Greek film and television director Nikos Koundouros at the age of 90

Greek film and television director Nikos Koundouros passed away on Wednesday, at the age of 90. Koundouros had been admitted to hospital with respiratory complaints in recent weeks.

Born in Athens in December 1926, to a family originally hailing from Crete, Koundouros was counted among the most notable modern Greek directors, while his 1956 film “The Ogre of Athens” is considered by many to be the best Greek film of that decade.

He represented Greek cinema at a number of foreign film festivals in the 50s and 60s, winning the the Silver Bear for his film “Young Aprodites” in the 13th Berlin film festival, as well as top prize in the Thessaloniki Film Festival, in 1963. His work has been repeatedly broadcast on British and French television and there are copies of his films in many important film museums around the world.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said prolific filmmaker Nikos Koundouros who passed away on Wednesday was one of the founders of modern Greek cinema and a proud man. “We bid him farewell with respect,” he added in a tweet.

Thessaloniki’s International Film Festival hailed on Wednesday the life and work of Nikos Koundouros, saying he leaves behind an extensive body of work.

“The Thessaloniki International Film Festival and its people bid farewell to Nikos Koundouros, the friend and great cinematographer. A great chapter in Greek cinema is closing. We will miss his nobility, courage, his exuberant personality,” the festival said.

Koundouros leaves behind an extensive body of work which was much loved, the festival said: The inimitable “The Ogre of Athens”, the “Magic City”, the “River”, “Young Aphrodites” and many more which expressed Greek reality and the passion which characterized the director.