During the award ceremony of the 26th Olympia Festival, an evening full of intense emotions, Artistic Director Dimitris Spyrou – who founded the festival 26 years ago at a time when terms such as “cinema for children” and “film education” were unknown to Greek audiences – announced that he will be stepping down and it’s up to Pantelis Panteloglou, ECFA President, and the team to take over.
Also Nikos Theodosiou, Dimitris Spyrou’s compagnon de route for 25 years, announced a parallel move as Artistic Director of Camera Zizanio and passes the torch to Manolis Melissourgos.
Dimitris Spyrou stated that the festival is not the creation of any particular person: “The Olympia Festival was created out of a necessity… and madness, and was developed with stubbornness, planning and vision. This crazy idea was immediately shared by Nikos and Christos Konstantopoulos. I always believed that changes should start from the bottom, not from the top. At this highlight of the festival, I am delighted to hand the wheel to the next generation. If not, I wouldn’t be consistent with our principles: All for the youth! They can do better than I can, right now. But I promise not to leave the Festival – I will always serve it with all my soul.”
Nikos Theodosiou added: “Three years after the founding of the festival, Camera Zizanio started as an action to promote youngsters’ creativity. Year after year it excelled, in a rapidly changing world. Camera Zizanio is not just a festival. It is an educational, cultural, but also a political action”.
Pantelis Panteloglou has been working in the audio-visual sector, cinema and theatre since 2003 in various creative and organisational positions. He has been involved with the Olympia Festival since 2011 – since 2018 as Deputy Artistic Director. Manolis Melissourgos has been involved in the organisation of some of the biggest Greek festivals. Since 2011 he has been working with the Olympia Int’l Film Festival and was appointed General Coordinator of Camera Zizanio in 2021.