In Dimitri’s high school, Vassilis and his friends, a gang of bullies, terrorize him. When he learns that it’s his turn to say the morning prayer in front of the entire school, Vassilis becomes the only thing he can think about. But, what’s going to happen when the time comes and he stands in front of the whole school and mainly in front of him?
Produced by: Kiriakos Chatzimichailidis (T-ShOrt), Thanasis Neofotistos (NF-Films)
5 questions with PROSEFHI: Greek School Prayer director, Thanasis Neofotistos at the half-way mark.
Sunday, July 30th, 2017
1Hi Thanasis! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, this film is inspired by a true story. Was this a story that happened to you personally? What was it about this event that made you want to explore it in a film? Every filmmaker in order to be truthful and successful deals, in his art, with things that he really feels strongly about. PROSEFHI: Greek School Prayer (Fiction-20'), was my most personal film till now, my thesis, and the film that helped me introduce myself to the international film industry. Experiences that I had in high school were the inspiration for this film... And also, it's great to be part of you film festival as well! Thank you!
2You co-wrote this script with Grigoris Skarakis and Katerina Piperia. What was that process like and why did you choose to all collaborate on this? I strongly believe in team work in filmmaking. My first diploma was in Architecture and I have experienced the power of brainstorming and co-creating. I know how to filter all the ideas and make the most out of them. Katerina was an expert in narration, while Grigoris is a Psychiatrist and very helpful when it comes to character development.
3Your film really captures well all the insecurities kids have in high school. Some people act out their insecurities by acting like a bully, while others retreat inward. What was your high school experience like and why did you want to set your film in that setting? I chose this setting for PROSEFHI to take place because this is the main stage on which this happens. And I always find really interesting to dramatically and personally explore how such experiences can affect a developing, and as such vulnerable, person.
4All of the students (Christos Karavevas, Stelios Karambinas and others) all do a great job in this film. What techniques did you use in order to get such natural performances? The protagonists from my short film PROSEFHI, were students from public Art High Schools in Greece. So they already had experiences in acting. Nevertheless, they were only 14 and 16 years old then and naturally they needed guidance. First of all we became friends (and we still are), we talked and analyzed the goals and feelings of the heroes and then they acted, through these information, as spontaneously as possible. At the end, the characters became like them and not the opposite.
5What's next? Now I am shooting my next short film PATISION AVENUE, a 15min one long take shot in the centre of Athens about the roles of a single mother-actress and I am also in the development stage of my first feature film PETER AND THE WOLF, a dark coming of age folk tale, (Part of Media, First Film First, MFI, etc), which as a coming of age film has many similarities with PROSEFHI. We'll be in touch! ;)
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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