Bio

Athena XenidouAthena Xenidou

An accomplished acting coach and award-winning director and producer in theatre, film and television with 18 years of experience in film and stage productions from inception to completion. Experience in teaching acting, directing and producing for film, tv and theatre.

Xenidou received her certification in Music Theory and Pianoforte from the Royal Schools of Music of London, and studied English Literature and Music at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.
She received her Bachelors in Film Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Masters in International Relations and the Role of the Media from the University of Nicosia.
During her studies in the USA, she produced, wrote and directed 3 short films, Dead End, (1996) The Made Guy (1997) with the University of California Santa Barbara and Tripwire (1999) with the American Film Institute.

Her first feature film, Unwitnessed Memories (2000) won the Gold Special Jury Award at the Houston International Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Film Festival in Cyprus.
Unwitnessed Memories was an Official Selection and received Special Mentions at festivals around the world, such as the Int’l Human Rights Film Festival in Prague, the Int’l Festival of Visual Arts in Hungary, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival in Greece, Viewpoint Int’l Documentary Film Festival in Belgium and the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and was an International Emmy Awards semi-finalist.

In 2002, Xenidou accepted an offer from Fremantle SA and MEGA TV in Athens, Greece. She directed two seasons of Survivor, two seasons of The Farm and The Celebrity Farm, popular shows with the highest ratings in Greek television history.

Xenidou was a member of the jury for the International Emmy Awards from 2001 to 2006. In 2004 she was selected by the European Union and the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture, to represent Cypriot filmmakers at the Cannes Film Festival.

She is the co-founder of XMAS Productions, a company aiming at producing quality entertainment for local and international distribution. Xenidou produced and directed commercials, music videos, plays such as The Vagina Monologues (3-city tour in Cyprus) and After Miss Julie (5-city tour in Cyprus and a successful run in Greece) and The Good Body.
XMAS Productions is now in development of Socrates & Soc, a feature 3D animated film which Xenidou wrote with Barry Cook (director of Walt Disney’s Mulan.)
Her collaboration with the National Theatre of Cyprus –directing The Shadow Box in 2008 – resulted in being nominated for 3 awards and receiving Best Male Actor Award at the National Theatre Awards.

She has directed plays such as, The Vagina Monologues (2009), Touch and Go (2010), I Hate Hamlet (2011), After Miss Julie (2012) and The Good Body (2013) and The Stone (2013) at the National Theatre of Cyprus.

Her passion for teaching started early on. While still a student, she was selected as a Teaching Assistant for Prof. Daniel Stewart in the Acting/Directing for Film Class at Univeristy of California Santa Barbara. Today, she teaches Acting for Film and Theatre, using the Stella Adler method and Meisner technique. She works as an acting coach for professional actors and prepares students for auditions and their entry to drama schools. Xenidou teaches drama for all ages at Fine Arts Schools, such as the Motion Art Studio, Cube and Red Stage Theatre and heads Private Masterclass in Drama and Acting Showcases.
Xenidou is a Guest Lecturer for Drama, Documentary Filmmaking and Theatre Production at the European University and University of Cyprus.

She is deeply committed to charity work, producing and directing several theatrical productions with proceeds donated to womens’ and childrens’ charities. (The Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family, Action for Equality, Support and Antiracism, The Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies, Cyprus Family Planning Association among others)