The UnLost Homeland

Constantinople has always reigned in my heart. Ever since I first saw it when I was 8 years old.

Something magical connects me to this place and the pogrom of September 1955 always shocked me, piqued my curiosity.
Not because there have been no other pogroms in humanity but because it took place in peacetime and in post-war Europe.

My first involvement with the subject was in my university degree with Professor Giallouridis. When I suggested the subject he looked at me meaningfully and said: “We will have to swim In difficult waters but let’s do it”
And that’s where the study started, the collection of data, the pieces of the puzzle that were missing.

How is it possible for a human mind to conceive of something so satanic?

After so many years in the world of moving images, I felt like the Duty knocked on my artistic door.
The story had to be heard. People’s stories.

And It all started in November 2017, the first interview was that of Ioannis Stoupakis.

A lot has happened since then. A so called “coup d’ etat”, dozens of difficulties, insurmountable obstacles, the coronavirus but not for a moment did we think to give up. Our duty has been, for the whole world, to learn about the Greeks of Constantinople.

And if we succeed in this, we may then say that we have fulfilled our duty to the Nation and have helped restored the historical truth.


“The UnLost Homeland” follows the story of 12 Greeks from Constantinople who lived through the Istanbul pogrom of 1955 in Turkey.

It is notorious in modern history as the only pogrom of such magnitude to have taken place during peacetime. The camera lens together with the presenter transports us to the stories of all the refugees who were forced to leave their country as well as of one Turk, philosopher, writer and University Professor Cengiz Aktar who is in self-exile. These are the stories of everyday people who were brutally uprooted. 

How did Turkey manage to eradicate all these minorities? What truly happened in these genocides that have been so masterfully silenced?

Who were the Greeks of Istanbul really? How did they continue the Byzantine legacy? How did they manage to keep intact their language, their religion and their identity for 500 years after the fall of Constantinople? 

How did they interact with  the other minorities (Armenians / Jews) of the city? Where were they on the night of the pogrom? What was their education, their relationship with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, their everyday life, their cuisine? 

The story of this elite society unfolds through these rare interviews. 

Utilising fast-paced montage, and innovative animated text on screen, the viewer is transported to an imaginary table, where everyone is sitting together without knowing each other, answering and complementing each other. In the end. It feels as if everybody is somehow related to one another. Through common memories and  mutual pain these people are united by a unique and universal bond.

One of these Greeks returns home after 46 years with his grandson. Is his house still there? How does it feel to return to his birthplace?

What is really left? Is this the end? 

Because in the end history is not just the cold facts; it is comprised of the stories and trials of the people who wrote history.

Crew Credits

Creative Director, Producer, Presenter: Eftychia Fragou

Original Score: Evanthia Reboutsika

Editor – Post Production Supervisor: Christina Vamvaka

Motion designers: Giorgos Eleftheroglou, Froso Papadimitriou

DOP – Camera: Stamos Birsim, Yorgos Demir, George Chinas

Colour Correction: Ioannis Kotoulas

Sound design & mixing: George Simatos @ Paraktio studio

Music Recording – mixing: Stathis Skouropoulos

Additional filmings – Camera: Ioannis Kotoulas, Theofanis Gkountinakis

Archive Research: Eftychia Fragou, Christina Vamvaka

Poster Designer: Dimitris Mitsianis

Hand drawn maps: Rodrigo Pires

Hand drawn titles: Joe Furlong

Greek subtitling: Stefanos Psaromiligas – TXR

English subtitling: Nathan Protopapas – TXR

Location Manager: Kosta Puskuloglu

Transcripts: Ariadni Sarantari


Giannis Demirtzoglou, Emilios Eden, +Anastasia Eden , Stavros Kaloumenos, Eleni Nioti, Giannis Ntokmetzioglou, Panagiotis Pantelidis, Marina Papaconstantinou, Andonis Parizianos, +Thomas Poulas, Konstantinos Portokalidis, Vassilis Sidiropoulos, +Ioannis Stoupakis, Nikolas Tsironis, Cengiz Aktar, and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and New Rome, Bartholomew

Festivals and awards

Stockholm, SwedenBalkan New Film FestivalAward winner – Special Prize
Vancouver, CanadaVancouver Independent Film FestivalFinalist 
Tokyo, JapanTokyo Lift-Off Film FestivalOfficial Selection 
Los Angeles, USALos Angeles Greek Film FestivalAudience Award Best Documentary Film 
Paris, FranceParis Play Festival Finalist 
San Francisco, USASan Francisco Greek Film FestivalOfficial Selection 
Montreal, CanadaMontreal Independent Film Festival Official Selection 
Amsterdam, NetherlandNew Vision International Film AwardsOfficial Selection
Calcutta, India Cult Critic Movie AwardsAward winner 
Rome, Italy Rome Independent Prisma Awards Finalist
Rome, ItalyRome International Movie AwardsAward Winner 
Best Feature Documentary Best First time Director  Best Original Score Best Editing  Best Poster

SwedenSweden Film AwardsWinner – Best First Documentary
London, Great BritainFalcon International Film FestivalAward Winner 
London, Great BritainLondon Greek Film FestivalHonorable Mention 
Vienna, AustriaVienna Indie Short film Festival Semi Finalist 
Toronto, Canada Toronto International Women Film Festival Official Selection 
Thessaloniki, GreeceThessaloniki Documentary Festival Official Selection 
Cannes, FranceCannes Indies Cinema Awards Award Winner – Best Composer 
Los Angeles, USA LA Independent Film Channel Festival Official Selection 
Madrid, Spain Madrid Arthouse Film FestivalSemi Finalist 
Tokyo, Japan Tokyo Shorts Film Festival Nominee 
Hong Kong Hong Kong Indie Film FestivalSemi Finalist 
New York, USANew York International Women Festival Award Winner- Best producer 
Peloponnese, GreeceBridges International Film Festival Award Winner (Best female director award and Audience Feature Film award)
Ierapetra, Crete, GreeceInternational Documentary Festival of Ierapetra Audience Award Best Documentary Film 
Patmos, GreecePatmos Cinema FestivalOfficial Selection
Los Angeles, USA LA IndiesAward Winner- Best Director 
Perast, Montenegro Forteca International Film Festival Official Selection 
Toronto, CanadaGreek International Film Festival of Toronto Official Selection 
Toronto, Canada International Migration & Enviromental Film FestivalHonorable Mention 
Rosanna, Australia ByzanFest Nominee for Best Documentary, Best Cinematography, Best Director and Best Film
Nigeria Adamawa Film Festival Semi-Finalist 
Athens, Greece Athens International Monthly Film Festival Best Documentary Award 
Nicosia, CyprusCyprus International Film Festival Award Winner
Halkida, Greece Greek Documentary Festival- Docfest Official Selection 
London, UK London Lift-Off Film Festival Official Selection 
Nazareth, Israel Near Nazareth Festival Finalist
London, UKLift-off Global Network Finalist 
Kampala, UgandaPearl International Film Festival Nominee for Best International Movie 

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