Infatuated with cinema from an early age, Tonia is now proud to call herself a self-diagnosed obsessive compulsive filmmaker.
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.
Filmography
“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
  • Producer (6 Credits)
    I can hear my footsteps2020
    Experimental, Short
    I don’t like the wind, I like the sun2020
    Documentary, Short
    Perhaps I am already dead2020
    Experimental, Short
    Pause2018
    Feature
    Lullaby of the butterfly2014
    Short
    DEAD END2013
    Short
  • Writer (6 Credits)
    I can hear my footsteps2020
    Experimental, Short
    I don’t like the wind, I like the sun2020
    Documentary, Short
    Perhaps I am already dead2020
    Experimental, Short
    Pause2018
    Feature
    Lullaby of the butterfly2014
    Short
    DEAD END2013
    Short
  • Director (6 Credits)
    I can hear my footsteps2020
    Experimental, Short
    I don’t like the wind, I like the sun2020
    Documentary, Short
    Perhaps I am already dead2020
    Experimental, Short
    Pause2018
    Feature
    Lullaby of the butterfly2014
    Short
    DEAD END2013
    Short
Special Mention for Directing
Pause
Oruro Film Festival
Oruro
2020
Emerging Filmmakers Best film Award
Pause
Hellas FilmBox
Berlin
2019
BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR AWARD
Pause
UNDO Divergent Film Awards
Boston
2019
Official selection - Balkan Competition
Pause
Sofia International Film Festival
Sofia
2019
Official selection (main competition)
Pause
Stockholm International Film Festival
Stockholm
2018
International section - Official Selection
Pause
Bergen International Film Festival
Bergen
2018
Official selection (East of the West competition)
Pause
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Karlovy Vary
2018
Main competition
Pause
Cairo International Film Festival
Cairo
2018
FIPRESCI award for Best film and ERT National Television award
Pause
Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Thessaloniki
2018
Main Competition / Best Film award by the Union of Film Critics of Greece
Pause
Panorama of European Cinema
Athens
2018
Official selection (main competition)
Pause
Leeds International Film Festival
Leeds
2018
Best Film Award, Best Cinematography Award (National Competition)
Lullaby of the butterfly
The International short film festival of Cyprus
Limassol
2014
Italian Premiere
DEAD END
Rome Independent Film Festival
Rome, Italy
2014
Silver Dionysos
DEAD END
Short Film Festival in Drama
Drama, Greece
2013
Nomination for Golden Pardino
DEAD END
Locarno Film Festival
Locarno, Switzerland
2013
Best Director
DEAD END
Athens international Film Festival 'Opening Nights'
Athens, Greece
2013
Michael Cacoyiannis Directing Award & Best Sound design
DEAD END
The International Short film festival of Cyprus
Limassol, Cyprus
2013
Cinematic Achievement Award
DEAD END
Thessalloniki Intenational Short Film Festival
Thessalloniki, Greece
2013
Official selection (main competition)
Pause
International Festival of Independent Cinema Off Camera
Krakow
Best Fiction Feature
Pause
Beirut International Woman’s film Festival
Beirut
Best Feature film - 2nd prize
Pause
London Greek Film Festival
London
Best Fiction Feature Award
Pause
Los Angeles Greek film festival
Los Angeles
Special Mention EYE on TIFF
Pause
Tirana International Film Festival
Tirana
Best Feature film Award and Best Actress Awards
Pause
SEE film festival
Berlin
College
University of Bedfordshire
BA (HONS) Media Arts
19941997
College
Oxford Brookes University
DipHe Hotel and Catering Management
19911994
High School
The English School, Nicosia, Cyprus
19841991
Birth Date
June 12
Birth City
Famagusta
Current City
Nicosia
Hometown
Nicosia
Height
168cm
Gender
Female
Ethnicity
Cyprus
Eye Color
Green
Zodiac Sign
Gemini
Children
One
Infatuated with cinema from an early age, Tonia is now proud to call herself a self-diagnosed obsessive compulsive filmmaker.