GDG GDD Cinema


(1915-2006) Director

Maria Plyta, born on November 26, 1915, in Thessaloniki, was a Greek film director, novelist, playwright and journalist. After the German Occupation, she published her two novels in 1944 and 1946.

In 1947 she started working in film as an art director for “Marinos Kontaras”, a film directed by George Tzavellas. In 1950, she shot her first feature-length film, “The Engagement”, based on the ethographic novel of Dimitrios Bogris. She was the first female director at a time when men directors held the reins of the film industry, and Greece was in a predicament in terms of dealing with poverty and the consequences of war.

Given the difficult situation within the Greek film industry of the 50s and 60s, it’s impressive how Plyta managed to shoot seventeen films and write the screenplay and edit two more (“Jealousy” in 1963 & “Between two Women” in 1967).

Plyta is one of the most important figures of post-war cinematography as, along with other filmmakers, she defined the cinematographic language of the period. She became famous mainly for melodramas in the 1960s, such as “The Shoe-Shine Boy”, “Uphill”, and “The Poor Merchant”, which were repeatedly broadcasted on Greek TV.

After shooting her last film, “Unknown Woman of the Night”, in 1970, she worked as a journalist for newspapers and magazines, writing lengthy social commentary articles.

While talking about her, Costas Ferris said: “Maria Plyta chose a people’s cinematography, and it was what the Greek audience needed at the time. And she didn’t choose the easy way. She didn’t look for cheap outlets regarding her filmmaking.”

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