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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 40 years, lit a candle daily.

Blessings and Vows poster.jpg

© 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 40 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. Keeping alive customs of the village forebearers by preserving the church across ten centuries sustains collective identity claims for the villagers. The 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. A sense of historical continuity is sustained as much by the pastiche of various historical periods in the building of the church, as by village memory, belief, imagination and narrative. 


  1. Best Short FIlm, Byzanfest, Melbourne, Australia, November 6, 2022.

  2. Best Director for Short film, Byzanfest, Melbourne, Australia, November 6, 2022.

  3. Best Short Documentary, Byzanfest, Melbourne, Australia, November 6, 2022.

  4. Best Short Documentary, Inca Imperial International Film Festival, Lima, Perú. May 18, 2020.

  5. Best Short Documentary, Bridges International Film Festival of Peloponnese. January 29, 2020.

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

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

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

  9. Best Documentary (under 40 mins) for December 2018, Eurasia International Film Festival, Moscow.

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

  11. Finalist, Changing Face International Film Festival, Sydney, Australia. Nov. 15, 2019.

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

  13. Finalist for December 2018, The Monthly Film Festival, Glasgow, UK. 

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

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

  16. Semi-finalist, AXD Short Film Festival, Alexandroupolis, Greece. Sept. 28, 2020.

  17. Longlisted, 42nd International Short Film Festival, Drama, Greece. June 25, 2019.

  18. Official Selection, The Lift Off Sessions, UK​ 

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

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

  21. Official Selection, London Greek Film Festival, UK 

  22. Official Selection, Moscow Shorts ISFF Awards 

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

  24. Official Selection, NYC Greek Film Festival 

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

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

  27. Official Selection, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Argentina

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

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

  30. Official Selection, Bucharest ShortCut CineFest, Romania

  31. Official Selection, Psarokokalo International Short Film Festival, Athens, Greece

  32. Official Selection, Southern Cone International Film Festival, Valparaiso, Argentina

  33. Official Selection, Beyond Borders Film Festival, Kastellorizo, Greece

  34. Official Selection, Los Angeles Greek Film Festival

  35. Official Selection, Toronto Independent Film Festival of Cift

  36. Official Selection, Byzanfest, Melbourne, Australia



 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


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