Days festival is a series of film screenings organized in different parts of Greece. The objective of this festival is to bring remarkable -mainly Greek- films closer to the general public. Short and long - length films are taken out of festival cinema theatres and approach audiences who have lots in common with the world depicted in these very films.

Sikinos, Documentary Days 2012

in collaboration with CineDoc (

Raw Material
Christos Karakepelis, 78˘/2010/ Greece

Three Roma from Albania, two Indians, a Turk and a Greek: a small sample of the endless army of desperados who recycle the metal of an entire nation; heroes of "Raw Material" and raw material themselves.
The film charts the course of this band of hunter-gatherers in the heart of Athens, a European capital. It confronts the smell of an annoying but exploitable savagery, through the turning of the seasons and the cycles of global economy.

Nikos Dayandas,
56˘/ 2011/ Greece-France

Forcibly adopted by her grandfather, Sayome grew up in a remote Japanese village, without knowing her mother.  At the age of 22, she left Japan, following a Greek sailor to the island of Crete. There, she replaced her homeland with a new culture, a new language and family.
35 years later, her mother˘s death triggers her need to return home. We follow her journey from Crete to Japan, as she revisits the land of her childhood. In search of the past she left behind, she discovers a part of herself she never knew.A film about family, identity, Greek dancing and karaoke.


Documentary Days 2009, Sikinos 17, 19, 22/7 and Galaxidi 30/7, 31/7, 1/8
Courtesy: Goethe Institut - Athen, Anemon, Feelgood, Euroarts

    Saturday, 17 Jul., Sikinos / Friday 30 Jul., Galaxidi

    The game must go on
    By: A. Andrikopoulou, A. Tsepelicas
    Greece, 2009
    Greek, English subtitles

    In a crowded part of a small city, each day after school, Alexandra,
    Vlad, Chrysa and the rest of their crew gather in front of Christo˘s
    house to play soccer until bedtime. But as soon as they begin the
    neighbours assault them with curses, threats and sometimes violence.
    The kids˘ reaction is fiercely defiant. There˘s nowhere else to go.
    Alexandra decides to talk to the mayor and insist that he see the
    situation for himself. Thus begins a yearlong campaign to get the town
    to build them a play area. Over this time the kids˘ lives and
    perceptions are revealed while their determination and friendship
    fuels their coping skills and sharpens their resolve. Intimate access
    to a remarkable cast of characters.

Monday, 19 Jul., Sikinos / Saturday 31 Jul., Galaxidi

Rhythm is it!
A film by Thomas Grube and Enrique Sanchez Lansch
'You can change your life in a dance class!'
Royston Maldoom

Berlin, January 2003. Amazing things are happening in the Arena down at Berlin˘s industrial harbor. 250 Berlin children and teenagers of 25 different nationalities are dancing to Stravinsky˘s Le Sacre du Printemps, choreographed by Royston Maldoom and accompanied by the Berliner Philharmoniker: This is the orchestra˘s first large scale educational project with its chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle. RHYTHM IS IT! accompanies three teenage protagonists during the three-month rehearsals. Marie, who is still desperately trying to pass her secondary school leaving exams; Olayinka, who has recently arrived in Germany as a war-orphan from Nigeria and Martin, who is battling to overcome his inhibitions. Royston Maldoom and his team require perseverance and love to teach the first dancing steps to the children and teenagers; for most of them it is their first encounter with classical music. During the rehearsals they all experience ups and downs, insecurity, self-confidence, doubts and excitement: An emotional journey into new, unforeseen worlds and to hidden facets of their personalities.

Thursday, 22 Jul., Sikinos / Sunday 1 Aug., Galaxidi

El Sistema
A film by Paul Smaczny and Maria Stodtmeier
Germany/Switzerland, 2009, 102'

Venezuela's unique system of music education takes children from violent slums and turns some of them into world-class musicians.
"El Sistema" shows how Venezuelan visionary Jose Antonio Abreu has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children over the past three decades.
This lyrical and moving documentary takes us from the rubbish dumps and barrios of Caracas to the world's finest concert halls. Children from streets dominated by the gun battles of gang warfare are taken into music schools, given access to music, and taught through the model of the symphony orchestra how to build a better society. Paul Smaczny and Maria Stodtmeier's film finds hope and joy in unlikely places.

