Lonely Planet Writer

Epic new short film showcases changing metropolis of Athens

Greek photographer and filmmaker Alexandros Maragos has released a gorgeous homage to his native city of Athens. The short film, made up of some absolutely epic hyperlapse and timelapse footage, presents the city as a buzzing metropolis where old and new dramatically come together. “I’m proud to be an Athenian citizen,” Alexandros tells Lonely Planet, “and I’ve always wanted to create something for my city. Crisis fuels the arts, and over the last few years, Greeks have become extremely active and creative. I wanted to do my part and actively participate in supporting my city.”

For Alexandros, it was important to move away from tired stereotypes, and instead showcase the ways in which this dynamic city is constantly evolving. “Athens is changing through its architecture, culture and arts,” he says. “It has some new and stunning works of art, like the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, which was designed by Renzo Piano, and is the city’s new cultural landmark.”

Photographer presents Athens in a new light
The city is presented as dynamic and modern. Photo by: Alexandros Maragos

“What also defines the characteristics of a metropolis is its public space and urban environment,” he continues. “From the gorgeous neoclassical building of the Academy of Athens and the architectural trilogy of Panepistimiou Street, to the brand new SNFCC and National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens – despite the financial crisis – is growing and expanding in the right direction.”

Athens filmed from a height.
For shots like this, Alexandros climbed Athens’ highest buildings. Photo by: Alexandros Maragos

Alexandros spent an impressive 90 days shooting ‘City of Athens’. “It was quite exhausting because of the locations and techniques I used,” he says. “I wanted to capture Athens from its highest points, so the main shooting locations were the four mountains encircling the capital: Ymittos Mountain to the east, Parnitha to the north, Mount Penteli to the northeast and Aigaleo to the west. I took many shots from Lycabettus Hill in the very centre of the city, and I also used the rooftops of its highest buildings.” Find out more about the film here.

Greek filmmaker captures Athens in new short
Alexandros spent 90 days capturing footage for this beautiful film. Photo by: Alexandros Maragos