Greek cinematographer Petros Antoniadis was among the honorees of the 25th Emerging Cinematographers Awards (ECAs), organized by the International Cinematographers Guild (ICG) in Hollywood, last Sunday.
Along with seven other cinematographers he received the honor for his camera work on the film “Flickering Souls Set Alight.”
Celebrating the talent of promising cinematographers, while providing crucial exposure needed to become successful filmmakers, the ECAs are the only awards event in the industry to celebrate and nurture the careers of emerging directors of photography.
“I couldn’t be more honored, thankful and grateful for what happened last night… A thrilling evening filled with chills, inspiration, motivation, solidarity, stars, heroes, colleagues, friends and, above all, family,” Antoniadis wrote on Facebook.
He dedicated his award to his family. “This wonderful celebration couldn’t and wouldn’t have been the same for me if I could not have lived it next to my incredible parents (yes the best in the world) Μαρία and Georgios, my wonderful wife Kiriaki and my amazing cousin Kelly. My Family. Because everything that has, is and will be is always with their unimaginable support on each and every step along the way.”
Antoniadis is a cinematographer, a role in film production that requires the handling of both the technical and aesthetic aspects of shooting movie scenes. They plan the composition of a shot, and its colors and lighting, as well as the specific film and lenses used to capture the shot.
“The role of the cinematographer has always been to collaborate with the director in order to turn his vision into the visual storytelling of each project. All these artistic and technical choices from camera work to lighting and color help transfer the white pages of a script into the compelling frames of the film,” Antoniadis recently told Greek Reporter.
Petros Antoniadis career in cinematography
Antoniadis was born and raised in Chania, Greece, where his deep passion for visual arts began at a young age. Growing up under the influence of his grandfather, the renowned painter and photographer Petros Vlahakis, Antoniadis developed an immense affection for pictures and moving images.
At the age of 10, he made a resolute decision to become a filmmaker.
By the time he turned 14, Antoniadis had already completed three impressive short films. It was during this formative year that he had the extraordinary opportunity to meet Walter Lassally, an Oscar-winning cinematographer who would become his mentor. Lassally’s guidance and teachings profoundly shaped Antoniadis’ path until Lassally’s passing in 2017.
In 2010, Antoniadis was accepted into the School of Audiovisual Arts at Ionian University. Simultaneously, he began working on film sets as a camera assistant, gradually advancing to lensing commercials and short films. As his career gained momentum, Antoniadis found himself involved in an increasing number of narrative projects, earning national and international recognition for the shorts he lensed.
In 2018, after completing the shoot for Flickering Souls Set Alight, a short film that would later gain international acclaim for unique cinematography, Antoniadis decided to follow his heart and the advice of his mentor by relocating to the United States to further refine his craft and advance his career.
The film is a harrowing look at a man living with ALS. It won the Audience Award for Short Film after it screened at the 2019 Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF). Director Panagopoulos described to Greek Reporter how Antoniadis used the complex technical aspects of cinematography to produce a striking window into the movie:
“What Petros did is, instead of shooting a 16:9 frame (or even a 4:3) and cropping it left and right, losing a tremendous amount of information in the process, he thought of the anamorphic format in a different way.
“By turning the anamorphic lens 90 degrees sideways (to the sensor) he could compress much more information vertically (adding instead of losing pixels) and capture a much greater frame (it almost looks like a 6×6 photography format). This is actually a pretty revolutionary technique on an international level. It hasn’t really been done before in the narrative world,” Panagopoulos explained.