Michael Cacoyannis 1999 Phidippides Award Recipient
Michael Cacoyannis was born on June 11, 1922 in Limassol, Cyprus of the late Sir Panayotis and Lady Cacoyannis. He was educated there at the Greek Gymnasium and then at London's Gray's Inn, Central School of Dramatic Art and the Old Vic School; was called to the Bar in 1943; was producer for the BBC Overseas Service till 1950; since then he has been a screen and stage director and producer.
His film credits include: Stella with Melina Mercouri; Electra with Irene Papas (Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film, Cannes Award for Best Film Adaptation); Zorba The Greek with Anthony Quinn and Alan Bates (Oscars for Cinematography, Supporting Actress, Art Direction; Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay Adaptation and Best Actor); The Trojan Women with Katherine Hepburn and Vanessa Redgrave; Attila 74 ( a personal testimony on Cyprus); Iphigenia with Irene Papas and Costas Kazakos; Up, Down and Sideways (Pano, Kato Ke Playios) with Irene Papas and Stratos Tzortzoglou; and the soon to be released The Cherry Orchard with Alan Bates and Charlotte Rampling. Memorable stage productions include: Mourning Becomes Electra, New York Metropolitan Opera; Romeo and Juliet, Paris; King Oedipus, Dublin; Zorba (the musical) on Broadway, New York; Gluck's Iphigenia in Tauris, Frankfurt State Opera; and Cherubini's Medea in Athens.
"In his poignant retelling of 'Iphigenia', Cacoyannis has gone to impressive lengths to create a visual atmosphere that is both convincing and awesome. The look of things is remarkable and the imagery is consistently fascinating, even though Cacoyannis endeavours to tell the story in realistic terms, so that the mythic Greeks are seen in human perspective." S.E., San Francisco Examiner "
In Attila '74 Cacoyannis tells the story as a Greek Cypriot. The result is his most memorable film and one of the best records of history in the making. Remarkably, he manages to sustain at once a passionate engagement and a wide historical view - perhaps because he sees events always in terms of other people, not the politics of offices and maps and conference tables." D.R. The Times
The Board of Directors of Hellenic Public Radio-COSMOS FM presents the Phidippides Award to a person (or an organization) in recognition of his or her efforts in the advocacy of Hellenism. Recipients of the Phidippides Award have worked to sustain the vitality of Hellenism - a culture, a tradition, a civilization without bounds.