Nicholas Sfakianakis


Alumnus Profiled: Nicholas Sfakianakis
Graduated: DEREE ‘96
Lives in: Athens, Greece
Current Position: Co-Founder, Athens Ethnographic Film Festival, Film Services Coordinator, High way Productions

"Today’s choices will shape tomorrow’s happiness."

NICHOLAS SFAKIANAKIS was born in Athens, Greece, and graduated from DEREE in 1996. He started working as a broker in the Greek financial sector before he decided to change careers. In 2003 he took Anthropology and Sociology courses at DEREE and completed a Master of Arts in Visual Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His student film ‘Traditional Water Management’ has been screened at several documentary film festivals. Since 2007 he lives in Athens and works as a location manager for Greek TVCs and as a service coordinator and line producer for foreign films that are being filmed in Greece. He is one of the two founders of the Athens Ethnographic Film Festival (  His last ethnographic film ‘Taste and Memory’ was shot in collaboration with the University of the Peloponnese and will be screened at this year’s Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival in Edinburgh. In his spare time music, travelling and sharing moments with good friends are always his preferred choices.


Q.: What are three enduring lessons you learned during your studies at DEREE?

  • Work hard
  • Find your goal
  • Follow your dreams

Q.: Describe DEREE in three words.

Encouraging, Stimulating, Open-Minded

Q.: What is one of your favorite DEREE memories?

An essay I wrote for Dr. Spiros Gangas’ ‘Films and Their Societies’ class. It was about the movie ‘Paris Texas’ by Wim Wenders. That was the moment I knew I had to work for the film industry.

Q.: What do you miss most from your days at DEREE?

Going to class, reading at the library, playing with the soccer team and having passionate conversations with friends and professors at the cafeteria. All these in a day, almost every day!

Q.: Where was your favorite spot on campus?

The lawn just before entering the DEREE building complex – such a great place to enjoy alone or to share with friends in both good and bad times!

Q.: Who was your favorite professor and why?

Ms. Papatheodorou, History of Art. She loved the Arts and the Arts loved her.

Q.: Have you kept in touch with any of your classmates?

Yes, a few good friends have stayed with me throughout the years. And many others, with whom, every time we meet, we travel through time back to our student years.

Q.: How did DEREE help prepare you for your professional life?

It was the right place to search within myself, to explore and make plans for the future, while getting the knowledge and strength to achieve them.

Q.: What's the greatest piece of advice you've ever received?

Follow your dreams because unfulfilled dreams take their revenge at the end.

Q.: What (or who) inspires you?

Natural beauty. 

Q.: Your motto in life?

Today’s choices will shape tomorrow’s happiness.

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