Supported by:

Documentary Days 2009

Screening schedule:

  • The other
    Directed by: Loukia Rikaki. Greece, 2004, 75'.
    In Greek with English subtitles

    Greece, a country of immigrants who have left the country for many decades in the hope of ameliorating their lives, is now experiencing for the first time in the country's history the social reality of a host country for immigrants coming from poorer nations from Asia, Africa and the Arab world. In recent years over 1 million Albanians have migrated to Greece looking for a better future. In Patsideros, a small village named after the word "patsos" meaning peace we find the only Greek school with one single Greek student. All the others are Albanian. this small school in Northern Crete, life is made to feel better for people that were forced to leave their country and especially young ones who followed their parents choice. Immigration has recently become a major issue in Greece, a country which only few years ago use to migrate in almost every continent. Now we need to learn to welcome immigrants here.

  • Cyclown Circus
    Directed by: Dimitris Sfyris. Greece, 2008, 72'.
    In Greek with English subtitles

    They travel only by bicycle. They are talented musicians and acrobats. Though they could have had a brilliant career in show business, they chose to travel from continent to continent, from country to country and from town to town giving open-air performances. On their way, they draw others interested in living out the same experience. Over the last six years they have crossed 27 countries in four continents. Over 125 people have traveled with them. Their bicycles are made by themselves from parts of discarded bicycles that they find along the way. They are the Cyclown Circus. The film documents their passage through the city of Hania in Crete, following their performances in parks, squares and schools, and talking with them about their experiences, thoughts and philosophy.

  • Elias Petropoulos - an underground world
    Directed by: Kalliopi Legaki. Greece, 2004-5, 61'.
    In Greek with English subtitles

    A restless and inquisitive spirit, a foe of academics and the establishment, Petropoulos was the first folklorist in Greece who dealt with social outcasts and described people and situations ignored by his country's official history.He lived next to rebetika singers, bums, street-urchins, whores and sissies, prisoners and underground people who became the heroes of his books: The Brothel, Kaliarda (an Etymological Dictionary of Greek Homosexuals' Slang ), The Handbook of the Good Thief, The History of the Condom, The Rebetika Songs, The Holy Hashish and others.
    In this documentary, all these people meet in front of our camera. Their testimonies about their life and their relation with the writer; join Petropoulos' confessions, who was persecuted and sentenced several times for his books.

  • Dialogues in the Dark
    Directed by: Melek Ulagay Taylan. Turkey, 2006, 65'.
    In Turkish with Greek subtitles

    A Swedish cameraman Ulla and a Turkish filmmaker Melek travel in the southeastern region of Turkey, pursuing the stories of women who are under the threat of being killed by their male relatives because of their unapproved relationships with men. The stories they hear from the persecuted women and others lead them into questioning such concepts as honor or shame, the victim and the aggressor, and the customs of tribal patriarchal society, which victimize both the male and the female. They begin to interview men alongside women. They meet with women from the region who have set-up an organization called Kamer (Women's Center), working for the women rights.

  • Meant to leave
    Directed by: Loukia Rikaki. Greece, 2007, 54'.
    In Greek with English subtitles

    They left their countries the live amongst us and they consider Greece their second homeland.
    Bella, Bulgaria:"Everyone has a right to choose freely his job and to benefit from fare and satisfactory working conditions in this working environment."
    Mahmood, Palestine: "There is no one that abandons his home and country for no reason."
    Grace, Lebanon: "War destroys not only the land but also in our hearts War makes our hearts of stone our eyes blind."
    Nadia, Ukraine: "Immigrant is the man without a home Home is not a place but a face that recognizes you.
    Ziad, Syria "Immigration embodies personal hope with a future without a face."
    Aifa, Kenya "The unforeseen can be regarded as injustice which resides in the new "promised"lands."

