Yannis Smaragdis was born in 1946 at the village Gonies Maleviziou in Crete and grew up in the city of Herakleion. He studied Film Directing in Greece and in Paris. In 1972, he made his screen debut with the short film Two Τhree Τhings and gained awards in Greece and in the Film Festival of Montreal in Canada.A glorious moment for director Smaragdis was the screening of El Greco, a film that earned him eight state awards and proved to be a Greek box office record of 1.2 million tickets. El Greco also ranked in the first five winning films at the International Film Festivalof Toronto.In his mostly successful career including films, television series and documentaries, like Zero Cell, Alaloum,Homecoming Song and Hush, our Country is Sleeping,Ave Tassos Karatassos, Hadjimanuel, Thus Spake the City and other, the awarded Cavafy earned Smaragdis the impressive total of 50 official nominations in international film festivals and the title of director of blockbusters in Greece.Yannis Smaragdis is an honorary member of theDirectors Guild of America and a professor at the Mass Media Department of Panteion University. He has also worked as a screenwriting and film direction teacher at film schools in Greece. Moreover, Smaragdis has authored and published Poetic Geography in 1995,Cavafy-A literary form of the film script Cavafy in 1996 and the short story The Little Doe of Halandri Square in 2006.His latest film God Loves Caviar is an international prime cast production, honouring the memory of the 18th and 19th century national hero and benefactor of Greece and Russia Ioannis Varvakis. The film is another milestone in Smaragdis’s career, intended to create joining bridges between both countries’ tradition and culture.
El Greco Awards
State Awards for Best Feature Film 2007, Best Director, Best Photography, Best Score for Vangelis, Best Art Director, Best Editor, Best Sound Editor and Best Make-up Artist
The Audience Award and the Greek Union of Film and Television Technicians Award in the 48th Thessaloniki Film Festival
Best Actor Award to actor Juan Diego Botto in the 2008 International Film Festival of Cairo
The Goya Award to costume designer Lala Huete
Wisdom Award from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Delfi, Greece
The International Giuseppe Sciacca 2008 Award in Rome, Italy
The Euro-American Women’s Council’s Award in Santa Barbara, California.
The International Golden Artemis Award by the Euro-American Women’s Council
Honourable Distinction as the guest of honour of theMaremetraggio Film Festival in Trieste.