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Activities - 13/10/2011


27 Times Cinema - The Portraits - Evangelos Kokkotzis - Olympion - Thessaloniki - Greece


Could you introduce yourself and tell us who you are and what you do?

I am 22, and I live in Thessaloniki, Greece. I used to be a professional athlete in swimming and the triathlon and I now study applied informatics. In my free time I volunteer for local cultural events. 

How long have you been going to the cinema?

My parents were big cinema fans and would take me with them as a child since I was five. I can't say I remember much, but this must be the reason why I feel so cozy in a theatre. 

Why do you like cinema?  Why do you prefer cinema to other media or to books, for example?

A picture is worth a thousand words. With 24 pictures (frames) per second, it must be billions of words that a film maker can put in his films. The slightest change is lighting, colors or acting and these words can get a whole new meaning. 

Tell us what type of cinema or which kind of films you prefer? Which films are particularly important to you? What are your 3 favorite films?

I try to watch as much as I can from different film categories but I am mostly a drama fan. A couple of important films to me would be The Shawshank Redemption from Franck Darabont and Black Swan from Darren Aronosky.
Three of my favorite films that come to mind are: The Womb from Benedek Fliegauf, Babel from Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, Goodbye Lenin from Wolfgang Becker.

Do you participate to film forums online?

I like reading about films online and I browse through several film websites such as Imdb, but I am always very careful when writing critics of my own. I feel that all filmmakers – especially the younger ones- should be encouraged to make their films and projects in a way that makes them happier.

What do you think of European cinema?  What does European cinema represent for you?

European cinema was love at first sight for me. It was the exit sign from the mainstream cinema path. What amazes me the most is the diversity of lifestyles and cultures that can fit in it, reflecting the diversity of Europe itself in a way. Just like travelling a few hundred kilometers in Europe can open up a whole new world for a traveller, wandering through European films can be a whole bunch of new different experiences for a viewer.

Do you feel European? Do you travel often in Europe?

I started feeling more of a European when I started travelling around. These days, I never let an opportunity to travel pass by. I already have my favorite spots in Europe and I am sure the list will only be getting longer as I keep on travelling and exploring. In a couple of years, when I get my degree, I'll be exploring the possibility of continuing my studies in another European country.

Which cinema are you representing at 27 Times Cinema? What do you like most about this venue?

Olympion cinema is located in a beautiful square in the center of my home town. It's always been my favorite venue in the city as it keeps its strong character through the years. It's also the main venue of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival every winter. During those days I almost spend all my afternoons there. Unlike all other local theatres, Olympion screens European and independent films that I wouldn't have the opportunity to watch otherwise. After all these years, I think I know every little corner of the building!
A week is never complete until I pay a visit to the local cinema. It's not always easy to find the time and get tickets for a screening all my friends can attend, but I always try. All of us like having a drink after the screening so that we can talk about the film, and the city center –where most of the nice and small venues are located- is perfect for that. That's the final touch we always like to add to the cinema experience.


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- Olympion