The winners’ interviews: Dimitris Zahos


Dimitris Zahos, director of altcineAction! 2014 third price, Penguins, about his film’s journey, why the public’s comments were one of the festival’s pleasant surprises for him, the importance of Greek shorts going International and how the the festival offers a valid framework of interaction with the new generation of Balkan filmmakers.


The filmmaker Penguins is awarded with shooting equipment and VFX for his next film, offered by Arctos Broadcast Facilities and Melancholy Star (London). Additionally, AMC Metropolitan College offers registration and one years’ tuition in the BA Film & TV Directing program.




Assimina Proedrou gives Dimitris Zahos the Award



Dimitris Zahos and Giannis Sotiropoulos



Rodoussa Baglantzi on behalf of Arctos


How do you feel about this award?

altcineAction!’s online festival award, came towards the end of a cycle the film had in Greek and international festivals and this is a great recognition of our work. Penguins began their journey from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki’s Film Department, where colleagues, classmates, teachers and friends effortlessly gave their time and passion to complete it, so this is basically an award – recognition for all. Each award, without being the artistic creation’s final goal, it’s a boost to find the strength to continue the struggle required for you to be consistent, sincere and honest towards the public, your partners and the art form you serve.

Tell us what do you plan to do with this co-production?

The fact that the film was and still is screening on the festival’s page to viewers around the world is very important. One of the biggest challenges of the art of cinema is this meeting with the public. Of course, the prize and the equipment for shooting the next film is a good opportunity to work in a substantive way.

Do you have a film in mind?

Yes, it’s been some time now that I’m working on the next script. I’m not one of those who believe in the role of director-screenwriter and usually I get ideas from literary texts and seek cooperation with screenwriters. There are some projects and now maybe is the right time to implement them.

Do you think this award would offer you the chance to make your film in a more professional manner and help you reach an international audience?

I think that our work should put the bar a little higher in every movie. Yes, the equipment is a very important parameter for an integrated production. Reaching the international audience is not something that happens regularly in short films in Greece, a thing for which we need to pay more attention.

What is your opinion about voting being conducted exclusively by the public?

When the public address its opinion based on its personal taste rather than serving other goals, than the debate can only be positive, especially for young filmmakers.

What’s your opinion if we allow the writing of comments all around the year?

Communication with the public and the critics should, of course, be extended beyond the festival month. Discussing and exchanging views is something that can serve as a tool to educate the public and help in the same time the filmmakers to evolve.

What do you think about the public voting and reviews? How can we improve this procedure?

Getting feedback from people who watch your work is a very important process. It, somehow, makes you grow as an artist seeing your work put into a self-reliant relationship with its viewers. The public’s comments were one of the festival’s pleasant surprises for me. The possibility Internet offers, creating communities and communicate asynchronously within them, has to be exploited as an alternative to the big screen.

How did you learn about the online festival and what were your expectations?

In its third year now, the festival has become well known. We liked the idea of an open contact with the public. The festival offers a valid framework for the screening of our film and a framework of interaction and communication with the new generation of Balkan filmmakers.