History of Oxbelly

Oxbelly was created in 2015 by the founder of Faliro House, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos, and started as a family-inclusive event, inviting filmmakers and industry professionals from all over the world to Costa Navarino, Greece, for a series of screenings, masterclasses, workshops and seminars.

From 2016 to 2018, Oxbelly hosted the Faliro House | Sundance Institute Mediterranean Screenwriters Workshop, created in partnership with the Sundance Institute and filmmaker Athina Rachel Tsangari, with the aim to support first and second-feature filmmakers from the Mediterranean region.

Following the workshop’s successful 3-year run, Oxbelly launched its Screenwriters and Directors Labs in 2019, based on the same principles, expanding its outreach to include countries from around the world. The Oxbelly Screenwriters and Directors Labs – held every summer in the coastal area of Costa Navarino, Greece – allow first and second feature filmmakers to further develop their projects, with guidance from established filmmakers and under the artistic direction of Athina Rachel Tsangari.

Over a period of seven years, Oxbelly has directly supported 62 projects by 87 filmmakers and screenwriters across the world, connecting them with 40 renowned industry professionals who offered their expertise and worked on their projects as Creative Advisors.

Oxbelly is the overlap
between hospitality
and storytelling

In the core of Oxbelly’s spirit lies this indispensable link between storytelling and hospitality.

“Oxbelly” – “Voidokoilia” in Greek – is named after one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, located in Messinia, Greece, which is also believed to be the ancient port of Homer’s “sandy Pylos”.

According to Homer’s Odyssey, that is where Ulysses’ son, Telemachus, accompanied by the goddess Athena “in mortal guise”, landed at night seeking an audience with King Nestor of Pylos, in order to ask him about his father’s fate. The Wise King, who was holding a feast on the beach with his sons, gave the strangers his best food and wine, and only after they were fed and rested did he ask them who they were, and what the purpose of their visit was.

That is the first written account of hospitality in the western world, and it is in Homer’s Odyssey, the cradle of western storytelling.

True to the spirit of its namesake, Oxbelly aims to create a safe, inclusive, generous and hospitable community of international storytellers, where professionals from the creative industries can connect, exchange ideas, learn and play, and broaden their artistic horizons.

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