The Athens Ethnographic Film Festival, held annually each November, presents the best ethnographic films of each year, i.e. short and feature-length anthropological documentaries which are the product of research conducted by scientist of visual anthropology or relative fields. It also organizes Q&A’s with directors, seminars and talks with academics and accomplished professionals, as well as workshops for social anthropology students.
Visual anthropology is a constantly evolving field and severely under-represented in Greek academia, thus the Festival is essentially the only platform for such works as well as a meeting place for lecturers, researchers and students. Our valuable partners include the Ministry of Culture and Sport, University of Panteion, the British Film Institute, the Institut Français de Grèce, the Netherlands Institute at Athens, the Documentary Educational Resources (DER), Goldsmiths University and the University of Manchester, as well as the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
The Festival’s aim is to maintain its status as one of the most original and creative events in the city’s cultural file, wishing to introduce the best works of visual anthropology to an audience which would not have the opportunity to discover them otherwise. It is also our ambition to further rally and support the academic community, especially the young directors, by showcasing their films, creating a support network (workshops, networking meetings) as well as educating future scientists with our internship programme.
The sections of the Festival are:
A not widely known aspect of postgraduate degrees of Visual Anthropology (or related programmes) is the fact that the thesis students need to submit at the end of the academic year is not a typical dissertation – it is, instead, a film. Thanks to our significant experience in the field, we have found that among these films there are some true gems: pioneering, incisive, bold films, which in our eyes are shaping the future of ethnography and science in general. In this section of the festival, we present a selection of student films from universities all over the world.
Some of the students don’t stop at their first attempt at making a film and they keep on making ethnographic films. Or there are those who are now teachers or hold positions at research centers, and seek a different methodology in audiovisual means in order to address or communicate an issue. In this section we present films born out of the stimuli of the anthropological research pursuits.
In this section, we wish to seek the roots of the ethnographic film, we explore it rich and fascinating history, as well as contemporary themes that have drawn our interest.
Wishing to initiate a dialogue on the value and relevance of visual anthropological perspectives on contemporary social life, the Festival introduced a themed section of screenings relating to social issues and visual/anthropological viewpoints about these issues, screenings which underline the significance of documenting and analyzing the contemporary social reality and its topical aspects. In the past, the section has screened films about racial violence, the aggressive expressions of nationalism, social exclusion, the interrelation between desire and crisis, and the various forms of violence, poverty, displacement and dispossession in the context of shifting gendered, sexualised, racialised, ethnicised and classed dynamics.
Each year, the Festival invites a different guest curator/ scientist of the anthropological field (or relevant social sciences), who has the opportunity to present an ensemble of screenings and events and ideally base academic publications with regards to the screenings and events in question.
Intangible Cultural Heritage
Thanks to our collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Sports, a significant honour for us, the Festival is now the platform for all issues of Intangible Cultural Heritage, as defined by UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003), and screens ethnographic films which address the research, safeguarding and prominence of a wide variety of social and cultural realities.
Within the context of Ethnofest’s eighth edition, a new section, called “Greek Ethnographies”, was inaugurated. The aim of this section is to present films that explore and reflect upon social and cultural practices in Greece through the ethnographic lens.
The Festival and the Netherlands Institute at Athens each year organize an intensive summer school on visual anthropology, the first of its kind in Greece, which schedules a series of seminars and workshops, as well as practical work on aspects of visual anthropology. As part of the summer school, our students shoot short ethnographic films in Athens, some of which the Festival screens in this section.
In this section we wish to showcase films which are still works in progress or showcase the virtues of the ethnographic cinema, without technically belonging to the genre. These screenings include tributes to important filmmakers, anniversary screenings, work-in-progress and non-anthropological documentaries.
Organized by the Athens Anthropological Society – Ethnofest
Konstantinos Aivaliotis & Nikos Sfakianaki
Head of Programming
Development and Educational Activities Manager
Christina Liapi, Christina Tente
Traffic and Programme Supervisor
Press & Communication
Assistant Traffic Supervisor
Loukas Koubouris, Nikolas Papadimitriou
Harris Kalamoutsos, Dafni Kokkori
Promotional Material Design
Curators of the Section “Filming Labour and Precarity”
Dimitra Kofti (Max Plank Institute), Mao Mollona (Goldsmiths)
Curating Advisors of the Section “Ethnographic Views on Man and the Environment”
Alexis Katsaros (Medina), Kalliopi Stara
Leandros Kyriakopoulos, Konstantina Bousboura, Nathalie Borgers
Yannis Papadakis – PROJECT TITLING
The Athens Ethnographic Film Festival continues the exploration of the world through anthropology and image and is announcing a call for films made by anthropologists (or specialists with related background), including students’ works submitted as dissertations or as assignments.
The Athens Ethnographic Film Festival is looking for:
– student films made by anthropologists (or scientists from relevant academic fields) as a dissertation or as a part of their dissertation.
– films made by anthropologists (or scientists from relevant academic fields) who resume their cinematic pursuits after their postgraduate or doctorate studies.
– films made by professional filmmakers or film school students in collaboration with anthropologists or other social scientists at any stage of the production.
Eligible are the films produced within the last three years. The submission deadline is May 31st 2018. Please read Ethnofest’s terms and conditions and fill in the entry form (you can find them both here). We are looking forward to receiving your films!
The 9th Athens Ethnographic Film Festival – Ethnofest will take place in November 21st-25th 2018.