Niko Franghias’ award-wining documentary, ‘Lysippos Epoesen’, has been selected for multiple screenings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
Lysippos Epoesen (aka Lysippos Created): The Story and the Art of Alexander the Great’s Legendary Sculptor was inspired by the story and the art of Alexander the Great’s legendary sculptor Lysippos, is currently screening at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC (West Building Lecture Hall). It’s part of the program of activities Greek Documentary Series, celebrating the exhibition ‘Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World’.
Filmmaker Niko Franghias
Award-winning filmmaker Niko Franghias, was born in Greece, and studied in Britain. After a stint with the BBC, he worked extensively (1989-2007) in advertising in Athens as an agency producer, visual copywriter and director. His first film debuted in 1990, when he wrote and directed the 30 minute, ‘639+1 Nights’.
Niko has won major production-development awards from the Greek Film Center (Greece’s official State film agency) and the Media Program of the European Union for his 3 English speaking features, projects which unraveled as the funding situation in Greece became steadily worse. He moved to the US in 2008-
In the US, he co-founded and served as chairman of FilmHellenes-Greek Film Fest Chicago from 2011-2013, and is currently developing Chicago-based material for the official launch of his production company, EmberFrames.
‘Lysippos Epoesen’ is a 57 min creative documentary that premiered in 1996 at AGON, Greece’s International Meeting of Archeological Films. It was enthusiastically greeted by the audience, and won the best script award. An audience award followed at the ArcheoFilmFest Rassegna Internazionale del Film Archeologico, in Italy. Throughout the years the film has remained popular, screening at cultural events around Europe and Greece.
Lysippos from Sikyon of Corinth lived in the 4th century BC. He chose Bronze as his medium. His works, however, have reached us in copies from Marble. Destined to become Alexander the Great’s exclusive portraitist, he changed forever the art of his time by capturing the instantaneous moment of action introducing ingenious aesthetic and dramatic innovations. His style – characterizing the art of the new Hellenistic era – became the ideal model for sculpture inspiring subsequent artists throughout Europe. In the film, the Spirit of Bronze and the Spirit of Marble guide us on a journey through time researching the story of the mythical sculptor.
“The project literally landed on my lap while I was working in advertising in Greece. Largely based on Professor Paolo Moreno’s 40 years of research, I welcomed the commission as he is a phenomenal, notable scholar. I had found Lysippos’ style deliciously cinematic and I knew what a visually rich territory I was entering, but this didn’t necessarily mean we were going to have a film that wider audiences would care to see. I wanted to come up with the right ‘angle’ in order to deliver a storytelling that would spark imagination in visual terms rather than a standard dry scientific narrative. When I re-visited the point that Lysippos forged his works in bronze but only marble copies of these original bronzes survive in our times, I thought, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could see Lysippos’ story being related by the Spirit of Bronze and the Spirit of Marble through a universe that is no longer there? My producers became excited by my concept-art, so this is how the film’s metaphysical point-of-view was chosen.”
Filmed in Italy and Greece, ‘Lysippos Epoesen’ is produced by Fay Katsaris, and co-produced by Kino TV & Film Productions and A.V.D. Giannikos. Directors of Photography are Christos Voudouris and Katerina Maragoudaki. Featuring a versatile original film score by Anastasios C. Katsaris, it is written, designed and directed by Niko Franghias. A Chicago screening is being pursued.
Lyssipos Epoesen endures
The 20 year-old film has continually screened through the years, and continues to garner attention.
“I’m delighted watching Lyssipos Epoesen stand the test of time. As far as I know, there is no other Greek documentary like it. Almost every year I’m asked for permission for a screening or two in Europe. The film has has been exhibited twice at the Megaron Concert Hall of Athens, at the Thessaloniki Cultural Capital of Europe, at the Archaeological Society of Athens under the aegis of the Academy of Athens President, also in Sikyon of Corinth (Lysippos’ birthplace) in the Peloponnese, repeatedly by the Greek Public TV and in several cultural events around Europe (Germany, Belgium, Italy, Serbia, France, etc.). Latest screening dates, if I am not mistaken, were several exhibitions in 2010, 2012, and 2014. I remember that in 2012, the film screened at the Archeological Museum of Delphi as a classic documentary on ancient Greek Sculpture. In November 2014, it was shown on the island of Rhodes and at the Hellenic Cinemateque as one of the top award winning films of AGON, the International archeological film festival of Athens.”
Lysippos Epoesen (aka Lysippos Created): The Story and the Art of Alexander the Great’s Legendary Sculptor will screen January 14, 21, 28 at 12:30. February 11, 18, 25 at 12:30. March 3 at 12:30. Admission is free.
The National Gallery of Art is located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets NW along Constitution Avenue NW.