Greek student won an Oscar for her documentary about the refugees
Matziaraki’s film won in the documentary category of the Student Academy Awards, in which the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences selects the best student films in the country. The Student Oscars were held in Los Angeles in September 2016. The Academy has voted 17 students as winners of the 43rd Student Academy Awards competition. The Academy received a record number of entries this year – 1,749 films from 286 domestic and 95 international colleges and universities – which were voted by a record number of Academy members.
Daphne Matziaraki’s film “4.1 Miles” portrays a day in the life of a Greek coast guard captain on the island of Lesbos, who is caught in the middle of the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.
Matziaraki said that even though she felt the media was “over-saturated” in its coverage of the refugee crisis, she wanted to tell a different side of the story. “As a Greek filmmaker I felt there was something missing from the coverage. I wanted to make a film that would capture the strength and determination of the unknown heroes working tirelessly in an impossible situation.”
Matziaraki’s hope is that the award will help get her film before a wider audience. “I’m excited by this opportunity because I believe this is one of the most pressing humanitarian crises of our times,” she said.
Prior to filmmaking, Daphne worked as a journalist, reporting from humanitarian emergencies in Africa and Europe, has has corresponded from the frontline of the violent demonstrations in Athens, Greece and has covered in depth, the Greek and eurozone crisis for SKAI media, Radio Netherlands, RFI, VoA and Kathimerini. In San Francisco she created feature stories and audio documentaries for KALW.