Stavros Tsiolis in the 58th TIFF

Celebrated Greek director Stavros Tsiolis presented his latest film Women who Passed my Way that had its premiere in the 58th Thessaloniki International Film Festival on Saturday November 11, 2017.

Just before the beginning of the screening, a surprise video made by TIFF’s crew was screened. Its title was “Traveling with Tsiolis”, and it was a stitching of sequences from the director’s previous films, where the main characters wander around the Greek countryside, in constant move. After the screening of Women who Passed my Way, a discussion with Stavros Tsiolis, actors Errikos Litsis, Konstantinos Tzoumas and Takis Chrysikakos, as well as the film’s producer Christos Konstantakopoulos (Faliro House Productions) took place.

Making a brief introduction, TIFF’s director Orestis Andreadakis compared Stavros Tsiolis to a star which makes our lives more beautiful and appears and disappears on a regular basis. “Sixty-one years back a star appeared in Greek cinema. Which, after a while, chose to disappear. Until it came back to speak about people’s humble dreams and how they struggle to make them come true. This star almost disappeared again, but luckily it is still with us”, he said. Consequently, Stavros Tsiolis, after the audience’s warm and prolonged applaud, thanked everyone who contributed in the film and said he would meet the audience after screening for the discussion. “If you liked the film we will discuss it, if not, it’s OK, we’ll leave the room and save Orestis Andreadakis some time”, said the Greek director in his familiar humorous tone.

After the screening, and after being cheered for a second time, Stavros Tsiolis thanked all actors who took part in the film, Faliro House Productions and Christos Konstantakopoulos personally, while he specially mentioned the producer, Rania Psimenou, saying that she did not say no once to him, and she was always willing to take the hard way in every issue that would occur. “Our film, as you saw, is a short feature, its duration is just 84 minutes, we had more stories to tell, but we’ll put them in the next one”, added Stavros Tsiolis.

Asked whether Women who Passed my Way is the final part of an informal “female” trilogy in his filmography, Tsiolis said that in his two previous films (Please, Women, Don’t Cry and Let the Women Wait) women are somehow absent and stay in the background. On the contrary, this time they come in the foreground. “My friend and collaborator Vassos Georgas said that this particular film is a road movie unfolding not in the streets, but on women. This is how we ended up in the motto “a still road movie” which is written in the film’s poster”, Stavros Tsiolis added.

Consequently, asked about the fact that sequences of his previous films appear in Women who Passed my Way, he said that this particular choice was encouraged by the film’s editor (and Yorgos Lanthimos’ cooperator) Yorgos Mavropsaridis. “He once mentioned that the small duration of the film could be a problem, so we added some sequences from previous films, which I love very much, in certain moments of the film where they could fit harmonically. I promise you that my next film, which I estimate will be completed in two years, will be longer, about two hours long”, he added.

Consequently, the film’s protagonists, Errikos Litsis, Konstantinos Tzoumas and Takis Chrysikakos, shared with the audience the experience of working with Stavros Tsiolis. “It was a great joy for me to accept Stavros Tsiolis’ invitation, whom I respect very deeply, to play a leading role in his new film. An additional joy was the presence of Konstantinos Tzoumas and Takis Chrysikakos, who were my idols when I was making my first steps in cinema, which as you know happened in quite ripe age”, said Errikos Litsis. Then came Konstantinos Tzoumas’ turn to speak; as he said, he knows Stavros Tsiolis for many years, and he has been a steady admirer of his work as a film director. “Both making a film with Stavros and simply associating with him are a real adventure. What I respect in his approach as a film director is the lack of manner. Even his wonderful screenplays are virtually in jeopardy in the time of shooting, since he very often asks the actors to forget everything they have memorized. Besides Stavros, I too had not participated in a film for a long time, and this project convinced me both because it was lean and barely time-consuming and because it had a witty freshness”, Konstantinos Tzoumas said.

Consequently, Takis Chrysikakos, speaking about his character in the film, noted that he found extremely interesting the fact that this particular hero acts out of something in between cruel interest and pure human interest, counting both on humor and emotion that he inspires. In his turn, Stavros Tsiolis talked about the procedure of finding money to make the film, as well as Faliro House Productions’ involment to the project. “We had started a crowdfunding campaign, but in spite young people’s mass participation with 5 or 10 euros each, we only managed to collect 8,000 euros out of the 60,000 of the initial target. Until one day, my partner Vassos Georgas encouraged me to call Christos Konstantakopoulos. At first I couldn’t reach him on the phone, and when I managed to talk to him, he willingly accepted to participate in the project, saying that he was moved. You should see how I was moved”, said Stavros Tsiolis. In his turn, Christos Konstantakopoulos only said that it is a great honor for him and his company to be a part of Stavros Tsiolis’ new film.

 

 

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