  • The more you speak the more you cry
    Directed by: Dimitris Kitsikoudis. Greece, 2007, 82'.
    In Greek with English subtitles

    Three anthropologists, a historian, an islamist and a lot of Pomaks guide us to the mountain range of Rhodope in the Balkans so that we may get familiar with the population of the Pomaks, their history, their culture, their problems, their fears and their hopes. The Pomaks live in the mountains of Rhodope, in Greece and Bulgaria, along the borders. Their language is south-slavic and their religion is Muslim. Their origin has not been scientifically documentated. They determine themselves as Greeks, Bulgarians, Turks. There is a typical proverb: \"Beware of the Turk\'s shot, the Bulgarian\'s beating the Greek\'s pencil\", because shooting and beating are forgotten, but the pencil does not forget.
Documentary Days 2008

Every documentary film can stand as a portrait of its own. In their third year of screenings, DOCUMENTARY DAYS present a selection of films that explore, each in their own way, the distinct characteristics of different persons, circumstances and themes, giving the viewer the chance to enjoy and "study" portraits, which might be familiar or intriguing but still unique, whether they refer to units or to polyphonic, but solid groups.

For the first time this year, the film section of ISLAND FESTIVITIES is expanding to include foreign films in its programme. Except for the extraordinary "Grizzly Man" by the famous director Werner Herzog, the rest of the non-Greek productions come as a result of our collaboration with the ECOCINEMA festival, which will present, along with the Documentary Days screenings, a part of its exceptional programme.

We would like to especially thank Marina Gioti, Ecocinema's Artistic Director, for her invaluable help. Furthermore, we'd like to extend our warm gratitude to Maria Hatzakou, whose support and contribution to our efforts was decisive, and to Athina Rachel Tsangari for her help and encouragement.

Enjoy the screenings and have a great summer!

Elena Christopoulou
Documentary Days Co-ordination

Screening schedule:
  • Birds in the mire
    Directed by: Alinda Dimitriou. Greece, 2008, 104'.
    In Greek with English subtitles

    The film refers to the participation in and contribution of women to the Greek Resistance during the German Occupation of 1941-44, as well as to the consequences they suffered. The film is based on the oral testimonies of those women that survived and follows the historical sequence of events. However, the focus of the film is not on the description of the historical events but rather the memories of these women's experiences and emotional traumas. The film reveals these women's life stance in the face of extreme circumstances that are usually experienced by men, as well as the fact that under similar conditions women are equally capable of acts of heroism.

  • The lovers from Axos
    Directed by: Nicos Ligouris. Greece, 2007, 80'
    In Greek with English subtitles

    In a village high in the mountains of Crete, 69-year-old Maria works at her loom. Watching Maria is her 73-year-old husband, Ġorgos. Ġorgos finds Maria as beautiful as she was when he first met her. The love that bound Maria and Ġorgos together when they were young has endured 55 years and only deepened over time. But something has recently clouded the couple's happiness: Ġorgos is seriously ill and could die at any minute.

  • Summer Lightning
    Directed by: Nicos Ligouris. Greece, 2003, 81'
    In Greek with German subtitles

    The film chronicles the daily life of a family who own a small hotel on the southern coast of Crete. The family spend most of their days sitting in the shade, hoping for customers to appear, and gazing out at the sea. When they find a camera someone left behind, they begin to photograph the sea as it changes throughout the day. Their idea is to document the rich variety of light and colour. At the same time, they also hope to capture on film the rare weather phenomenon of summer lightning.

  • Parvas
    Directed by: Gerasimos Rigas. Greece, 2008, 78'
    In Greek with English subtitles

    The film focuses on the daily life of Dimitri Yiannakos, his wife Flora and their daughters, who come from the island of Amorgos. Dimitri and Flora have three daughters: Dina, who lives in Amorgos with them and her own family; Rinio who lives on the island of Naxos with her own family; and Maria who lives in Piraeus with her husband Dimitri who often comes to Amorgos to help out. Nature also becomes a relative, sometimes peacefully, others with hostility.

