Takis Kanellopoulos was born on 26 October 1933 in Thessaloniki. He graduated from the American College “Anatolia” and started his carreer as a journalist, working for a short period of time at the newspaper Ellinikos Vorras. Years later he recalled that period as following: “Ever since I was a kid, I dreamt of being a journalist in the line of fire. I dreamt of being present at wars and revolts. I worked at a newspaper for a year. I was never given this opportunity. I gave up. I thought of becoming a film director.”
Later on, he moved to Athens to study film and subsequently he moved to Germany to continue his studies at Bavaria Studios in Munich. At a later time, he returned to Greece and worked for a year as a radio director at the Greek Radio Institution (Ε.Ι.R.).
He made his debut in 1960 when he presented the documentary Makedonikos Gamos / Macedonian Wedding at the First Week of Greek Cinema in Thessaloniki. The film impressed the audience and received the Best Short Film Award.
However, the real triumph came in 1962 when the first feature film Ouranos / Glory Sky was screened. The film receives the Best Cinematography Award at the Third Week of Greek Cinema in Thessaloniki and the following year it represents Greece in Cannes. Observer listed the film among the 10 best films of 1963 and Federico Fellini mentioned that the film was extraordinary. Film Critics and scholars listed Glory Sky among the best anti-war films at an international level.
In 1966 he continues with a masterpiece: Ekdromi / Excursion receives the Best Cinematography Award at the 7th Thessaloniki International Film Festival, as well as a Special Distinction for its contribution in raising the festival’s quality level. Italian newspaper Avanti wrote that with Ekdromi Kanellopoulos deservedly earned a place among the most modern directors of his times.
In 1968, he presented the equally extraordinary film Parenthesis, which won the Jury’s Best Art Film Award and the Film Critics’ Best Cinematography and Best Director Awards at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. The takes and shots in this film reveal once more his love for his city of birth.
Nevertheless, his next films are not that popular and weren’t received with the same entousiasm. In 1976, Memories of a Sunday was disapproved by audiences and critics alike. In 1978, he returns with Romantic Note and in 1980 he presents Sonia. Unfortunately, neither of them is appreciated by audiences.
Years later, he started making plans for his next film, under the provisional title Yesterday’s world (30 three-minute stories). The film was never made. He failed to receive the ten million drachmas (30.000 euros) grant he had requested from the Greek Film Center. Takis Kanellopoulos died on 21 September 1990, aged 57. On the day of his death, there was an announcement that the amount he had requested was approved.