GEORGIA BRIGGS is the author of ICON: a Novel, and co-author of Seven Holy Women: Conversations with Saints and Friends, a women's devotional soon to be released by Ancient Faith Publishing in the United States.
She lives with her family near Birmingham, Alabama, where she is a member of St. Symeon Orthodox church. For the past few years Georgia has been studying iconography under the tutelage of Romanian iconographers Alin and Smaranda Trifa, and loves to see what other Orthodox artists are creating.
NEKTARIA KARANTZI'S voice has been identified mainly with the Byzantine sacred art and has been internationally acclaimed as one of the most influential female voices in Byzantine Chant and Sacred Music. Having made a remarkable impact around the world with her concerts and discography in Byzantine music, her performances are purely devoted to Byzantine Chant, the Mediterranean primeval musical tradition and the religious music in Greek, Italian, Romanian, Arabic, Russian, Aramaic (the language of Jesus Christ) etc. The Greek vocalist of Sacred orthodox music, Nektaria Karantzi has also been invited to run master classes from some of the most renowned educational and musical centers in Europe, such as the Liszt Academy in Hungary, the Sorbonne University in France, the University of Oviedo in Spain etc.
She is a unique Greek female performer, actively chanting as a solo chanter in church since she was 9 and, with a discography in Byzantine music since the age of 14. In her first recordings, she accompanied Saint Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite, a contemporary saint, and with his encouragement, she commenced her studies in Byzantine Music.
Nektaria Karantzi is also well-known in Greek music stage through her collaboration with the greatest teacher of the Greek Traditional Music Chronis Aidonides. An important moment of her career is her collaboration with the internationally acclaimed pianist, composer, conductor and ECM recording artist Vassilis Tsabropoulos, in an artistic combination inspired by byzantine hymns joining West and East and toured in Europe several times.
She is the President of the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra of Athens (http://www.msoath.com), which is under the aegis of the Archbishop of Athens and all of Greece, Ieronymos II.
In recent years, many women and young girls have approached Byzantine music, inspired by the work of Nektaria Karantzi. Having as a primary purpose of cultivating and promoting the female art of chanting, in 2013 she founded the: "Women in Byzantine Music Worldwide Association” (http://www.womeninbyzantinemusic.com), the world’s first official and largest membership platform for women in Byzantine Ecclesiastical Music. She also founded and is the director of the women's byzantine choir "Psaltries Choir" with members from all over Greece and abroad.
She is a professor of byzantine music in Scuola Romana di Musica and the artistic director or the "Chronis Aidonidis Music School". She has been honored for her contribution to Byzantine Music with several significant awards. Nektaria has studied Law, undertook postgraduates in Penal Law, Criminology, Ecclesiastical Law and she is also a Doctor of Laws.
CRAIG DIRIENZO is a video producer living in Akron, Ohio. He has over 8 years of professional experience in video production, animation, and motion graphics for a variety of clients including professional sports, global corporate companies, non-profit organizations, and more. Both independently and in his free time, he pushes to create meaningful, spiritual, Christian content, exploring filmmaking that deepens the viewer's faith, grows them stronger in Christ, or introduces/reconnects them to the Lord.
Fr. Evmenios Vasilopoulos
MONJA JOVIC was born in 1977 in Zagreb. She had to leave Croatia in 1991 due to war. After finishing Classical Languages at The Philological High School in Belgrade, she studied Comparative Literature at the University of Belgrade and holds a PhD thesis on a subject Utopia and Dystopia in Serbian prose during the second half of the 20th century.
She works as editor for the Serbian language in one of the largest textbook publishing houses in Serbia and is author of five books that have been in regular use in primary schools. She has edited dozens of textbook editions for elementary and high schools, manuals for teachers, as well as publications about philosophy of education and applied pedagogy. She has published professional articles in scientific periodicals and participated in alternative educational projects.
She is the screenwriter and one of the producers of the feature film, “The Healing” (2014), which won several awards at international and national festivals. She is one of the initiators of the project Oral History of civilian suffering in the NDH – Legacy. In addition to the video archive, which contains more than 450 hours of testimonies, the result of the project is a feature length documentary film “Legacy”.
FR. EVMENIOS VASILOPOULOS is the Archdiocesan Vicar of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia District of Northcote Victoria. He is also responsible for the project management of the new drug rehabilitation centre in Melbourne, and sits on the board of St John’s College and St Basil’s Aged Care, Victoria.
His focus is on building and growing the church’s many charitable functions, such as the Community Relief Program, as well as youth ministry with the recent announcement of a new Youth Committee. Fr Evmenios is also a film lover.
EFTHIMIOS HATZIS is a Greek American filmmaker raised and bred in The Bronx.
He attended the University of Pennsylvania to become an Astrophysics scientist, but instead took film classes and shifted direction to a Visual Communications Bachelor of Arts Degree. After a screening of Tarkovsky’s STALKER…this changed everything.
Efthimios pursued filmmaking with a scholarship at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate film program with prominent independent auteur directors as instructors. There he obtained a Master of Fine Arts with excellence in film directing. His film work received a Golden Eagle Award, Mobil Award and a Paramount Pictures grant.
While location-scouting in New York for a timeless stone village to shoot a film, he felt discouraged and left for Greece to search. There he obtained funding from the Government's Greek Film Center and shot on a remote island. Thereafter, he decided to stay.
Despite loving New York, Efthimios realised it was like being replanted from a pot into a plot of land. The spiritual and creative stimuli in Greece became a crucial progressional element in his creative process. Efthimios found his film work to be inspired by the light, ideology, life, color, timeless structures and hidden beauty found there.
He lives in Attica with his wife, Vassiliki, and their 8 children.