The winners’ interviews: Kostis Nikolopoulos


Cinematographer Kostis Nikolopoulos, winner of altcineAction! 2014 Best Photography Award, for the film Hard-bord Heaven by George Ktistakis, talks to us on feeling honored about the two acclaimed Jury members and their rationale, how important will always an award be for the filmmakers and how hard is making films in Greece and on the impersonate nature of the comments and voting – “the public possesses both knowledge and instinct”, and expresses his desire for altcineAction! to be “the starting point of the next generation’s great filmmakers”.


Jury members, the acclaimed DoP of Theo Aggelopoulos’ films and administrator of French Association of Directors of Photography, Giorgos Arvanitis, and the President of Serbian Society of Cinematographers and multi-awarded cinematographer, Predrag Bambic, justified their rationale as following: “The clean and highly aesthetic style of the cinematography of the film Half-board Heaven by Kostis Nikolopoulos, displayed that the modern audience can expect very high visual achievements in contemporary films. The cinematographer’s set of tools selected for a visual storytelling specific to this story, is cleverly chosen and used. His talented use of decoupage, camera move, angles and especially light contributed elegantly and intelligently to the overall storytelling atmosphere.”


Courtesy of MC Manios, the Best Photography Award offers a $1000 USD gift certificate to be redeemed directly through Zacuto.



Predrag Bambic (member of the jury) presents the Award


How do you feel about this award?

It is a great pleasure and honor for me, not only the Best Photography award I got at the online Balkan film festival for George Ktistaki’s first short film, Half-board Heaven, but also about the Jury’s rationale, because the members, George Arvanitis and Predrag Bambic are acclaimed cinematographers worldwide. As you can probably understand, the fact that these artists are talking about your work makes it more significance. I would also like to thank Giannis and Cecilia Manios for the support their company shows on the Best Photography Award, demonstrating an on-going and yearlong presence on the filmmakers’ side.

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

When an artist starts making a movie, the last thing in his mind is a festival award. But when it comes, he definitely feels satisfied and, to be honest, he needs that, because its a reward for his work. And a prize of course, can always open new doors.

How useful is it for a D.O.P.?

For every D.O.P., and for everybody participating in a film, a prize, as I said, is a recognition of his work and a step, a motivation for his/her next film. Although technology today has greatly simplified the process, lack of money and education (Film Academy) complicate a great deal the filmmaker’s work, along with the non-existent Greek film distribution, an important factor in preventing a filmmaker to make a film, so, a festival award is incentive for him/her.

What do you think about the public voting of the first three awards?

I trust its verdict, because the public possesses both knowledge and instinct on which is the best movie. On the other hand, by making a film the filmmaker appeals to an audience which, has always the final word.

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

As a cinematographer, I’d like reading comments throughout the year by people who appreciate the efforts made by Greeks, and not only, filmmakers. Because, making a film in Greece is really a hard thing to do.

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

Due to their “impersonal” nature, comments and reviews are very direct, and, no doubt, this improves us filmmakers. We can also have a clue on the public’s preferences, although that’s not the filmmaker’s objective.

Did you already know about the online festival and, if that’s so, what were your expectations?

We live in the age of online, and altcineAction! Online Balkan film festival brings us closer. It gives to each of us the opportunity to see films not screened in his/her country, to have collaborations between filmmakers and, most important, to reach a larger audience from that of a movie theater.

Share your thoughts with us.

Given the fact that the 3rd year of the online Balkan festival proved to be lucky for me (he laughs) I wish for it to remain a pioneer. To give and keep giving to the young filmmakers the chance to show their films. And who knows, maybe altcineAction! would be the starting point of the next generation’s great filmmakers, I hope!