First Films First


THE RIVER / Greece)


Born in Athens. He studied Sociology at the University of Crete and History of Cinema (MA, University of Crete). His short, mid-length and documentary films True Blue (2016), Democracy: The Way of the Cross (2013), A Silent Sea (2012), Seeders\’ Seed (2011), On the Butcher\’s Bench (2006), and The Long Hall (2005)were selected for numerous European film festivals and awarded in Greece.


The long Motorway crosses the city from one side to the other. It oats like a river, connecting two poles, two dierent worlds: the modern world of the airport and the malls with the isolated, working class settlements.

Makis, comes from the modern world.

Maria lives in a forgotten world.

What he calls “progress” is a threat to her.

A car accident brings them closer.

McNuggets even closer.


The River is an existential love story of two people, who struggle to nd themselves and their position in the world. A tragicomedy, about two dierent worlds, two “opponents” and their way to be one.

Makis’ world is a colorful, Americanized place of wealth and much waste, with typical road-movie spots: the big motorway, the big cars, the fast food diners, the huge parking lots. Makis, devoted on serving the common good, drives up and down the Motorway as a lonely knight.

On the other pole lies Maria‘s tiny and isolated world, a Mad Max-like community, that survives mostly from the modern world’s waste.

Both worlds seem as solid environments for the two characters to live in, as “a place to be”. But life is more chaotic. Just as like the carefree birds that around. Their unique and strong eyesight will warn them if something is wrong.  But birds cannot discriminate a very simple thing that stands in front of their eyes: the transparent sound barriers along the Motorway (the River).  

Makis and Maria will go on after their own crash, till they nd their way to be free.

Writers: Haris Raftogiannis, Nikos Leros
Producer: Eleni Kossyfidou (Blackbird Production)
Training and development programmes:
MFI Script Lab 2015 (Greece), Initiative Film 2015 (France), TIFF Crossroads 2016 (Greece), LAGFF IPDF  – special mention as best project 2016 (USA), Angers Premiers Plans 2016 & 2017 (France), Shortlisted for IFFR Cinemart 2017 (Netherlands), Funding: Greek Film Center 2017

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