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Hard Goodbyes: My Father

Hard Goodbyes: My Father

von Penny Panayotopoulou

Frühjahr 1969: Erstmals fliegen Menschen zum Mond. Zur gleichen Zeit fordert das Schicksal von einem kleinen Jungen in Athen, sich der Wirklichkeit des irdischen Lebens zu stellen. Denn Elias Vater stirbt bei einem Autounfall. Seinen Tod will er nicht zur Kenntnis nehmen, er rechnet fest mit seiner Wiederkehr. Schließlich hat er Elias versprochen, am Tag der Mondlandung von seiner Vertretertour zurückzukommen.

Deutschland / Griechenland 2006, 108 min.

10-year-old Elias, a boy living in Athens, makes a pact with his father to watch on television man’s first landing on the moon. The two regale each other with stories of Jules Verne and flights of the imagination. They are adventurers and explorers. But chocolate bars left by a father gone on too many business trips are counted, while the countdown to the moonlanding has already begun. The year is 1969. A spaceship takes off, and man soon takes leave of planet earth. And so does Elias’ father. It is the imagination and their shared love of storytelling that allow Elias to transcend the unimaginable. This film is a tribute to the director’s parents.

Actor / Actress
Giorgos Karayanni Elias
Ioanna Tsirigouli Mother
Stelios Mainas Christos Father
Despo Diamantidou Grandmother
Christos Stergioglou Unkle Theodosius/Godfather
Christos Bougiotas Ari
Director Penny Panayotopoulou
Script Penny Panayotopoulou
Producer Thanassis Karathanos
Costas Lambropoulos
Penny Panayotopoulou
in co-production  mit Hellenic Broadcasting Corp.
ERT S.A., Max Productions
Alpha TV
Anima Films
 Mythos Productions Ltd
 Greek Film Centre
supported by Filmboard Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH
Greek Film Center
Helenic Broadcasting Corp
Bundesverband Kommunale Filmarbeit
Distributor Bundesverband kommunale Filmarbeit
World Sales Greek Film Center
Director of Photography Dimitris Katsaitis
Editor Petar Markovic, Angelos Angelopoulos
Sound Design Kai Tebbel
Re-recording mixer Klaus Hornemann
Music Stavros Sofianopoulos

Internationale Premiere:

6 August 2002, 55th Int. Filmfestival Locarno

Festivals / Awards (selection) :

55th Int. Filmfestival Locarno, 2002
Leopard for Best Actor, Giorgos Karayannis
Ecumenical Jury Prize, Special Mention
“Because it confronts us with the reality of death as experienced by a young boy, who, step by step and thanks to his inner vision, learns to accept what seemed unacceptable”

43rd International Thessaloniki Film Festival, 2002
FIPRESCI Prize (“For its acute symbiosis of daily routine and metaphorical sense of life”)
Best Actor Award: Christos Stergioglou (uncle)
Greek Film Critics’ Prize: Penny Panayotopoulou

Greek State Cinema Awards, 2002
Best Debut Film Director Award Penny Panayotopoulou
-Second Prize for Fiction Film Producer: Costas Lambropoulos

5th Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People, 2002
Children’s Jury Award for Best Feature Film

19th Mons International Film Festival of Love, 2002
RTBF Prize
Coup de Coeur du Jury

1st International Film Festival of Salé, 2004
– Best Screenplay Prize

13th St. Louis International Film Festival, 2004
Interfaith Award (for “artistic merit, contribution to understanding the human condition, and recognition of ethical, social and spiritual values”)