PETER AND THE WOLF / Greece
Thanasis Neofotistos is a film director, writer and architect from Athens. He isa Berlinale Talents 2016 alumnus. He initially studied architecture (M.A./DUTh) and afterwards continued by studying film directing (B.A./QMU-AMC) and acting (AKMI). One of his characteristic assets, scenography/art direction, is an influence from his studies. PROSEFHI: Greek School Prayer, was his dissertation and has already been selected by several important International Film Festivals (21st Encounters, 26th SaoPaulo, 23rd Raindance, 35th Munich, and 60 more IFF) and won the first prize (Golden Dionysus Award) at the 37th Drama ISFF, as well as other significant distinctions (Best Sound, Photography, Golden Odysseus, Nomination at GFA, etc). His documentary Pogoniskos won the Best Documentary Award at the 38th Drama ISFF. His next short film project, called Patision Avenue, has already participated in NisiMasa ESP2016. Over the last years, he has been working on matters concerning Greek public art schools. He is a member of the Greek Directors Guild (EES) & Film Directors/Producers Guild of Greece (ESPEK). He has already been 1st AD on two feature films, and now he is in the development stage of his first-debut feature film, which he envisions as a dark, coming-of-age, folktale, Peter and the Wolf; the project has already been selected, amongst other, at First Films First 2017, MFI 2016, and Sarajevo Script Station.
A mix of folktale, myth and a coming-of-age story, Peter and the Wolf tells the story of an ordinary teenager living in an isolated folk village, up on the Greek mountains. He will try to charm the most famous teenager of the village, in order to be part of his gang. To do that, he will break the most important rule, of this highly superstitious community, by entering into the forbidden unknown area that is also considered to be the boundaries of this place. With that experience, he will start believing that his coming-of-age, being sexually diverse, is a form of punishment for his disobedience. His wish, now, is for everything to return to the previous state; when he belonged to his family. So, Peter will have to make the ultimate choice, losing the one he loves, or losing a special part of himself.
Standard coming-of-age film about the stories and superstitions that shape our sense of reality as we go through adolescence; myths that define what is socially acceptable and what is not.
This film is an allegory-folktale, especially about the generation that grew up in golden bubbles, protected and at the same time restricted. Being myself from a village in Epirus, superstitions and fears are part of my life. 92% of Greek population is Greek’s ethnicity and 98% of the Greek’s religion is Christianity Orthodoxy. The homogeneity in my village, in religion and ethnicity, is 100%. People with diversities and foreigners were very easily stigmatized. Bullying and xenophobia is part of my culture.
As a child I grew up with myths, folktales and superstitions. I subconsciously carry those fears as an adult. Furthermore, fighting with my sexuality as a teenager, made my existential battle even harder.
This story takes place in a highly constructed folktale world, a typical village in Greece, which for us symbolizes at the same time the family-community and the society. Everything outside the boundaries is perceived to be threatening and for that forbidden. At the same time everything inside the boundaries is obsessively considered safe and pure. All these elements portray an almost delusional world, terrified from everything different, determined to defend the equilibrium they have built at all costs.
PETER, the main character of the film, is a child who does not comply with the rules set by the stories and superstitions of his world; myths that are, most of the times, either manipulative or dated.
And what is more threatening for such a world; I believe that’s love; love, of any kind, for me, is the only state of the mind that ‘normal’ and ‘right’ is dictated only by what yourself feel in your heart. And this world is terrified by that. Peter, not being ready to fully understand what’s happening, he will fight between his need to belong to this world and his urge to stay true to himself in order to become whole.
The film intends to examine the ways in which the dominant social, cultural and political myths form our sense of the “other”; and suggest that the notion of the “other” itself is manufactured by these myths.