Tonia is a member of the Hellenic and European Film Academies and the European Women's Audiovisual Network, Berlinale Talents alumna and co-artistic director of Cyprus Film Days International Festival, having also served as vice president of the Directors Guild of Cyprus.
After many years of successfully directing for television and theatre, Tonia dared fulfil her dream by pursuing her passion for cinema and become a filmmaker. She made her first short film, DEAD END (2013), which was officially selected in the prestigious category ‘A’ Locarno Film Festival for its World premiere, and then travelled to numerous festivals internationally, including Palm Springs Shortsfest, Encounters, Busan, Curta Cinema, Drama and Cork, and winning several awards for Best Director and Best Film. DEAD END is represented by SND Films (The Netherlands) and has been sold to Japan, China, USA, Belgium, Russia, France, Greece and Cyprus. Her second awarded short, LULLABY OF THE BUTTERFLY (2014), also competed in many international film festivals, including Sarajevo, Dresden, Drama and Encounters.
Her feature directorial debut PAUSE (2018), a Cyprus/Greece co-production, represented by Film Republic (UK), participated in Connecting Cottbus and Mannheim Meeting Place co-production markets in 2015 and in the Karlovy Vary Works-in-Progress in 2017. It has been officially selected in more than 60 international film festivals, including the FIAPF accredited 'A' list Karlovy Vary, Cairo, Stockholm, Sofia, Kitzbuhel, Sydney and Transilvania. PAUSE was selected in the EFP’s "Europe! voices of women in film" section at the Sydney Film Festival 2019, where ten films by Europe's most outstanding women directors were presented. It received rave reviews internationally, including the Hollywood Reporter and LA times, and was listed by Rotten Tomatoes as one of "20 most daring films of 2019”. PAUSE has received 12 awards including the FIPRESCI Prize for Best film by the International Federation of Film Critics at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival and it was also nominated for Best First-time Director and Best Actress at the Hellenic Film Academy Iris Awards 2019. Its screenplay is listed in the core collection of the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since August 2019. It has been released theatrically in USA and Europe, sold to many other territories including China and Hong Kong, while also streaming on Amazon Prime USA, HBO Europe and FILMIN Spain.
Tonia is now developing her second feature film, MAYA, which won a special mention at the Scriptwriters Guild of Greece 2018 awards and was developed through Sources2 scriptwriting workshop with funding from the Cyprus Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth. She is at the same time working on the script of another feature, NALA AND STELLA.
Apart from her own films, she has also produced various features and shorts. In 2020 she setup her own production company, Bark Like A Cat Films, with the aim to support her own directing projects as well as projects by fellow filmmakers who have been struggling to get their projects off the ground.
“Maya” | fiction/feature | drama/fantasy | (in development)
“Nala and Stella” | fiction/feature | drama | (in development)
“I can hear my footsteps” (2020) | 3 min. | Cyprus | experimental
“Perhaps I am already dead” (2020) | 3 min. | Cyprus | experimental
"I don't like the wind, I like the sun" (2020) | 30min | Cyprus | documentary
“Pause” (2018) | 96min | Cyprus/Greece | fiction/drama
“Lullaby of the Butterfly” (2014) | 20min | Cyprus | fiction/drama
“Dead End” (2013) | 15min | Cyprus | fiction/drama