Film director Panos Koutras was the big winner on Monday’s Greek Film Academy Awards. However, Koutras did not accept any of his awards, in protest of the Greek law that doesn’t grant Greek citizenship to children of migrants in Greece.
After the announcement that his film “Xenia” won the Best Picture and Best Director awards, Koutras went on stage and delivered his speech. “We will not accept this award because life is unfair and unjust. We will leave it here at the Greek Film Academy and we will take it when the law regarding the citizenship of second generation migrant children is passed,” he said.
“Xenia” is a film about two teen brothers crossing the country to find their Greek father after their Albanian mother passes away. Their goal is to ensure their Greek citizenship. The movie was selected to compete at the Un Certain Regard section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, while it was also selected to be screened at the Contemporary World Cinema section of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.
The film stars Kostas Nikouli, Nikos Gelia, Romanna Lobats, Aggelos Papadimitriou, Yannis Stankoglou and Marissa Triantafyllidou. On Monday’s event, the film also won the Best Screenplay Award, Supporting Actor (Aggelos Papadimitriou), Editing and Costume Design.