Michalis Kakogiannis or Michael Cacoyannis (Greek: Μιχάλης Κακογιάννης; 11 June 1922 – 25 July 2011)[1] was a prominent Greek Cypriot filmmaker from Cyprus, best known for his 1964 film Zorba the Greek. He directed the 1983 Broadway revival of the musical based on the film. Much of his work was rooted in classical texts, especially those of the Greek tragedian Euripides. He was nominated for an Academy Award five times, a record for any Greek Cypriot film artist. He received Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film nominations for Zorba the Greek, and two nominations in the Foreign Language Film category for Electra and Iphigenia.


Cacoyannis was born on 11 June, 1922 in Limassol, Cyprus under the name Μιχάλης Κακογιάννης (Mikhalis Kakogiannis). In 1939, he was sent by his father, Sir Panayotis Loizou Cacoyannis, to London to become a lawyer. However, after producing Greek-language programs for the BBC World Service during World War II,[2] Kakogiannis found an interest in film instead. He ended up at the Old Vic school, and enjoyed a brief stage career there under the name "Michael Yannis" before he began working on films. After having trouble finding a directing job in the British film industry, Cacoyannis moved to Greece, and in 1953 he made his first film, Windfall in Athens.[2] He was offered the chance to direct Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando in the film Reflections in a Golden Eye, but declined.

Cacoyannis had worked on many occasions with the Greek actress Irene Papas and especially Elli Lambeti with whom he was in love. In 1971, he teamed up once more with Papas for the film The Trojan Women, starring Hollywood legend Katharine Hepburn. He was a close friend of Darryl F. Zanuck and George Cukor.

Cacoyannis died on 25 July, 2011 in Athens, Greece.


The Cherry Orchard (1999): director, screenwriter, producer
Pano kato ke plagios (Up, Down and Sideways) (1993): director, screenwriter, producer
Glykeia patrida (Sweet Country) (1986): director, screenwriter, producer
Iphigenia (1977): director, screenwriter
Attilas '74 (1975): director, producer
The Trojan Women (1971): director, screenwriter, producer
Otan ta psaria vgikan sti steria (The Day the Fish Came Out) (1967): director, screenwriter, producer
Alexis Zorbas (Zorba the Greek) (1964): director, screenwriter, producer
Electra (1962): director, screenwriter, producer
Il Relitto (The Wastrel) (1961): director, screenwriter
Eroica (Our Last Spring) (1960): director, screenwriter, producer
To telefteo psemma (A Matter of Dignity) (1957): director, screenwriter, producer
To koritsi me ta mavra (The Girl in Black) (1956): director, screenwriter
Stella (1955): director, screenwriter, producer
Kyriakatiko xypnima (Windfall in Athens) (1954): director, screenwriter

Awards and nominations

Cannes Film Festival

1954 : Golden Palm for "Windfall in Athens" — nominated
1955 : Golden Palm for "Stella" — nominated
1956 : Golden Palm for "A Girl in Black" — nominated
1957 : Golden Palm for "A Matter of Dignity" — nominated
1961 : Golden Palm for "The Wastrel" — nominated
1962 : Golden Palm for "Elektra" — nominated[3]
1962 : Grand Jury Prize for "Elektra" — won[3]
1962 : Technical Award for "Elektra" — won[3]
1977 : Golden Palm for "Iphigenia" — nominated

Berlin International Film Festival

1960 : Golden Bear for "Our Last Spring" — nominated[4]
1963 : David O. Selznick Award for "Elektra" — won

Academy Award (Oscar)

1963 : Best Foreign Language Film for "Elektra" — nominated[5]
1964 : Best Picture for "Zorba the Greek" — nominated
1964 : Best Director for "Zorba the Greek" — nominated
1964 : Best Adapted Screenplay for "Zorba the Greek" — nominated
1977 : Best Foreign Language Film for "Iphigenia" — nominated

Golden Globe

1956 : Best Foreign Language Film for "Stella" — won
1957 : Best Foreign Language Film for "A Girl in Black" — won
1965 : Best Director for "Zorba the Greek — nominated

British Academy Award (BAFTA)

1966 : Best Film for "Zorba the Greek" — nominated
1966 : UN Award for "Zorba the Greek" — nominated

New York Film Critics

1964 : Best Film for "Zorba the Greek" — nominated
1964 : Best Director for "Zorba the Greek" — nominated
1964 : Best Screenplay for "Zorba the Greek" — nominated

David di Donatello Award

1964 : Special Plaque for "Zorba the Greek" — won

Thessaloniki Film Festival

1960 : Special Contribution Award — won
1961 : Best Director for "Our Last Spring" — won
1962 : Best Film for "Elektra" — won
1962 : Best Director for "Elektra" — won
1977 : Best Film for "Iphigenia" — won
1999 : Union of Film and Television Technicians Award for "The Cherry Orchard" — won

Moscow Film Festival

1956 : Silver Medal for "A Girl in Black" — Won

Edinburgh Film Festival

1954 : Diploma of Merit for "Windfall in Athens" — won
1962 : Diploma of Merit for "Elektra" — won

Montreal World Film Festival

1999 : Special Contribution Award — won

Jerusalem Film Festival

1999 : Lifetime Achievement Award — won

Cairo International Film Festival

2001 : Lifetime Achievement Award — won


^ Paul Vitello (July 25, 2011). "Michael Cacoyannis, Director of ‘Zorba the Greek,’ Dies at 90". The New York Times.
^ a b Erickson, Hal (2006). Allmovie Biography: Michael Cacoyannis
^ a b c "Festival de Cannes: Electra". Retrieved 2009-02-22.
^ " Awards for Our Last Spring". Retrieved 2010-01-16.
^ "The 35th Academy Awards (1963) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-11-01.

Ancient Greece

Science, Technology , Medicine , Warfare, , Biographies , Life , Cities/Places/Maps , Arts , Literature , Philosophy ,Olympics, Mythology , History , Images

Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire

Science, Technology, Arts, , Warfare , Literature, Biographies, Icons, History

Modern Greece

Cities, Islands, Regions, Fauna/Flora ,Biographies , History , Warfare, Science/Technology, Literature, Music , Arts , Film/Actors , Sport , Fashion



Greek-Library - Scientific Library

Retrieved from ""
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License





Hellenica World