Distance Downlove

the little palace of aoria


In the mountains of  Crete, locals decide to bring an isolated village to life. With determined efforts, solidarity and self – organization, they transform an abandoned village into a model place to live, respecting traditional architecture and the environment. The locals and their stories will lead us into the revival of the village of Ethia




Ethia’s story is intertwined with the harshness of the surrounding peaks, the Asterousia mountains. Maria Loulaki, introduces us to the good old days of the village and the subsequent, urbanisation and abandonment. A civil engineer, Yannis Androulakis, had the inspiring idea of rehabilitating the village. His plan was initially met with considerable disbelief, but despite their initial concerns and considerable reluctance, the locals came on board. The Association for the Restoration of Ethia was founded. Private archive footage from the 1990’s combined with local stories revealing the intense work and emotions of the initial restorations. Basic infrastructure such as the water and sewage systems and paving the dirt road were paid for and undertaken by the people themselves. Some of the money for construction came from surprisingly innovative sources, including funerals! Trees were planted and house rebuilt, respecting the natural environment and traditional architecture. Today, the village is alive again: groups of locals enjoy the mountains and celebrate traditional feasts for the first time in 30 years.


Vassilis Panagiotakopoulos was born in 1975. He studied Imaging at IEK – AKMI
(Private Institution of Vocational Training) in Athens, Greece and has been working in the areas of cinema, television, and advertising since 1997.
He has directed films and series for Greek state and private television.
In 2013 he directed and produced the 24min documentary “The little palace of Aoria”.
In addition, he has worked as a 1st assistant director in several feature and short films,
as well as in more than 200 Greek and International television commercials
shot in Greece,Thailand, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Egypt, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania.


Directed & Produced by Vassilis Panagiotakopoulos
Co produced by Horsefly productions, Save frag, Playground
Associate producer & International Sales : Eleni Chandrinou
Editor : Kyriakos Stylianopoulos
Director of photography : Alexis Stavropoulos
Sound engineer : Dinos Kittou
Original Music : Carte Postale
Co producers : Yorgos Tsourgiannis, Kyriakos Stylianopoulos
Assistant producer :  Despoina Sifniadou
Archive footage :  Nikolaos Mathioudakis
Assistant Sound engineer : Andreas Kittou
Sound design & Sound mix : Giannis Giannakopoulos
Color grading : Manos Chamilakis
Online – DCP mastering : Sakis Bouzanis
Sound studio : Tone studio
Image laboratories : 235


Giannis Androulakis
Maria Loulaki
Stelios Katsaprakakis
Eirini Koutentaki
Giorgos Saridakis
Nikos Mathioudakis
Zaharias Kalentakis