Interview with Filmmaker Katerina Giannakopoulou (ONLY HUMAN)


1. What motivated you to make this film?

First of all we’d like to thank the WILDsound Feedback and Screenplay Festival for honoring us with this very special audience award of “BEST FILM 2022.”

This award is especially meaningful as for the past decade I have specialized in developing myself as a multidisciplinary artist and director with the express motivation of creating films and projects of art around socially relevant issues with works such as PANDEMIA and THE TRAGEDY OF DOMNA VISVIZI.

I was so grateful to be recognized by your audience for those films the past couple of years with BEST PERFORMANCE and BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY.

However, this award for ONLY HUMAN as “BEST FILM 2022” is the most special to me and our community music4everybody e.V.! due to its universal theme of acceptance and tolerance in collaboration with cineMars whose motto is ‘filming for change’ – because it confirms that we are creating awareness and having a positive impact.

So, we must thank the audience once again for supporting what we know and see with our eyes every day – art is not only a uniquely powerful force of healing and unification – it is also a universal force of social awareness and change.

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

Almost one year hand in hand with the participants for the first part of our documentary series.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

ONLY HUMAN. Our shared humanity is all that matters regardless of where we came from, or where we are going.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

There were several obstacles such as a pandemic that forced us to work largely in isolation, a large group of participants with with a refugee or migrant background, who were also going through their own traumas and struggles… and who not only are not professional singers, dancers and actors, but had never been in a film or experienced movie making before.

However, the two biggest challenges were definitely also the ones I’m most proud that we navigated well enough to make it here. Those are making sure our participants experienced a healing journey in the making of the film and actually making a film we are very proud of with a very tiny crew…

5.What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was deeply touched and happy to be able to share the audience feedback video with our community. It was so important for the participants to watch and realize that their voices matter and that our creation moved people…for them to hear about what an impact their stories can have on others’ journeys as well. Knowing their faces light up with pride and happiness at the audience’s feedback was by far, the best part of this very important journey.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I have been fascinated by films since I was a little child! Though I was always was attracted to films I didn’t know until fairly recently that wanted to work in front of, or behind the camera.

Along with my training as an artist, this life long fascination with film allowed everything to develop very naturally for me as a multidisciplinary artist and director in most of my projects. I was surprised to feel so at home in this medium, yet I think I will always remain profoundly fascinated by the endless possibilities of film making – especially its power to impact large audiences for social change.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Flashdance! As a child I watched it over and over again. I was fascinated by Jennifer Beals’ character and journey and in many ways it became mine. Maybe not in leg warmers with big hair…but the struggle, the passion, the dedication to dance and the performing arts that have guided my entire life’s journey since I was a child.

Choosing one is impossible though! I have too many sides to love only one movie or one type of cinema.

Among my top choices are Edward Scissor Hands for obvious reasons – not the least of which is the creative genius of Tim Burton.

Then Pedro Almodovar – he’s always unpredictable in his story lines, but also so deeply human in his character development. My favourite of his is Tie Me Up, Tie me Down! It’s both profoundly unhinged and…tender.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I’d love to see more types of Q & As for filmmakers, artists and producers. I think those would make for amazing conversations and connections.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

I find the platform very user friendly and also a great way to make new connections and get a lot of exposure. I’d highly recommend it.

10. What is your favorite meal?

TAPAS – a little mix of everything 🙂

11. What is next for you? A new film?

We’re completing the second installment of ONLY HUMAN in October 2022 followed by a third and final part. My primary focus is on completing this trilogy and the campaign around our film. But there are definitely some other very inviting collaborations and projects in a close future.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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