12 YEARS OF ZAGORIWOOD
Zagoriwood: a special film festival and filmmaking workshops.
Since 2010, the year of the first Zagoriwood, and every July since then, a group of friends and professionals of the field arrives in Kato Pedina and takes part in the screenings, the workshops, and the music and drama events that liven up the village. At the same time, they get to know the unique and rich traditions of the area (architecture, music, food, etc.) and meet the locals, people who eagerly participate in the creative activities by taking up roles on the students’ films, offering their homes for shooting and helping any way they can.
Creators of the contemporary film industry come here to screen their work for the first time (as “works in progress”) even before these works find their way into the international film festivals and cinemas. New filmmakers, on their first steps, come here to delve into more advanced aspects of their art. Amateur film enthusiasts expand their knowledge and learn the complex language of filmmaking.
Our screenings cover a wide spectrum of audiovisual means of expression and a vast variety of film genres. They are of a unique colour and rhythm, as their audience is made up of the workshop students, cinema-loving visitors, and professional filmmakers but also of beekeepers, farmers and shepherds, villagers, and university students of the nearby city of Ioannina.
ZAGORIWOOD was developed under the philosophy of “1 person + 1 camera + 1 computer = 1 complete filmmaking unit” and the work that is being done in the classes focuses more on practical applications, with theory just being a starting point. All of the instructors are active film professionals: directors, screenwriters, directors of photography, producers, musicians, and more. All these, combined with the methods developed during the festival throughout the years, have resulted in great artistic outcomes; more than 40 short-length films, either fiction or documentaries, have been created during the ZAGORIWOOD workshops.
These are some of the workshops ZAGORIWOOD offers: animation, documentary, music composition for cinema, video game design, screenwriting, sound design, acting for cinema, filmmaking (the “From the Idea to the Film” workshop), VFX/Compositing. ZAGORIWOOD aims to keep up with the advances and the demands of contemporary cinema, either technological or aesthetic, by incorporating modern applications used in the industry.
ZAGORIWOOD workshops aren’t confined in the rooms of the old stone School of Kato Pedina, build in 1901. Classes travel to the village square, the fields, the rivers, and the beautiful nearby villages. Zagori has a unique natural beauty that livens up the festival and turns it into a “once in a lifetime” experience. Everyone who has experienced the frenzy of cinema during the days and nights of ZAGORIWOOD in the sweet breeze (and occasionally cold) of the Epirus mountains simply…craves for more!
Some more interesting facts about ZAGORIWOOD:
One of Zagoriwood's main goals is to expand outside the greek borders. With that in mind, on the summer of 2019, we invited Eric Knudsen(Professor of Media Practice at the University of Central Lancashire) to join us. With his collaboration and the StoryLab International Film Development Research Network, we realised an Ethnomediaology workshop in English, for the first time in Greece.
Sadly, the pandemic halted for two years this effort to create a "Film Village", a lifelong dream of Zagoriwood.
New filmmakers and greek short films are at the centre of our projects. Each year, we present a complete program of short films at Kato Pedina and at selected villages in the area.
We believe in networks and connections. We try to work with as many groups and organisations as possible. Some of our partnerships are with the PHOTOMETRIA Festival, PALASE, and the Municipal Regional Theatre of Ioannina.
ZAGORIWOOD is organised by the Zagori Cultural Society which consists of people who live and work in Zagori all year long. Our success and continuous presence (12 years now) is thanks to the supports and the participation of the residents and the small businesspeople of Zagori.
Some filmmakers who came to the Epirus mountains:
Georgis Grigorakis, director, - Thodoris Armaos, editor - Argyris Pantazaras, actor - Zacharias Mavroeidis, director/screenwriter - Alexis Alexiou, director - Vaggelis Mourikis, actor - Roviros Manthoulis, director - Yorgos Tsemperopoulos, director - Kleanthis Danopoulos, director - Thanos Anastopoulos, director
- Petros Sevastikoglou, director -Stella Theodoraki, director
- Nikos Perakis, director - Margatira Manta, director - Nikos Panagiotopoulos, screenwriter - Argiris Theos, cinematographer - Makis Papadimitriou, actor - Christos Voupouras, director - Dimitris Koutsiampasakos, director/screenwriter - Alexis Grapsas, composer, Dimitris Athanitis, director/screenwriter - Elisavet Chronopoulou, director/editor - Yorgos Giannelis, director of photography - Iris Zogha, animator - Argyris Papadimitropoulos, director - Iakovos Panagopoulos, director/academic - Eric Knudsen, director/professor - Marissa Triantafilidou, actor - Stergios Paschos, director/screenwriter.
A team of mountain-loving and cinema-loving people
Screenwriter and actor. He has studied in the Pelou Katseli School of Drama and the Athens Conservatoire and he has attended various seminars and workshops of Greek and foreign teachers focusing on acting and dramaturgy.
Born in Athens in 1994. Cannot remember a time when he wasn't wathing films and listening to music, with the necessary breaks, of course.
Born in 1995 and an English teacher. Has an on and off affair with cinema, through seminars, festivals and film theory.
Architecture was his first love, but now cinema has become more than a hobby.
I had never experienced anything like Zagoriwood. I cannot wait to come back!
Eric KnudsenDirector, Professor at the University of Central Lancashire
"It was at Zagoriwood where I watched my film "The Enemy Within" in front of an audience for the first time. It was truly an amazing night."
I was witnessing, amazed, the excitement with which some students made their first steps into filmmaking. I felt nostalgic for my own first steps, I was envious of their passion and innocence.
NIKOS PANAGIOTOPOULOSAuthor & Screenwriter
So many people, teachers and students, work together and simultaneously in beautiful Zagoria. One experience, one company, just like cinema!
Zagoriwood was the embodiment of free-spirited teamwork and showed us how a filmmaking workshop can work in the best and most natural way.
STELLA THEODORAKIDirector & Producer
A bunch of mad teachers and students gather each summer at Zagoriwood because they believe that cinema cannot only be taught in a classroom.
PETROS SEVASTIKOGLOUDirector & Teacher at the Drama School of the National Theatre of Greece
Smiles, peace and an intense sense of creativity and love for cinema.
Dimitris KoutsiampasakosDirector & Professor at the School of Film of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Paving the way, from theory to practice. Click for more info.
In workshop No.1, "From the Idea, to the Film" everything begins with a word and goes on an amazing cinematic journey. Click for more indo.
This workshop's purpose is to familiarise the participating actors with the peculiarities of acting for cinema. Click for more info.