Archive of films Hostage / Omiros

Greece / Turkey
2005, 105 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2005

Albanian immigrant Elion Senia wants simple justice while living in Greece. To achieve this he takes a weapon in hand and hijacks a bus bound for Thessalonica; he intends to let the hostages go only after he?s made it across the Albanian border. Thus begins a harrowing twenty-hour drive.    


In a film based on actual events, the central character is an Albanian immigrant whose harrowing story focuses on the difficulties that can arise when two nations coexist side by side. Elion Senia from Tirana wants only justice, but he insists on terrorism as the mean of attaining it. Armed, the young man commandeers a bus bound for Thessalonica, holds seven people hostage, and demands free passage home to Albania and the exoneration of his name. Escorted by police vehicles and TV news crews, the twenty-hour drive to the border is filled with dramatic events. The plot deals with the individual hostages forced at gunpoint to participate in the journey, and delves into Elion’s life and the motives that led him to such a drastic solution to his troubles.

About the director

Constantine Giannaris (b. 1959, Athens) emigrated to the United Kingdom in 1976. He graduated from the University of Keele, and then continued studies at university in Birmingham before moving to London. He started his film career making short movies, including Trojans (1990; Best Short Film at the festivals in Cork and Turin), North of Vortex (1991; Best Short Film at Chicago) and Caught Looking (1991; Teddy Award in the Panorama section at the Berlinale). His first feature film, 3 Steps to Heaven (1995), was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight at the 1995 Cannes IFF. From the Edge of the City (Apo tin akri tis polis, 1998) followed and was awarded Best Director, Best Greek Drama and the Greek Film Critics’ Prize at the Thessaloniki IFF; it was also screened at numerous other festivals including Berlin. One Day in August (Dekapentavgoustos, 2001) was screened in competition at the festivals in Berlin, Chicago, Melbourne, Troy (where it took Best Screenplay) and Thessaloniki (honoured with the Critics’ Prize).


Celluloid Dreams
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About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Constantine Giannaris
Screenplay: Constantine Giannaris
Dir. of Photography: Panagiotis Theofanopoulos
Music: Nikos Patrelakis
Editor: Ioanna Spiliopoulou
Producer: George Lykiardopoulos, Constantine Giannaris, Baran Seyhan, Jale Onanç
Production: C.Giannaris Films, Highway Productions, Sarmaşik Sanatlar, koprodukce/coproduction Greek Film Centre
Cast: Stathis Papadopoulos, Theodora Tzimou, Giannis Stankoglou
Contact: Celluloid Dreams


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