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Spotlight on the Greek Nominees of the 2019 Oscars

Yorgos Lanthimos’ movie “The Favourite” swept the 2019 Oscar nominations with 10 total nominations. However, many other Greeks were prominently featured in this year’s nominee list, so let’s take a look at the Greeks in Hollywood up for Oscars.

Yorgos Lanthimos

Lanthimos Cannes

An established auteur with a history of innovative, original filmography, Lanthimos was nominated this year for Best Director for his work on “The Favourite”. This scandalous historical drama features Academy Award Winners Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, along with another Oscar nominee this year, Olivia Colman. Stone and Weisz are also nominated this year for their work in “The Favourite”, as supporting actresses.

This is Lanthimos’ first nomination as director for an Academy Award, though his Greek film “Dogtooth” was nominated in 2011 for Best Foreign Language Film, and his films have been nominated 3 times in total. Since then, he has directed star-studded features including “The Lobster”, with Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, and Lea Seydoux, as well as “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”, with Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell again.

Alexandre Desplat

Alexandre Desplat won the Oscar for best original score

The Greek-French film composer has become something of a mainstay in the annual Academy Awards nominations. This is Desplat’s tenth nomination for Best Original Score, and he has already won two Academy Awards, for “Shape of Water” and “Grand Budapest Hotel”. The year he won for “Grand Budapest Hotel”, he was in fact nominated twice in his category, as his score for “The Imitation Game” was also up for an Oscar.

This year, Desplat has been nominated for his work on Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs”, a stop-motion-animated science-fiction film.

Mary Zophres

Three-time Oscar nominee Mary Zophres has been nominated for Best Costume Design for her work on “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”. She has previously been nominated for her work on “True Grit” (2011) and the critical and commercial hit “La La Land” (2017).

Zophres is one of the most acclaimed costume designers in Hollywood, and has had almost a 25-year-long career in the film industry. In addition to “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”, she also worked on Damien Chazelle’s film “First Man” this year, for which she won a Hamilton Behind the Camera Award. Zophres was born in Florida, but her father came from Ioannina, Greece.

Michael Paleodimos

Michael Paleodimos

London-based Director of Photography Michael Paleodimos worked on the documentary short “Black Sheep”, which was nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject. Directed by Ed Perkins, “Black Sheep” tells the story of racial abuse in the UK through the eyes of a young black boy who was moved out of London by his family after the killing of a local boy from Nigeria, only to encounter more problems from racists in their new location.

Paleodimos was the DP for this “Guardian”-commission 25-minute film, which has already won several awards at film festivals and has been selected to screen at festivals from London to Toronto. The acclaimed cinematographer had his first narrative piece, titled “Stutterer”, already won an Oscar in 2016 for Best Live Action Short; this is his second nomination.

Yorgos Mavropsaridis

Greek editor Mavropsaridis has been nominated for Best Film Editing for his work on Lanthimos’ “The Favourite”. Mavropsaridis has worked with Lanthimos for years; the two have collaborated on “The Lobster”, “Dogtooth”, and “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”.

After graduating from the Theatrical Workshop in Athens and the London International Film School, Mavropsaridis started his career working with commercials in Athens. That’s where he met Lanthimos. He has spoken extensively about the important work he did on “The Favourite”, in order to alter the pace of the film and make a period piece that didn’t necessarily feel as stuffy as most period pieces – one of the reasons “The Favourite” resonated with audiences in the way it did.


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