Next Stop: Utopia / Επόμενος Σταθμός: Ουτοπία

Apostolos Karakasis | Greece

When the Greek factory of closes down, a group of workers decides to take radical action. They occupy the factory and attempt to operate it themselves, based on the principles of direct democracy. Their venture inspires activists all around the world, while the ex-owner is astonished to see her family’s business turn into a symbol for the up-andcoming radical left. For the workers, striving to make ends meet, self-management turns out to be an unprecedented adventure, full of conflicts. They have to confront the law that is obviously against them, as well as various political leaders that offer vague promises. They have to deal with their own lack of know how concerning product development, distribution and management, while learning to take decisions democratically in the general assembly, where everyone is equal and fights are inevitable. Soon they realise that in order to succeed, the first thing they have to change is themselves… The chronicle of a small revolution is told by balancing conflicting points of view, dramatic moments with comedy, political conflicts with deeply personal agonies, in a microcosm that mirrors Greek society at the times of economic crisis.


Koutsiabasakos Dimitris | Greece

In 2006 the prison of Trikala closes down after 110 years of use. Seven characters, whose desjnies have been shaped by the prison walls, return to trace its past. Each of their personal stories consjtutes a piece of modern Greece’s history. What future awaits this historic monument? What will become its new purpose? An unexpected discovery reveals the site’s hidden secret and poses a crucial quesjon: how do we deal with historical memory?

Kisses to the Children / ΦΙΛΙΑ ΕΙΣ ΤΑ ΠΑΙΔΙΑ

Vassilis Loules | Greece

Five Greek-Jewish children who were saved by Christian families during the German Occupation, five hidden children who lived in total silence, tell their stories. Stories of terror, anguish and confusion but also stories of salvation and carefree childhood into the arms of strangers – which became secret Gardens of Eden, nests of love away from the horror of the Holocaust. Five children were forced to mature abruptly. Rosina, Iossif, Eftyhia, Shelly and Marios grew old, carrying the memory of thousands of children, those who were never given the time to grow up. The movie follows these persons fro childhood to present day, revealing their hidden stories and invaluable personal documents -a diary of a chlid, photographs and home movies. It also depicts the life of the Greek Jewish Communities before the War, complemented with rare images of Occupied Greece from archival material, as well as amateur films by German soldiers and illegal footage shot by Greek patriots. ”Kisses to the Children“ is not just another film about the Holocaust; It’s a film about childhood in the shadow of the Holocaust.


Tasos Giapoutzis | Ggreece, UK

Fotini and Anastasios live a relaxed elderly life in a village in Greece. At the age of 82 however, Fotini starts having severe health issues. This is a portrait of the difficult everyday life an elderly couple faces, realising that the end is close.

The Sacking of Phocaea 1914 / ΓΕΓΟΝΟΤΑ ΣΤΗ ΦΩΚΑΙΑ 1914

Agnes Sklavis, Stelios Tatakis | Greece

In June 1914 the Greek population along the coast of Asia Minor is forced to abandon their homes and seek refuge in Greece. The French archaeologist Felix Sartiaux was carrying out excavations in the area of Ancient Phocaea, the ancient metropolis of the city of Marseille. He not only witnessed the events that took place but, at risking his own life, managed to save many Greeks and help them escape. This first persecution of the Greeks from the coast of Asia Minor in 1914 fell into oblivion. Felix Sartiaux’s eye-witness account and his constant efforts to sensitize Europe, surfaced again in 2005 following the discovery of his photographic archive by the Art historian Haris Giakoumis in Paris


Lefteris Fylaktos | Greece

Café-finovo is part of my Master Thesis for the M.A. program in Visual and Media Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin. With patience and beauty, our understanding of mortality is altered as this film unfolds on life, laughter and Wilhelm Grimm. Set within the walls of the Alter St. Matthäus cemetery in Berlin, we meet artists, story-tellers and grave sponsors—the cultural life revolving around the lively café-finovo and it’s reputable cakes. Café finovo is the first café in a cemetery in Germany. Berlin’s Alter St. Matthäus cemetery, which became famous as the final resting place of prominent figures of German life, including the brothers Grimm, frequently hosts activities that are far removed from death and mourning: literary mornings, concerts, art installations, botanical guided tours, school field trips, and of course enjoying the delicious pastries at café-finovo, the first café in Germany to operate in a cemetery. If cemeteries exist more for the sake of the living than for the dead, can we live better lives by accepting the certainty of our limits and our mortality? If the fear of death is simply a lack of familiarity with it, what better consolation than an unplanned, delightful and tasty walk through the cemetery?

The Story of the Friends / Hekayet El So7ab

Mahmoud Yossry | Egypt

Τhe film is about the dream of immigration at egypt, a lot of guys feel not happy boring not important complaining from similar days and standing still in their small circle of the friends and activities, the daily life to these guys became not interesting not important its became the most important thing to waste time, all the guys at the movie are work and earn money but still have problems and confusions about their future with Self-realization and not enjoying the life.


