First Films First

THINGS TO DO IN THE LOCKDOWN: Thanasis Neofotistos

After amazing success with his short PATISION AVENUE (Venice competition, 3 awards at Clermont-Ferrand), Goethe-Institut\’s FIRST FILMS FIRST alum Thanasis Neofotistos is preparing his feature debut PETER AND THE WOLF. He shares with us which classic Greek movie was his main inspiration, reveals how quarantine has become his guilty pleasure and offers tips on what to watch.

  • What films do you recommend to watch during self-isolation? 

Watch shorts films! There are many festivals out there and many filmmakers who are offering older and newer short films online for free these days! I have watched dozens, and some are pretty good, that you couldn’t find easily before.

I suggest watching Greek shorts on Thessaloniki Film Festival’s channel (every 3 days new shorts online) and My Darling Quarantine Short Film Festival.

  • What classic film from your country would you recommend to everyone to see? 

RECONSTRUCTION by Theo Angelopoulos (Anaparastasi, 1970). The story is taking place in a remote village in Epirus, where a woman murders her husband, who had just returned from Germany, where he had gone to work, with the help of her lover. The crime is never shown on screen. The main characters (judge, policemen, journalists), which represent the bureaucracy, try to reconstruct and understand a news item that escapes them. Still very contemporary, the film investigates this passion-crime, and everyone wants to close the case in a hurry, blaming a refugee that just left the village. The beautiful images and the poetic film language of Angelopoulos, but also the suspense and the narration of the story, make this film one of the best Greek films in history. 

RECONSTRUCTION was Angelopoulos’ first feature film and I am currently working on my debut feature film. Apart from that, it is a film I drew inspiration from: I used it in the moodboard of my debut feature film project PETER AND THE WOLF (aka THE BOY WITH THE LIGHT-BLUE EYES). It’s been shot near the area I was born in Epirus, the area where also my film will be shot. And as explained in the aesthetics of my project: “My film is like the film Reconstruction (Angelopoulos, 1970) meets Black Swan (Aronofsky, 2010).” I think all this speaks for itself for how close I feel to this film!


  • How are you dealing with the current pandemic situation? What are your thoughts?

I understand that many people have suffered through this period and I feel very sad about it. For me, although, it’s been an opportunity for self-searching, to rethink what I have done and how I have been until now. It’s a guilty pleasure, but I am enjoying the quarantine. I am thinking that I probably needed this pause in a world moving unnaturally fast. It also helped me to construct a better and, who imagined, more relaxed plan for the future. The most important is that it allowed me to fantasize of a different perspective for the days to come with a better balance between doing and being.

  • How is PETER AND THE WOLF developing these days?

I am in the financing stage! The project has been financed by the Greek Film Center and Media, and currently, we are going for a Greek-French-Serbian co-production. Hopefully, in a year (fingers crossed) I will be shooting (if the virus allows it)! I am dying to make this story as soon as possible!

More about PETER AND THE WOLF (aka THE BOY WITH THE LIGHT-BLUE EYES) you can read here.


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