Private Project


A Cage Can Never Be a Home

Young Dimitris, on the verge of manhood yet very much a child, has romanticized his soon-to-be-released from prison father to mythic proportions. But when his father’s true nature is on display, Dimitris' longings for a real family are suddenly in danger. Now, Dimitris must fight to grasp the reality of his dreams in time to escape the violence.

    Eleni's Olives, Short Film (2005), Lullaby, Short Film (2009)
    Eleni's Olives, Lullaby (short films)
  • MONICA NICOLAIDOU, Filmblades Films
    Fish N' Chips, Impressions of a Drowned Man, Conveyor Belt, Joy and Sorrow of the Body
    Co Producer
    Adults in the Room, Smuggling Hendrix, A Pure Place
    Key Cast
    PARK, Octavio is Dead, Free Subject
    Key Cast
    Still River, Little England, The Last Note
    Key Cast
    "NIK "
    PARK, The Distance Between Heaven and Us
    Happy Birthday, Small Crime
    Co Writer / Script Consultant
    The Wooden Camera
    Adults in the Room, Tetarti 04:45, J.A.C.E
  • Costas Labropoulos
    Afterlov, Madona f64, Sad Girl Weekend
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Coming of Age
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 35 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 4, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    640,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Modern Greek (1453-)
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, ARRI Alexa Mini
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • 62nd Thessaloniki International Film Festival
    November 16, 2021
    World Premier
    Special Jury Youth Award - Official Selection "Meet the Neighbors'
  • Cyprus Film Days International Film Festival
    Limassol & Nicosia
    April 8, 2022
    Cyprus Premiere
    Best Cypriot Cinema, Best Director, Special Merit of Actor Dimitris Kitsos
  • Hellenic Film Academy
    June 8, 2022
    Nominated for Three Categories: Newcomer, Best Supporting Actor, Best Coproduciton Film. Awarded Best Co-production Film
Distribution Information
    Country: France
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - YIANNA AMERICANOU

Yianna Americanou received her MA in Film and Television Production from the University of Bristol, UK in 2000 and her BA (with High Honors) in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Experimental Filmmaking from the University of Iowa, USA in 1996 under the guidance of the experimental filmmaker Leighton Pierce (currently the Dean of the School of Film/Video at CalArts). She was the Head of MEDIA (Creative Europe Programme) for over ten years but her true passion for filmmaking and directing force her to make challenging decisions in following her dreams. Her short films have been screened at many important International Film Festivals such as Rotterdam International Film Festival, Oberhausen International Short Film Festival and has received prestigious awards from Hamburg IFF, Drama IFF, and Cyprus International Short Film Festival.

Her short film titled Lullaby received the prestigious award Tonia Marketaki for Best Directing in Drama International Short Film Festival in 2009 while it was taken by STOP International in Geneva and Anti Human Trafficking Organizations in Cyprus in order to promote anti-trafficking legislations throughout the island and awareness through various screenings and discussions while it was screened in all major military camps in Cyprus.

Yianna’s debut feature film, .dog has received funding for Script Development and Production from the Cyprus Cinema Advisory Committee, ERT, SEE Cinema Network and the Greek Film Centre, additionally she is working on the script development of her second feature film The Only Thing Remained Is the Name.

She is a member of the Cyprus Directors Union, member of the European Women’s Audiovisual Network and President of the Committee of the International Motion Film Festival, Cyprus. She has acted as a member of the Cinema Classification Committee (Press and Information Office of Cyprus) and as a member of the Cinema Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

A Male Mythology Drama seen through the Female Gaze

This is a story inspired during the three years I spent as a volunteer in a hostel for young socially deprived teenage boys run by the Welfare Services of Cyprus where I used my cinema skills as means of emotional expression. Many of these boys were either asylum seekers, boys with no families, with drug addict parents or in prison.

I lived with those boys for once a week for three years, and during our extensive talks, I got to know them and respect them and valued, even more, the meaning of belonging into a family. These were good boys, descent boys who were trying their best to stay off drugs, prostitution, and stealing. Some manage better, others less. But they all felt the same that if they had their families, things might have been different for them.

My protagonist is Dimitris, a teenage boy who has been living in this hostel for about ten years. Fotis, his father, is released from jail after spending 10 years for drug trafficking. This is the moment when Dimitris' dream is about to come true. Dimitris leaps at this chance of living with his father unaware of the complications and violence he will face from a man whom he has never really known and who is a criminal at heart.

The film has tough and emotional scenes where the audience is drawn, not only visually but narratively, into the story. The film begins simply and directly as we only see the surface of things through Dimitris' point of view.

As the story progresses, it opens up and becomes more complex and interwoven with the lives of the supporting characters, the breath of the camera decisions increase, from extreme close-ups to extreme long shots without any cuts allowing in this way each of the characters to become more isolated, more alone but at the same time giving them the flexibility to move freely, improvising feelings and reactions. Dimitris is a young boy on a journey and we are along to experience the sights and sounds in much the same way.

My camera movement and directing style stand as a strong ‘female gaze’ witnessing the protagonist’s struggles and coming of age - journey. It is not a coincidence the absence of women in this film, the female characters used here are intended to remain as silhouettes, because in real life if these boys had their mothers or strong female figures they would probably be living with them and not in the Hostel.

The lens searches for light, the same way these boys are searching for hope, always trying to invade the image whether it be from the seaside sun, town lantern, car lights, or flashlight so that the light itself is a character, even the lack of light in many scenes influences the camera just as it influences Dimitris searching for his hunting dog in the woods. In the darkness, the camera huddles close to my subjects, afraid of what it may find just out of frame. As the characters explore their environment and relationships, the camera dances along, often handheld and tight frame.

Further, I use the natural beauty of the port of Larnaca in the summer, as well as the dry landscape in villages around Larnaca. Even though the colours of this island are dry and golden, this film has a much darker look, shifting colours based on the emotional state of the main character, the same way the summer weather changes on a Mediterranean island. This development, from simplicity to a progressing richer stylistic approach, is reflected in the framing of the picture, the unique Cyprus lighting in the summertime, the use of colour, and the movement of the camera which in most cases is handheld, giving the audience a raw feel.

The audience may not know clearly from the start where the story is going but the camera can hardly wait to transport both characters and audience to the final destination; the coming of age of Dimitris. When his father betrays him and forces him to steal from his foster family, Dimitris realises this is not the life he wants; by freeing his father’s ‘imprisoned’ dogs he frees himself from a family he never really belonged to.