Thessaloniki Film Festival celebrates 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution

The Thessaloniki Film Festival celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution in an innovative, interactive and exciting way, making use of the tools new technologies and cinema have to offer.

With the help of augmented reality, the Festival created an interactive application for mobile phones and tablets, called “e21”. This app brings to life 24 paintings, created by folk painters Panagiotis and Dimitris Zografos and commissioned by General Makriyannis, who fought in the Greek War for Independence.

The Greek War of Independence

Since the early 11th century, the Ottoman Empire had already conquered the geographical area, which now constitutes modern Greece. Alexander Ypsilantis – a Greek who served as an officer in the Tsarist Army and headed the Society of Friends (Filiki Eteria) – was the first to envision the outbreak of the Greek Revolution on March 25, 1821, associating it with the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the uprising that “annunciated the political redemption of the Greek state.” The spark of the revolt was followed by a six-year period of great historical importance. Battles occurred concurrently in cities, fortresses, the mountains and at sea, and often wavered from victories to defeats. The Greek Revolution raised a great deal of awareness amongst the European politicians, the military, diplomats and artists, who combinedly formed a powerful philhellenic movement. Greece officially proclaimed its independence from the Ottoman Empire under the London Protocol, signed on 22 January 1830.

e21: Download the app and live the battles of 1821

The Thessaloniki Film Festival looks back at the Memoirs of General Makriyannis and revives the battles in which he took part through the e21 application, offering an unprecedented experience to anyone who wants to experience that era. The Festival’s purpose is to convey the atmosphere of the 1821 Revolution to the culture, art and technology of today. Makriyannis himself instructed the popular painters Panagiotis and Dimitris Zografos to depict scenes from the battles and events of the Revolution, as he remembered and recorded them in his Memoirs. The result was 24 paintings crafted by Panagiotis and Dimitris Zografos, which narrate fascinating episodes from the Revolution of 1821.

The Festival turned the 24 paintings to 3D, gave them movement and highlighted wonderful details that might not be visible at first sight. These 3D works of art are the basis for the e21 application.

The users can download the application for free, wherever they are, and get acquainted with the story of Makriyannis, his Memoirs, their illustration, but also find out more about the 80 locations where the real battles that are depicted in the works, took place: from the Acropolis and the Gravia Inn to Missolonghi, Arta, Samos, Crete, Navarino, Tripoli, Karpenissi, Faliro, Thebes, Hydra, Spetses etc.
The users can virtually experience the battles in the true locations of historical events, but also wherever they are, in Greece or abroad. At the same time, with a set of headphones, the user can listen to excerpts from the Memoirs of Makriyannis, read by ten up-and-coming Greek actors.

“In our times, technology bridges all distances and brings history to life right before our eyes, allowing us to travel along its space-time continuum”, says the general director of the Festival, Elise Jalladeau. The works of P. and D. Zografos “are early graphic novels or documentaries on canvas, fifty-nine years before cinema was invented”, according to the artistic director of the Festival, Orestis Andreadakis.

The app is designed and developed by Babis Venetopoulos, Assistant Professor at AUTh’s School of Fine Arts, and is curated by the Festival’s artistic director, Orestis Andreadakis.

Download the app:
Google Play
Apple Store