Critics choice IFFRRaindance Film Festival 2024 Best Documentary NomineeThessaloniki International Documentary FestivalDocs Against GravityWicked Queer Best Documentary Jury AwardZINEGOAK Official SelectionInssbruck Film FestivalXPOSED Queer Film Festival Berlin

Avant-Drag!

The Queens of Avant-Drag!The Queens of Avant-Drag!
Avant-Drag! Radical performers re-imagine Athens Logo
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"every scene is full of imagination and playfulness"
Sofia Topi, High on Films
"a MUST-SEE film"
Roger Walker-Dack, Queerguru 

Trailer

"a celebration of individual expression"
Victor Fraga, Dirty Movies
"a revolutionary documentary"
M.J. Jenner, International Cinephile Society
"a complex exploration of queer identity"
Dimitris Panagopoulos, EfSyn

SYNOPSIS

Avant-Drag! offers an exhilarating look at ten Athenian drag performers who deconstruct gender, nationalism, belonging, identity, while facing police brutality, transphobia and racism. As entertaining as it is thought-provoking, Avant-Drag! challenges societal norms and reshapes perceptions about LGBTQ+ culture by capturing the intimate lives of a tightly-knit group of drag performers, proving that being othered never felt so familiar.

"Unmissable"
Leo Bankersen (FIPRESCI), Filmkrant
"visionary... a cinematic journey like no other"
Martin Schlutt, Kaltblut
"Avant-Drag! transforms, empowers, protects"
Christina Kalogeropoulou, MoveIt magazine
"Profound and moving"
Charlie Kaufman
"a powerful documentary"
Dana Barbuto, Boston Movie News
"Welcome to a new Avant-Garde!"
Antoinetta Angelidi
"Unforgettable"
Daniel MacCannell, Raindance
"Histrionic, extra, and crucial to society"
Lucy Muñoz, Cut to the Take
"sheer exhilarating inventiveness"
Peter Keough, The Arts Fuse
"a cine-manifesto unprecedented for Greek cinema"
Yiannis Kantea-Papadopoulos (FIPRESCI), Athinorama
"subversive and iconoclastic"
Bo Wang, FilmForward Jury, TiDF26
"creative, weird and, above all, combative and highly political… outstanding"
Thomas Abeltshauser, Taz
"surprises, touches, disturbs, enchants"
Martin Fritz, 20er
"a sweet and rowdy documentary"
Brian Bowe, Headstuff

Film Context

Police brutality and homophobic violence against LGBTQ+ individuals in Greece is on the rise, as evidenced by the high-profile murders of drag performers and activists Zak Kostopoulos (Zackie Oh) and Anna Ivankova. Avant-Drag! is an homage to Zackie who was a personal friend and collaborator of the film’s creative team. 

The film captures the vibrancy of Athens’ underground drag scene and its role in pushing boundaries and expressing dissident identities. It goes beyond the mainstream representations of drag (and the Hollywoodian world of RuPaul) focusing on the more radical, explicitly political and raw performances.

Avant-Drag! is a love song to Athens; a city that can be as oppressive as it can be a refuge for art freaks and a hot-bed for creativity. The film examines the use of public space and street performance as acts of visibility and protest by the drag community — while also addressing the problem of gentrification that is increasingly a major challenge for underprivileged Athenians.

Avant-Drag! is influenced by the Greek “Weird Wave” cinema movement and adopts an avant-garde, hybrid cinematic language. It aims to be not just another ‘pride’ documentary of pensive talking heads but juxtaposes magical realism, political commentary and outrageous performances.

The film highlights issues of misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia in Greek society through the experiences of its diverse drag performer subjects. The film takes an intersectional approach that showcases different aspects of oppression in modern Greece — also showcasing the effects of more than a decade of austerity and extreme financial hardship.

"The best Greek film in this year’s TiDF"
Thodoris Dimitropoulos (FIPRESCI), News24/7
"touching, rousing, funny, deeply political"
Manolis Kranakis, Flix
"A gut punch to patriarchy and nationalism"
Rea Walldén
"Unconventional and original"
Alexandros Romanos Lizard (FIPRESCI), ERT
"Exquisite punk-poetic narration"
Nicholas Davies, IFFR
"a shelter from a hostile world, and a weapon to change it"
Dimitra Kyrillou, Antivirus
"audacious and daring"
K. Manika & L. Gerofotis, Exostis

Cast & CREW

Directed & Edited by
Fil ieropoulos

Produced by
FYTA / Fil Ieropoulos

Co-produced by
Frenel

Executive Producers
Sebastian Strakowicz, Spyros Patsouras (Sphoenix)

Texts by
Foivos Dousos

Featuring (in order of appearance)
Kangela Tromokratisch, Er Libido, Aurora Paola Morado, Parakatyanova, SerGay Parakatyanov, McMorait, Cotsos, Lala Kolopi, Veronique & Cruella Tromokratisch

Narrator
Marisha Triantafyllidou

Director of Photography
Mihalis Gkatzogias

Music
Lykourgos Porfyris

Assistant Directors
Christos Adrianopoulos & Spyros Patsouras (Sphoenix)

Assistant Camera
Angelos Charalambous, Nikos Manolis, Eleni Lazaridi, Nefeli Dakozoudi, Andreas Kleanthous, Christos Adrianopoulos

Sound Recordists
Giorgos Kravvaritis, Pantelis Pilavios, Christos Sakellariou

Props
Soni Papadopoulos

Nails
Tanda Lysa

Graphics
Petros Antoniou

Animations
Angelos Charalambous

Color
Dimitris Manoussiakis

Sound Mastering
GeorgieBoy

Artists Liaison
Erifyli Mikropoulou

Unit Stills
Alex Kat

Production Assistants
Gabriela Obiala, Soni Papadopoulos, Petros Antoniou, Katerina Koukoutsaki, Maritina Tselepi, Vasilis Papavarsamis, Nefeli Tsigkeli, Nikos Kostaras, Petros Touloudis, Alex Demetriou

Equipment by
Frenel Rental

Subtitles
Alex Demetriou

"provocative, anticonformist"
Ninos Fenek Mikelidis (FIPRESCI), Enet
"a precious film… it might be considered the Greek Paris Is Burning"
Andreas Kyrkos, Avgi
"it will inspire future generations"
Dominika Konopielko, Pelna Sala
"a cine-manifesto, full of creative audacity and political candor"
Ifigenia Kalantzi, Greek Association of Film Critics (FIPRESCI)
"a celebration of drag… festival highlight"
Tom Meek, Cambridge Day
"wholeheartedly recommended"
Editorial, Pronouns

Contact

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