The inaugural edition of the Evia Film Project, a brand-new, green-orientated industry initiative organised by the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, unspooled in three coastal towns – Limni, Agia Gianna and Edipsos – from 15-19 June. Here, we present three interesting projects that were pitched at the gathering:
Falling Into Silence – György Mór Kárpáti (Hungary)
This fiction feature, currently in development, is being produced by Eszter Kozma and Viktória Petrányi for Budapest-based Proton Cinema. The movie is based on the real life of Otto Herman (1835-1914), a prominent Hungarian nature scientist recognised as a pioneer of Hungarian natural history research, who slowly lost his sense of hearing. Seeking a path from solitude to acknowledgement, he ultimately becomes part of nature and comes to terms with his own disability. We follow his life from his thirties to his mid-fifties, as well as the important bonds he develops with two women. The film’s artistic approach has been described by the team as “based on silent observation, with nature-documentary elements and shot in original habitats”.
Sea of Glass – Alexis Alexiou (Greece)
Budgeted at around €800,000 and in receipt of development support from the European Union’s Creative Europe – MEDIA programme plus backing from the Greek Film Centre and national broadcaster ERT, this drama is being produced by Iraklis Mavroeidis for Blacktree Productions. Set to enter production on Evia next spring, the plot follows two women stuck in the middle of nowhere, in a run-down, off-season seaside resort (Lefkandi, part of an area which was destroyed by a major fire two years ago), who unexpectedly come together to confront their past, family stereotypes and the closed-minded provincial society. The feature has been described by the team as “a history of violence and how it passes from men into the Earth”, and about “how patriarchy is rooted in society”. During the presentation, the team showed a clip shot during the location-scouting process, and added that additional backing is expected to come from Slovenian, Bulgarian and French partners.
Tirrenica – Rosario Minervini (Italy)
Produced by Claudio Esposito and Fabio Paolucci for The Piranesi Experience, Tirrenica depicts the parallel and hidden life of the Salerno-Reggio Calabria highway. The work-in-progress documentary aims to uncover this concealed world, found far from the gaze of those who speed along this road every day. The project was previously selected for Forward 2022, a producers’ workshop organised by the Trentino Film Commission. Speaking to Cineuropa about his debut feature and his participation in the event on Evia, Minervini said: “Tirrenica is born of a necessity – that of telling the story of Southern Italy without any prejudice, by looking at the people who inhabit it, who, every day, try to make ends meet and build something. For decades, my land has been a place of migration and abandonment, where the only link with the rest of the world has been an incomplete road that did not create connections but, on the contrary, solitude and a lack of opportunities. Documentarians can’t do much; they can only depict these people’s lives, and that’s the aim of this project: to give some dignity to the weakest, to those who live hidden at the edges of the highway.
“Evia has been an exceptional place for meetings and discoveries. During these few festival days, the dialogue with international producers and distributors proved that there’s a great deal of interest around this story, and around our country,” Minervini summed up.