The J. F. Costopoulos Foundation Award was presented in the context of the 62nd Thessaloniki Film Festival ex aequo to the films Holy Emy by Araceli Lemos and 18 by Vassilis Douvlis during the closing ceremony of the Festival.

The jury for the Foundation’s 2021 award was comprised of Angeliki Antoniou, filmmaker; Rea Apostolides, producer; and George Frentzos, cinematographer, who represented the Foundation at the Award Ceremony.

Here is the jury’s reasoning: “The award is bestowed ex aequo to two films that unveil unknown worlds of fellow citizens whom we overlook or avoid, even though they live next to us. Araceli Lemos in Holy Emy, with a lucid glance, introduces us to an unseen part of Greek reality. The female protagonist is growing up with her sister in the Filipino community of Piraeus, in the borderline between reality and imagination, in a world that we choose to overlook or avoid, even though it’s standing right next to us. An original film, short with directorial dexterity and strength, casting a realistic and insightful look, along with a heart – wrenching approach towards its protagonists and their feelings. Vassilis Douvlis, in 18, invites us to the crisis-stricken Athens and the lives of a group of high school students. With tension and realism, the director guides us into the heart of school bullying and the incontrollable violence, as its protagonists are introduced to the real face of fascism and are called to take a stand. An up-to-date, rough and tender at once portrait of today’s 18-year-olds, but also of contemporary Greek reality.”