Worn out uniform houses, a track field full of weeds, a swimming pool with dirty water and a fence surrounding the area.
Dimitris(17) has been living in the Olympic Village since after the 2004 Games, when housing was given away to working class families. Today, the once "state of the art" housing is a collection of semi-abandoned buildings. Dimitris’ mates are a gang of boys, Anna(24), a retired athlete, a herd of dogs that the boys mate for money. On a hot day Dimitris convinces Anna to drive to southern coastal Athens. 70s hotels, thermal baths and second-rate “cultural" events. Their visits become more frequent and briefly find themselves entangled in the lives of those tourists spending their holiday in Greece.
The summer ends. Dimitris returns to the half empty resort, and meets one tourist who is different from the others. The further away he gets from the Village, the closer he is to it.
Monika LenczewskaDirector of PhotographyDifret
Sofia ExarchouWriter - DirectorMesecina
Amanda LivanouProducerL, They Glow in the Dark
Yorgos MavropsaridisEditorDogtooth, The Lobster
Christos V. KonstantakopoulosExecutive ProducerBefore Midnight, Only Lovers Left Alive, Love is Strange, Attenberg, The Lobster
Penelope ValtiArt DirectorStrella, Xenia
Thomas Bo LarsenActorThe Hunt, Festen
Runtime:1 hour 39 minutes 8 seconds
Completion Date:January 10, 2016
Production Budget:640,000 USD
Country of Origin:Greece
Country of Filming:Greece
Language:English, Modern Greek (1453-)
Karlovy Vary Film FestivalKarlovy Vary, Czech Republic
July 6, 2015
work in progress
Jury Prize (in kind services, euro 10.000)
Writer – Director
Born in Athens in 1979, she has been working as an assistant director in commercials and feature films since 2004.
She directed her student film “Distance” in 2006 and award – winning “Mesecina” in 2009 She participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus 2011, and at the same time began directing commercials, working with the Greek National Opera and the Festival du Film Francophone of Greece.
At the same time she began writing her first feature “Park”, which has already won multiple international development awards (Crossroads CNC Development Prize , Thessaloniki 2012, Eurimages Development Award, Sarajevo 2013). Sofia and Park were selected both for the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab & Director’s Lab (January & June 2014).
•1997 – 2003 National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece
M.S. Diploma, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
•2001 – 2004 Stavrakos Film School, Greece, Diploma in Film Directing
•2005 – 2006 University of Toulouse - Le Mirail [UTM], France
Superior College of Audiovisual Arts
Research Master: Aesthetics, audiovisual communication & media.
•May – Aug 2011 Stella Adler Studio of Acting, New York
Summer Conservatory (Method Acting)
Filmography (as writer – director)
Park (2015). In post production
CNC development award, Isabel Fauvel development award, Crossroads co-production market, Thessaloniki Film Festival 2012. Eurimages development award, Synchro Vienna Post-Production Award, Cinelink, Sarajevo Film Festival 2013. Selected at the Sundance screenwriter’s lab, January 2014 and Sundance Director’s Lab In June 2014. Sundance Institute Grant, Onassis Foundation Grant.
30min, 35mm. Co-written with Dimitris Emmanouilidis
Awards: Best Movie Award from the Greek Association of Film Critics (PEKK Award), Greek Film Center Award, Honorable Mention – International Short Film Festival “La Noche de los Cortos”.
Nominated for PRIX GENEVE-EUROPE 2010 Award (competition category of Prix Europa 2010). Nominated for Best Short Film, Hellenic Film Academy. Uppsala International Short Film Festival (Sweden), International Festival of Audiovisual Programs (France), LA Greek Film Festival (USA), Libertas Film Festival (Croatia), Aye Aye International Film Festival (France), Festival of Mediterranean Short Film Tangier (Morocco), Cyprus International Film Festival (Cyprus), Istanbul International Short Film Festival (Turkey) etc
International VOD Platforms: MUBI , ARTE VOD
Purchase of broadcasting rights from ARTE France
Drama Short Film Festival (Greece), Huesca International Short Film Festival (Spain), Ankara Women’s Film Festival (Turkey), Naoussa International Film Festival (Greece), Alcine Festival de Cine de Alcala de Henares (Spain) etc
The story in Park revolves around Dimitris, a young teenager raised in a society of veiled decadence, now living its collapse. His transition to adult life is violently halted before it has even started.
Surrounded by a fence, without the means to go anywhere else, Dimitris’ everyday life in the Village consists of organized dog mating for money, twisted interpretations of athletic contests, sexual encounters with Anna and a part time job in a marble yard next to the neighboring National Road.
When he leaves the Village, he encounters the “small paradises” of the touristic coast of Athens. Repressed sexual desires in a holiday package, fabricated micro-communities surrounded by ancient Greek decorations, and the ever-present Greek blue sea.
The visual counterpoint of these two worlds and the multitude of characters inside and outside the Village compose a portrayal of modern decaying Greek reality, a feature of life in the western world.
Following my previous work, the central character of an adolescent in an environment that defines him comes back here in its wider social context. As such, the Olympic Village is pivotal in the story and works as a leading character in it. Eight years after the Olympic Games, the Village is there semi-destroyed, an ironic reminder of “The Beauty. The Grandeur. The Real Thing” (slogan of the Games), as well as the brutal fall that has succeeded it.
By choosing an intensely realistic approach, the camera stands in front of the characters, highlighting the detail in the moment, focusing on their interaction, feeling and motion.
What lies under the surface, what is left after the collapse, what lies where we think collapse has not yet arrived.