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"Blessings and Vows"
Producer, director, script. © 2018 Katerina Zacharia, Athenoe productions.
Short documentary on the 11th century Byzantine church of Hagioi Theodoroi in Vamvaka, Mani in southern Greece, and its place in the memory and identity of the village.
Dedicated to the memory of Metaxia Anaplioti (1939-2018).

The copyright of the depicted antiquities belongs to the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports
© 2018 Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports - N. 3028/2002
Publication Date
October, 2018
An octogenarian villager, Mrs. Metaxia Anaplioti, kept her vow for 40 years, lighting a candle daily at the 11th century Byzantine church of Hagioi Theodoroi in Vamvaka, Mani, in Southern Greece. This act of piety contributes to her personal sense of identity. Keeping alive customs of the village forebearers by preserving the church across ten centuries sustains collective identity claims for the villagers. The continuity of customs must be protected much like the territory the church was originally built to protect, recycling building stones from earlier periods repurposed for the new construction. A sense of historical continuity is sustained as much by the pastiche of various historical periods in the building of the church, as by village memory, belief, imagination and narrative. 

  1. Best Short FIlm, Byzanfest, Melbourne, Australia, November 6, 2022.
  2. Best Director for Short film, Byzanfest, Melbourne, Australia, November 6, 2022.
  3. Best Short Documentary, Byzanfest, Melbourne, Australia, November 6, 2022.
  4. Best Short Documentary, Inca Imperial International Film Festival, Lima, Perú. May 18, 2020.
  5. Best Short Documentary, Bridges International Film Festival of Peloponnese. January 29, 2020.
  6. The Georgio Voyatsis Special Jury Award, Symi International Film Festival, Greece. August 15, 2019.
  7. Best Documentary, Grecanica International Film Festival, Calabria, Italy. May 5, 2019.
  8. Best Documentary for December 2018, Festigious Los Angeles Film Competition. 
  9. Best Documentary (under 40 mins) for December 2018, Eurasia International Film Festival, Moscow.
  10. Finalist, Long Story Shorts, International Film Fest, Bucharest. January 2020.
  11. ​Finalist, Changing Face International Film Festival, Sydney, Australia. Nov. 15, 2019.
  12. Finalist, Oniros Film Awards (100 best reviewed festivals 2018). May 31, 2019.
  13. Finalist for December 2018, The Monthly Film Festival, Glasgow, UK. 
  14. Semi-finalist, JellyFEST, biannual North Hollywood Film Festival. Aug. 1, 2019.
  15. Semi-finalist, Best Short Documentary, Utah Film Festival and Awards. March 4, 2019
  16. Semi-finalist, AXD Short Film Festival, Alexandroupolis, Greece. Sept. 28, 2020.
  17. ​Longlisted, 42nd International Short Film Festival, Drama, Greece. June 25, 2019.
  18. Official Selection, The Lift Off Sessions, UK​ 
  19. Official Selection, Dumbo Film Festival, Brooklyn, New York 
  20. Official Selection, South Eastern European Film Festival, Los Angeles
  21. Official Selection, London Greek Film Festival, UK 
  22. Official Selection, Moscow Shorts ISFF Awards 
  23. Official Selection, International Documentary Festival of Ierapetra, Crete 
  24. Official Selection, NYC Greek Film Festival 
  25. Official Selection, West Side Mountains Doc Fest, Epirus, Greece
  26. Official Selection, Chania Film Festival, Crete, Greece
  27. Official Selection, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Argentina
  28. Official Selection, Under the Stars International Film Festival, Bari, Italy
  29. Official Selection, Nafplio International Film Festival - Bridges, Greece
  30. Official Selection, Bucharest ShortCut CineFest, Romania
  31. Official Selection, Psarokokalo International Short Film Festival, Athens, Greece
  32. Official Selection, Southern Cone International Film Festival, Valparaiso, Argentina
  33. Official Selection, Beyond Borders Film Festival, Kastellorizo, Greece
  34. Official Selection, Los Angeles Greek Film Festival
  35. Official Selection, Toronto Independent Film Festival of Cift
  36. Official Selection, Byzanfest, Melbourne, Australia
Citation Information
"Blessings and Vows" (2018). Short documentary, directed, produced and written by Katerina Zacharia. © 2018 Katerina Zacharia, Athenoe productions
Creative Commons license
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CC_BY-NC-ND International License.