A non-stop offering to world cinema
Famous Greeks

A non-stop offering to world cinema

Yannis Smaragdis was born in 1946 at the village Gonies Maleviziou in Crete and grew up in the city of Herakleion. He studied Film Directing in Greece and in Paris. In 1972, he made his screen debut with the short film Two Τhree Τhings and gained awards in Greece and in the Film Festival of Montreal in Canada.

A glorious moment for director Smaragdis was the screening of El Greco, a film that earned him eight state awards and proved to be a Greek box office record of 1.2 million tickets. El Greco also ranked in the first five winning films at the International Film Festival of Toronto.

In his mostly successful career including films, television series and documentaries, like Zero Cell, Alaloum, Homecoming Song and Hush, our Country is Sleeping, Ave Tassos Karatassos, Hadjimanuel, Thus Spake the City and other, the awarded Cavafy earned Smaragdis the impressive total of 50 official nominations in international film festivals and the title of director of blockbusters in Greece.

Yannis Smaragdis is an honorary member of the Directors Guild of America and a professor at the Mass Media Department of Panteion University. He has also worked as a screenwriting and film direction teacher at film schools in Greece. Moreover, Smaragdis has authored and published Poetic Geography in 1995, Cavafy-A literary form of the film script Cavafy in 1996 and the short story The Little Doe of Halandri Square in 2006.

His film God Loves Caviar is an international prime cast production, honouring the memory of the 18th and 19th century national hero and benefactor of Greece and Russia Ioannis Varvakis. The film is another milestone in Smaragdis’s career, intended to create joining bridges between both countries’ tradition and culture.

His latest film Nikos Kazantzakis is expected in 2017. The great ecumenical writer Nikos Kazantzakis used to say that his life has been determined by his travels and his dreams. The same paths were followed in the movie, with filming taking place in Crete, Athens, Aegina, South of France, Berlin and Vienna.

El Greco Awards

State Awards for Best Feature Film 2007, Best Director, Best Photography, Best Score for Vangelis, Best Art Director, Best Editor, Best Sound Editor and Best Make-up Artist

The Audience Award and the Greek Union of Film and Television Technicians Award in the 48th Thessaloniki Film Festival

Best Actor Award to actor Juan Diego Botto in the 2008 International Film Festival of Cairo

The Goya Award to costume designer Lala Huete

Wisdom Award from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Delfi, Greece

The International Giuseppe Sciacca 2008 Award in Rome, Italy

The Euro-American Women’s Council’s Award in Santa Barbara, California.

The International Golden Artemis Award by the Euro-American Women’s Council

Honourable Distinction as the guest of honour of the Maremetraggio Film Festival in Trieste.