first film, and it is already feature-length and in competition at IDFA.

Why did you switch from journalism to filmmaking?

Interesting stories have accompanied my entire professional life. I love them. I collect them. It’s not a radical change – rather, it’s an evolutionary step.  It’s important to know how to tell the story; minutes don’t count so much. I ‘ve directed many TV projects, documentaries, reporting (comparable to 60 minutes) before.

Journalism is a way of life; to me it is above all about curiosity. I also think I have a nose for interesting topics; I need to look at a subject from many different angles. I know how to make people talk to me. The arts, also, have enriched my whole life – drawing, sculpture, photography.

Director: Eva Tomanová

How did you meet this family?

Another family that I helped as a journalist at the time introduced me. The man was very suspicious about me in the beginning. I remember standing behind the fence, being interviewed by him – he did not even invite me in.

Then, some weeks later, he expressed a wish to meet me again. He needed some help with the social welfare office. They did not like it that his children did not go to school.


How was your experience with the DOK.Incubator workshop?

DOK.Incubator was a great experience for me. I received very profound feedback from both sides, tutors and participants, which is always needed. The variety of nations and different points of view are another big advantage, and they all were so supportive. I believe it made me look differently at this and any other films that I might possibly make.
To be more specific, Sigrid Dyekjær gave me many dramaturgical ideas even before shooting. I met her through my work at the very first DOK.Incubator workshop. And the editor Per K. Kirkegaard (Armadillo) sort of reshaped my gaze and made it more relaxed, not so informative, and to let the characters speak for themselves.
Another important thing about this workshop is that you actually work with the whole team, the editor and the producer, and you develop the film together. Jiri has turned out to be a great help. Without him and without DOK.Incubator I would hardly have made it to IDFA.

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Master of the Light in Berlin 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall

An interview with  Marc Bauder, the director of Master of the Universe and creator of the Lichtgrenze (meaning border made out of light), the 8,000 glowing balloons that marked the former route of the Berlin Wall on the 25th anniversary of its Fall on Sunday 9/11/2014. Light artist Christopher Bauder and his filmmaker brother Marc began working on the concept for Lichtgrenze seven years ago, before the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Wall.
Marc Bauder & Christopher Bauder, lichtergrenze
Light artist Christopher Bauder and his filmmaker brother Marc Bauder (Master of the Universe)

I talked with Marc Bauder about Lichtgrenze in Berlin 25 years after the Berlin Wall fell down and the premiere of his latest documentary Master of the Universe (distributed by CineDoc), which premiers in Greece and four other countries (France, the Netherlands, Poland and Italy) and was recently nominated for the European Film Award 2014.

You can listen to my questions and his replies in the interview below:
1. From Concrete to Baloons, Berlin after 25 years. What's the difference?
2. What made you think about the Baloons, and what was the challenge about this project?
3. Greece is in a very bad financial situation. Many Greeks feel that it is mainly the Germans who set the rules in their country (financially and in politics). What is your opinion?
4. Do you have a special message for the Greek premiere of Master of the Universe and your Greek audience?
5. You are very interested in financial stories  - what is your next project about?