awarded with the FIPRESCI Award 2023

The winner in 2021 was the Toronto-based writer Graham Foy. His short film ›August 22, This Year‹ screened at Cannes and the New York Film Festival. ›The Maiden‹ is his feature debut, which had already won an award as a work in progress at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.


A deeply moving film. In a Greek all-inclusive hotel, a troupe of animators are torn between personal desires, exploitation and a passion for entertainment.

Under the hot Greek sun – Kalia leads a troupe of animators, they are getting ready for the tourist season. There is a family-like atmosphere among the colleagues, some of whom have worked together for many years. In scenes that stage their shows as exhilarating attractions, we see them wearing glittering costumes as they perform dances and entertain tourists from all over the world. As the summer progresses, the nights grow longer and the work harder. But Kalia’s personal struggle remains hidden from the eyes of the cheering crowds. Torn between suffering from exploitation and her own passion for entertainment, for performing on stage, she becomes increasingly desperate to realize her unfulfilled dreams. But the show must go on. - Free of clichés and facile judgments, ›Animal‹ dares to take a rare look behind the scenes of a world of glossy surfaces. Authentic and poignant.

Countries: Greece, Austria, Romania, Cyprus, Bulgaria
Director: Sofia Exarchou

2023 | 116 min. | Greek, English, German
Subtitles: Subtitles: English, German

Cast_ Dimitra Vlagopoulou, Flomaria Papadaki, Ahilleas Hariskos, Chronis Barbarian, Voodoo Jürgens Screenplay_ Sofia Exarchou Camera_ Monika Lenczewska Producer_ Maria Drandaki, Maria Kontogianni Rights_ Shellacs

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