Vangelis Kalambaka | Greece

Within the confines of a Christian orphanage in Ethiopia, we witness the daily activities of its little inmates. About fifty children of all ages, from infants to adolescents, are taken care of by nannies, nurses and volunteers, while initiated to stringent religious education. The film explores the complex character of this unique community, based solely on observation, without the aid of commentary or interviews. We focus on the interaction between the staff and the children, the relationships among the children themselves, their perception of otherness, as well as the overpowering influence that religion has on daily life and education in this special “home” away from home.


Menelaos Karamaghiolis | Greece

Αll the way from Astoria N.Y., Theodoros Kolokotronis, a second-generation GreekAmerican, returns to Greece, seeking the historical traces of his name-sake, the glorious General of the Greek War of Independence (1821). This search becomes a concise guide to the multi-faceted identity of the Greeks: ancient symbols that have survived or are being revived, proud descendants of the 1821 heroes, students’ parades and pageants, paint a vivid picture of the contradictions of modern Greece, a country that copes with a huge crisis, armed with her memories.


Stelios Efstathopoulos, Susanne Bausinger | Greece, Germany

In 2003, “ΝΑΟΥΔΟΜΟΣ”, a group of scientists, began reconstructing a prehistoric penteconter as part of an experimental nautical archaeology research program. This is the ship’s tale, from choosing the trees to its two-year-long construction and its eventual trip to sea. The Argonauts’ mythical ship endured ten thousand strokes a day to travel from Volos to Ancient Colchis. Our modern-day Argo has to complete a 1.200-mile journey in 60 days. Will the 74 volunteer rowers withstand the trial? Or will this Argonautic expedition founder, thus turning into an endless odyssey?


Ggeorge Iatrou | Greece

In Italian it means memory. “Oria” was the name of a steamer which sank on the 12th of February 1944 on the island of Patroklus near Sounio, and victims more than 4100 Italian prisoners of the Germans. 70 years later, the documentary captures the history and memory of the biggest shipwreck of the Mediterranean. Elderly residents narrate the horrifying recollection of the shipwreck. Italian descendants of the victims come to pay tribute. The catalyst was a pannikin wich was found by the diver Aristotelis Zervoudis. A monument is erected, reminiscent of history’ s dark points but also fraternization-purification.

Katinoula / ΚΑΤΙΝΟΥΛΑ

Myrna Tsapa | Greece

Katinoula has grown old, but still actively serves a Greek-Egyptian lady of her age. She does the chores around the house, haggles with the Egyptians in the marketplace and blesses each day even though what s left of her loved ones is just smiling faces in a picture. Where have all these people gone? All these years? Let them go… Let them be blown wherever…

It Was All Just A Good Dream – The Frenchman From Vukowar / SVE JE BIO DOBAR SAN-LE "FRENCHIE" DE VUCOVAR

Branko Istvancic | Croatia

The movie tells the story of Frenchman Jean-Michel Nicolier, a volunteer in the defence of Croatia executed by Serbian troops in Vukovar in 1991. Shocking, intimate and moving documentary examines the events from the time of the war in Croatia and the arrival of the young French volunteer Jean-Michel Nicolier in Croatia. We follow his fighting in the hearth of the tragic battle of Vukovar and the agony and torture that he suffered at Ovcara. His story is presented through the eyes of his mother Lyliane Fournier. We see her searching for any piece of information which could help to find the mortal remains of her son.


Marianna Economou | Greece

Filmed in a Greek juvenile prison and in the court room, “The Longest run” follows the story of Alsaleh from Syria and Jasim from Iraq who are accused of smuggling illegal immigrants. Against the backdrop of the ISIS attacks in the Middle East, the daily life of the two friends unravels in prison, and their anxiety, fear and suspense escalate as the date for their trial approaches. They know that the punishment will be severe and their chance to prove their innocence in the Greek court is minimal. Through their personal stories, the film reveals how smugglers force young innocent refugees to transport people across the borders and how young boys like Alsaleh and Jasim can get convicted to 25 year imprisonment, while the smugglers continue to act uninterrupted.


Anna Ilin, Josefine Bingemer | Germany, FYROM

What defines a city’s identity? In 1963 Skopje was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake, many of its historical buildings were lost forever. Yet, with the help of the international and Yugoslavian community the city succeeded to re-emerge as a kind of modern utopia – modelled after the plan of the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. Today the great architectural efforts of the 60s and 70s receive little appreciation, though once magnificent giants of concrete, by now many of them are crumbling and suffer from neglect. The situation in Skopje is specifically extreme, as in 2010 the government issued a plan to redesign the city in a kind of neo-renaissance style. In our film we are taking a long and patient look at the architecture of the post-earthquake era and ask people what it means to them.

Below you can see the films chosen to contest during the 1st International Documentary Festival in Castellorizo “ Beyond Borders”.