29.6. - 3.7.2016

Balkan Legends: Greece

Station Žilina Záriečie: S1
Duration 74:14

Greek animation has just celebrated its 70th anniversary (1945-2015) and finally seems to be releasing itself from the archival vaults. A perennial indifference by the Greek State toward the retention of animated films has resulted in a rather fragmented history of Greek animation, which has only now begun to fill its research holes and claim a unified artistic status. Past Greek animators were strongly influenced by Balkan absurdist humour, the Zagreb School‘s satire and technique, and European existentialist themes. These animators always strived to catch up with new developments albeit with their very limited means before moving on to commissioned films (mostly TV) in the 1980s-90s.
Vassilis Kroustallis

Duce Narrates…

directed by Stamatis Polenakis

year: 1945
country: GR
duration: 06:48
The first Greek animated film and an antifascist satire. Mussolini tries to cover up his defeat on the Greek front with lies. The resourcefulness and audacity exemplified by the director characterize this first Greek, heroic, attempt in the world of animation. Stamatis Polenakis started his film during WWII, but it was completed only post-war.


directed by Theodoros Maragkos

year: 1971
country: GR
duration: 05:52
The film was completed during the Greek military junta (1967-74) and conveys a risky, though hidden, satirical message. Its general command “Shhhh” means “Let sleeping dogs lie”.

The line

directed by Yannis Koutsouris, Nassos Mirmiridis

year: 1973
country: GR
duration: 03:00
Everyday people move in a straight line, guided by gigantic fingers and fingerprint bodies. Whoever tries to get out of the line gets crushed and disappears.

Official Guest

directed by Markos Holevas, Stella Tsikra

year: 1981
country: GR
duration: 05:23
Α hard-working employee sees the outcome of illusory fame. This is reported to be the first Greek film in claymation.

Ostriches / Gli Struzzi

directed by Eleni Mouri

year: 1986
country: GR
duration: 02:11
A man tries to pass himself off as an ostrich in order to get food, but to no avail. Based on a story by the French comic artist Jean-Marc Reiser.


directed by Dimitris Karathanasis

year: 1987
country: GR
duration: 05:10
A little man tries to overcome the obstacles of his life, but has no clue where he's going.

The Cicada and the Ant

directed by Alecos Papadatos

year: 1988
country: GR
duration: 03:11
An amusing variation of the famous Aesop fable The Ant and the Grasshopper.


directed by Nikos Koutsis

year: 1992
country: GR
duration: 03:18
A satire of oppression that is continuously perpetuated.

Scent of a City

directed by Georges Sifianos

year: 1994
country: GR
duration: 08:13
A young woman lives in a small attic in a big city, with her cat her sole companion. While both live in adverse conditions, the woman progressively develops feelings of dependence, oppression and identification with her cat. As it continues the only escape remaining for her is into her imagination or even revolt.

La grasse matinée

directed by Natalia Kostopoulou, Sylvie Bringas

year: 1992
country: GR
duration: 02:25
This two-minute surrealistic creation was based on a poem by Jacques Prévert.


directed by Spyros Rassidakis

year: 1997
country: GR
duration: 04:05
Three design tools become the lead characters: a pencil, an eraser and a pencil sharpener. These three are having fun on a 35x50cm “paper floor,” until a bad-tempered black marker appears to ruin all their fun. The first Greek film artistic, non-commissioned 3D computer animation.

The Hole

directed by Iordanis Ananiadis

year: 1983
country: GR
duration: 07:00
A satire of Greek social reality: the lead character dares to step out of his underground home where he lives in seclusion. What he faces in the outside world makes him go back and hide even deeper than ever before.

The Swimmer's Tale

directed by Stratos Stasinos, Nassos Mirmiridis

year: 1985
country: GR
duration: 17:38
Three-and-a-half years‘ work of puppetry animation, The Swimmer's Tale is based on a Greek folk song. It tells the story of a young man who is enthralled by a girl in an otherworldly poetical, lyrical, but dangerous setting.