Costa-Gavras’ death was announced by Greek culture minister Myrisini Zorba. The tweet was later confirmed to be a hoax. The message spread across the world, via the Associated Press, as apparent confirmation that Gavras had passed. The Associated Press’s Derek Gatopoulos tweeted that Gavras has spoken on Greek television and that he is alive and well.
Gavras is best known for his political classics as Z, the film that tackled the Greek dictatorship from 1967 to 1974. As well as Missing starring Jack Lemmon, a film about the US-backed Chilean dictatorship in the 1970s,
Zorba later said her Twitter account was a hoax created by Tommaso Debenedetti. According to a New Yorker feature, Debenedetti existed for ten years in the media between 2000 and 2010. His fake interviews with luminaries such as John Grisham, Desmond Tutu, Mikahil Gorbachev and the Dalai Lama were widely published in Italy as real. In March 2017, the Washington Post reported that Benedetti’s stories had been picked up by the New York Times and the Guardian.