Interview // Metro Greece

Interview with Kelly Fanarioti (Metro Greece)

The Traditions and customs of a Cycladic Greek wedding filmed with Thanasis Protatos's unique style , received a very positive critic by the jury of Accolade Competition in California USA.
On March 25th , the documentary "the Journey" , that presents a traditional Greek wedding  in Serifos island and focuses on characters and storytelling , received the Award of Excellence among hundreds of participants around the world.

Thanasis Protatos's unique storytelling abilities proved once more that the love for creation and artistic expression can truly overcome any obstacle , even in times of "crisis" , and get international recognition.

The filmmaker talks to MetroGreece about his award winning , about modern Greek cinema and distribution of short films and documentary films.

How did you get inspired to document a Cycldean wedding? Did tradition and customs of this region had anything to do with that process?

Documentary films always fascinated me as a filmmaker. As John Grierson once said "it's the artistic representation of reality". This is exactly that interests me when I find myself behind the lens shooting a real event like a wedding.

Without interference and alterations. I focus on the story and characters as they unfold before me capturing the true essence of the moment.
So when I met Sofia and Sotiri for the first time and talked about their story I truly excited!

I then explained to them how I work and what I had in mind and it was their turn to get excited too!
And like that our journey to Serifos island began. A journey that ended up with the creation of this film.
I would like to point out that every story that incorporates traditional elements captures my interest immediately. Whether I find myself in Cyclades , Epirus or Crete what I often look for is tradition , people's characters and real unique stories.

In Serifos's case what really drew my attention was the traditional way which the wedding was held , it is something that depicts all the beauty and character of the Greek islands!
It is a celebration that lasts for several days and everybody on the island takes part. It was an unforgettable experience in a blessed place and I don't thing of a better way to show this story than the way we did it through this documentary film.

You recently received the Award of Excellence in the international Accolade Competition. Did you expect that or were you surprised?

The Accolade is an international video competition held in California , USA. It is a prestigious constitution with participants from all over the world (over 5000).
Judgment is done under very strict standards , so I can't say that I was expecting to win an award. This would be selfish of me!
The truth is that from the moment I heard the couple talking about their story I knew that this was going to be a very interesting film. Judging by the results I can say that the judging committee had the same view!

Was I surprised? Definitely. Surprised and happy because in the Accolade history it is not often for a wedding documentary to win such an award!

During the last years it seems there is a flourish of new Greek Directors. Many of them receive international recognition. Are you optimistic about the future of Greek cinema?

What happens during the last few years in Greece is for me a great thing. There is an explosion of creativity in every aspect of creative expression , whether it's cinema , music , photography etc.

The independent scene of filmmakers for instance  , who I am part of, shows exceptional hand writing. There are young directors out there that work really hard with any means possible getting noticed and recognized internationally.

Take "Dogtooth" for example. It was nominated for an Oscar!

For me the need for expression overcomes any obstacle (social , economical etc) and creates miracles! So not only am I optimistic about the future but I can't really wait to see what it has to offer! I am really excited!

What is the better way for a short film or documentary film to reach its audience and not be left locked in drawers and hard drives?;

Based on experience I would say that the most valuable assets one should posses  in order to make his/hers dreams come true are faith and determination.

Faith , because if you trully believe in what you do , if you love it , made it your own , then you will make others believe it too. Determination because it's a process that seems like a marathon rather than sprint. It takes small steps and a lot of work.
But he who is determined to move forward despite the difficulties will be the one to make it in the end.

Today we live in a modern age where the internet has gained enormous power and you can see how it affects the film industry too. Nowadays , an independent filmmaker can communicate with a larger audience using the internet bypassing many of the older methods of production and distribution that often weren't fair and just.

But none of the above will work if you don't have faith in what you do and have the determination to back it up to the end!

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Thank you for your support! Remember the winner will be announced on this page March 25th , 2019.

Ευχαριστούμε θερμά για την συμμετοχή! Θυμηθείτε το αποτέλεσμα της κλήρωσης σε αυτή εδώ την σελίδα στις 25 Μαρτίου 2019.