Oscars: Greece Selects 'When Tomatoes Met Wagner' for International Feature Film Category

Rise and Shine World Sales
'When Tomatoes Met Wagner'

Marianna Economou's documentary relates the story of a near-deserted Greek village rescued by organic tomatoes — and Wagner.

Greece has submitted Marianna Economou's fabulous tale of a dying Greek village rescued from oblivion by an eccentric business idea, When Tomatoes Met Wagner, for best international feature category in the 92nd Academy Awards.

The story of the remote village of Elias, where economic crisis and the loss of its young people seems to spell the end of an ancient way of life, When Tomatoes Met Wagner has been billed as a marvelous tonic for contemporary global despair.

When farmer Christos decides to do something about a village with only 33 inhabitants, no shops, no school or even a priest, his idea turns the place around. Turning his land over to the cultivation of organic tomatoes — and blasting them with Wagner through loudspeakers — may sound like an odd way out for a village of mostly elderly peasant farmers. But soon the organic tomatoes, pasteurized and processed locally, are finding their way into health food shops the world over and turning around the fortunes of the village.

An eccentric and heartening story, When Tomatoes Met Wagner, premiered at this year's Berlinale in the Culinary Cinema program. Produced by Anemon Productions and Stefi and Lynx Productions, world sales for the 72-minute film are being sold internationally by Berlin's Rise and Shine World Sales.

Greece has submitted films to the Academy Awards since the 1950s and been nominated five times, most recently for Yorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth, but has never won an Oscar.

The 92nd Academy Awards take place on February 9, 2020.