Giorgos Gousis is to represent Greece for his film Magnetic Fields at the 2023 Oscars. Nikolaos Giatromanolokis, the Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports, accepted and co-signed the Hellenic Film Academy Commission’s choice himself.
“The Ministry of Culture and Sports will ensure the timely completion of the procedures for the representation of Greece at the 95th Academy Awards,” he said.
The Culture Ministry invited Greek filmmakers interested in participating in the selection for the 95th Academy Award show for the Best International Feature Film to submit their work to their committee. Only those who met the requirements provided, established by the selection committee at the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences, were addressed.
Magnetic Fields: Greece’s choice for the 2023 Oscar
Writer and director Giorgos Gousis’ Magnetic Fields fits all the criteria outlined by the Hellenic Film Academy and the Academy Award commission. It tells the story of a man and woman who accidentally meet and go on a road trip in search of the perfect burial spot for a metal box.
Elena Topalidou and Antonis Tsiotsiopoulos play the two main characters who go by the same names as the actors. Topalidou is a disenchanted musician and dancer and Tsiotsiopoulos a disgruntled office worker. Together with Gousis, they take us on a seventy-eight minute cinematic journey.
Reviews of the film have described it as a “crafty scientific experiment…devised without the typical preparation, guerrilla-filming at the height of the pandemic last year with only a story outline and 15 days’ improv-driven shooting to carry them through. The resulting work bears rough edges—untied plot threads and vague characterizations…but the movie benefits from being judged as a happy outcome from a set of stringent limitations.”
The Hellenic Film Academy said the film was chosen because it “speaks directly to the viewer.” The committee believes it is engaging for international viewers, as well. Furthermore, the Hellenic Film Society in America has recently announced its intention to screen twelve movies by Greek filmmakers in New York City.
Greece’s Oscar Nominations Past and Present
There have been many Greek Academy Award winners over the years. These include Katina Paxinou in 1944, Manos Hadjidakis in 1961, and Costas Gavras in 1983 to name a few. In 2021, Greek-American Nikos Kalaitzidis was tapped as an Oscar nominee for his visual effects in the film Free Guy. Even more recently, however, the Academy honored the great Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis.
What began in 1929 as a private dinner has become the most prestigious ceremony in the entertainment industry. Actor, screenwriter, director, and producer Douglas Fairbanks hosted it and invited 270 industry insiders to the gathering held in Los Angeles.
Cedric Gibbons designed the statue for Fairbanks, which now appears on the Oscar award as the Academy Award of Merit. George Stanley sculpted it. Fifteen guests received statues. However, it was only later that Hollywood actually recognised this event as the first ever Academy Award ceremony. By today’s standards though it was quite informal.
Yet, nowadays, the Oscar symbolizes the highest achievement of artistic and technical merit. The categories include Best Actor and Actress in a Leading and Supporting Role, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Art Direction. Over 16.6 million people viewed the event last year.