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The short film introduces the octogenarian caretaker of an 11th century church in southern Greece, who true to her vow for over 40 years, lit a candle daily.

© 2018 Katerina Zacharia, Athenoe productions

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



An octogenarian villager, Mrs. Metaxia Anaplioti, kept her vow for 49 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 as much as to the collective identity of the village by asserting the connection to the particular place, keeping alive customs of the village’s forebearers. This 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. The pastiche of various historical periods in the building of the church, and the diachronic preservation of the church across ten centuries sustains collective identity claims for the villagers. A sense of historical continuity is sustained by memory, belief, imagination and narrative.


  1. Best Short Documentary, 10th Bridges International Film Festival of Peloponnese. January 29, 2020.

  2. The Georgio Voyatsis Special Jury Award for Symi International Film Festival, Greece. August 15, 2019.

  3. Best Documentary, Grecanica International Film Festival, Calabria, Italy. May 5, 2019.

  4. Best Documentary for December 2018, Festigious Los Angeles Monthly Film Competition. 

  5. Best Documentary (under 40 min) for December 2018, Eurasia International Monthly Film Festival, Moscow.

  6. Finalist, Long Story Shorts, International Film Fest, Bucharest. January 2020.

  7. Finalist for Best Short Documentary for February 2019, CFIFF (Changing Face International Film Festival), Sydney, Australia. November 15, 2019.

  8. Finalist, Oniros Film Awards (100 best reviewed festivals 2018). May 31, 2019.

  9. Finalist for Best Short Documentary for December 2018, The Monthly Film Festival, Glasgow, UK. 

  10. Semi-finalist, JellyFEST, biannual North Hollywood Film Festival, Aug. 1, 2019.

  11. Semi-finalist, Best Short Documentary, Utah Film Festival and Awards. March 4, 2019.

  12. Official Selection, The Lift Off Sessions, UK

  13. Official Selection, Dumbo Film Festival, Brooklyn, New York

  14. Official Selection, South Eastern European Film Festival, Los Angeles

  15. Official Selection, London Greek Film Festival, UK

  16. Official Selection, Moscow Shorts ISFF Awards

  17. Official Selection, International Documentary Festival of Ierapetra, Crete

  18. Official Selection, NYC Greek Film Festival

  19. Official Selection, West Side Mountains Doc Fest, Epirus, Greece

  20. Official Selection, Chania Film Festival, Crete, Greece

  21. Official Selection, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Argentina

  22. Official Selection, Under the Stars International Film Festival, Bari, Italy

  23. Official Selection, Nafplio International Film Festival - Bridges, Greece

  24. Official Selection, Bucharest ShortCut CineFest, Romania

  25. Longlisted, 42nd International Short Film Festival, Drama, Greece. May 6, 2019.


 Dedicated to the memory of Metaxia Anaplioti (1939-2018)


Director, Producer, Writer: Katerina Zacharia

Executive Producer: Sharon E. J. Gerstel

Assitant Director, Cinematographer, Editor: Claire M. Andreae

Music Composer: Mladen Milicevic

Color Correction: Huan Manton 

Sound-Mixing: Brandon Cudequest 

Post-Production Assistant: Kelly Sarri

Duration: 14:54 mins



© 2018 by Katerina Zacharia.

Site and Media manager: Kelly Sarri.

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