Interview with writer/producer Yolanda Reid Chassiakos (THE FULL CATASTROPHE)

THE FULL CATASTROPHE, 4min,. USA, Documentary
Directed by Yolanda Reid Chassiakos
Ethnic Cleansing in Smyrna, 1922: A Family’s Odyssey

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I heard our family’s heartbreaking story from my mother when I was growing up. They were victims of ethnic cleansing in the Smyrna Peninsula, now Izmir, a century ago, in which almost a million Greeks, Jews, and Armenians lost their lives.

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

I entered Wildsound’s short story reading contest, asking for a one page short story that would get a table read. My story was selected to be filmed by Matt, Val, and their team. After hearing the result, we moved forward into making the story a film. The entire process took less than a month.

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

Tragic Odyssey.

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

So much to pack in. There is so much history that could have been added in a longer film, as well as an opportunity for us to get to know the characters in more depth.

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

I was grateful that they appreciated the film and welcomed their excellent feedback.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I have been a writer since age 8. I have written for newspapers, magazines, television, and radio, but I never had the opportunity and resources to be able to make a film before Wildsound.

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

I should say 1900…but really, North by Northwest. So much fun.

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 appreciate the opportunity to share our film with an enthusiastic audience, and to earn the potential

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

It’s fine. I used it for the LA Greek Film Festival as well.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Pad Thai

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

Actually, I’ve collaborated with Wildsound on several other short films, including a story of my father’s “flight” from Nazi Germany and landing in the USA as a space scientist with NASA.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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