Interview with Filmmaker Alex Giannoulis (LUCY)

Alex Giannoulis’ short film “Lucy” was the winner of “Best Overall Performances” at the August 2016 Family FEEDBACK Film Festival. It’s a terrific short filled with many layers about the love of a childless married couple who lose their dog. It’s a film I’ve been fortunate enough to watch a few times and each time I gain something new and feel different emotions.Simply put, it’s an excellent short film from Greece. A film that should get a lot of acclaim in the upcoming year.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Alex Giannoulis: It was basically the ideas of loss and sacrifice (between a couple) I wanted to deal with. The messages about animals are honest, not just a writing device, but obviously the main premise of the film was what a couple, elderly as well, ought to do when one of the triangle pillars goes away with nothing else to replace it. Her sacrifice, a woman that was never to become a mother and his guilt for not being able to give her that are two major human feelings that I wanted to touch upon.

MT: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

AG: I started writing this in February 2015. The film was finally completed and ready by early November. In between a financial crisis (making things very difficult as this was an entirely private endeavour with money originally assembled for a different purpose), capital controls in Greece and a referendum on the euro had taken place with queues at the ATMs and uncertainty all around.

MT: How would you describe your short film in two words!?

AG: Love, Sacrifice

MT: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

AG: As explained above mainly the financials. Since this film was made as my writing debut some difficulty derived for finding a fine balance between the actors and their ideas and what we wanted to do at the end but the professionalism showed and the devotion of the people who made this film a reality were the key elements that helped me realise it. It is interesting to note that one of our 4 and a half shooting days was on the very Sunday of the Euro referendum held in Greece in July 2015.

MT: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

AG: I never hide my feelings so I ll be blunt: I was very happy to see both how the people were moved and most importantly that they all got the main idea of the film, however, each one of them from his own point of view. Having many points of view means the film is multidimensional and this is the best reward for us. This was an overall very interesting experience.

MT: How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

AG: As it usually happens the main idea came to me just like that. It was based of course on premises that interest me and re forever part of my journey as a human (sacrifice, (dealing with) death, love) but the interesting thing is I was involved in the re-writing of a completely different short at that time.

MT: What film have you seen the most in your life?

AG: Oh very difficult to say indeed! Usually the films I watch the most (either because they are on TV or a friend wants to watch) are films that I like, without necessarily being artistic masterpieces. Very generally speaking I d say that some Kubrick films (namely EWS and 2001), some of the Star Wars films and some of Tarantino’s films (mainly PF) and Stephen King-related films are amongst those I ve watched a few times and I will keep doing so I think in the future.

MT: What is next for you? A new film?

AG: Yes though currently I m facing a short of dilemma whether to push for the realisation of one of my short scripts (since this time I wont have the majority of the money needed plus I want to do it either in North America or the UK) or work on one of my treatments and outlines already made, namely for two scripts I have in mind and work towards the writing of this with a double purpose-to showcase my writing as an emerging screenwriter and simultaneously to try and promote/sell the script if it turns out to be what I expect it to be.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of LUCY:

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the 2nd to last and last Thursday of every single month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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