  • "Metaxario"
    Directed by: Vangelis Vassalos and Yulie Tsotsoli. Greece, 2005, 40'
    In Greek with English subtitles

    Silk production is an age-old tradition in Amorgos. After an invitation for a speech about sericulture in Amorgos, it was considered appropriate to let the producers themselves be heard: the women who produced silk by growing silk-worms, mainly in the village of Langada. So, an amateur filming of these women talking, recorded their accounts on the ways they produced, processed and used silk, either for everyday uses or for handicraft.

  • The Archelon Âubble
    Directed by: Eleftherios Fylaktos. Greece, 2007, 30'
    In English with Greek subtitles

    Every year volunteers from all over the world join the Archelon, the sea turtle protection society of Greece. The volunteers, regardless of age and nationality, offer their free time to perform what we cannot. They wake up early in the morning, walk the beaches at night, live in a camp with no electricity and maintain a remarkable community which is bound by their love towards the environment.

  • Grizzly Man
    Directed by: Werner Herzog. Canada/USA, 2005, 103'
    In English with Greek subtitles

    In his mesmerizing film Grizzly Man, acclaimed director Werner Herzog explores the life and death of amateur grizzly bear expert and wildlife preservationist Timothy Treadwell. In Grizzly Man, Herzog plumbs not only the mystery of wild nature, but also the mystery of human nature as he chronicles Treadwell's final years in the wilderness. Herzog uses Treadwell's own startling documentary footage to paint a nuanced portrait of a complex and compelling figure while exploring larger questions about the uneasy relationship between man and nature.


  • Sun come up, sun go down
    Directed by: Angelos Kovotsos. Greece, 2007, 52'
    In Greek with English subtitles

    "Sun come up! Sun go down!" says Dimitris Kamposos, talking about his life from sunrise, to sunset. The five members of his family are the entire population of the island of Levitha. In this part of the Aegean Sea, there is no frequent sea transportation. Crafty and inventive, they survive working as stack-farmers, fishermen, but also as owners of a small tavern, operating during the summer season. Although often isolated because of the weather conditions, they remain self-sufficient, insist on living in this inhospitable place because they really want to. Until when?

  • Palestine Blues
    Directed by: Nida Sinnokrot. Palestine, 2006, 73'
    In English and Palestinian with Greek subtitles

    What is left for Palestinian farmers who learn that in 24hrs the Israeli Army will confiscate their lands for the construction of a Security Wall? What do people do when their survival is threatened by one of the world's most powerful armies? Palestine Blues tells the story of a village's confusion, desperation and resistance, their daily victories and wrenching defeats. Filming with both, a handheld camera and a hidden one, Nida Sinnokrot is presenting a chronicle of a community threatened by destruction.

  • All in this tea
    Directed by: Les Blank, Gina Leibrecht. USA, 2007, 70'
    In English with Greek subtitles

    Unable to find anything but insipid tea bags in the U.S, world-renowned tea expert David Lee Hoffman began travelling to China only to discover the rarity of good, handmade tea even there, where the ancient craft of making tea has given way to mass production. The film moves from a modern, urban setting to a pastoral China rarely glimpsed by westerners.

  • Battleship Antarctica
    Directed by: Morgan Matthews. UK, 2007, 48'
    In English with Greek subtitles

    The thirty-seven crew of the Greenpeace ship the Esperanza have one clear goal: to document and hinder the Japanese from illegally hunting whales against international protocol. They are determined to achieve this through the non-violent means that have characterised the charity's thirty-year existence. Director Morgan Matthews is along for the ride. In the vast expanse of the ocean, events suddenly take a dramatic and truly surprising turn.

  • Atlantis approaching
    Directed by: Elizabeth Pollock. Tuvalu/USA/New Zealand/Fiji, 2006, 51'
    In English with Greek subtitles

    Is the tiny island nation of Tuvalu doomed to vanish beneath the waves? As the sea slowly rises in a warming world, some residents are fleeing to New Zealand in search of a new future. But rising sea levels are just the beginning of the story. Issues like a mythic flounder, dying taro crops, the lingering effects of World War II, island SUVs and a sobering look at the costs of development take place in the film.