LIFE, FILMMAKING AND EVERYTHING
I have studied Medicine, Animation and Film Direction.
After quite a few short films that were screened and awarded at international film festivals, I was selected to participate at the 3rd Berlinale Talent Campus.
“DOS, a love story in reverse…” (2011) was my first feature film. The film was an official selection in more than 10 international festivals (NYIIFF, Hong-Kong EFF, Gijón IFF, Thessaloniki IFF et al.) and won several awards, among them Best International Film & Audience Award at NYIFF.
With “Alpha” (2015) my team and I brought crowd-funding to Greece for the first time, creating a Transmedia Cinematic Performance that blends cinema, performance and live music for the re-telling of Antigone’s myth in the 21st century.
My work as a Visual Artist in contemporary theatre and performance has traveled to such prestigious festivals as Festival d’Automne á Paris, Kunsten Festival des Artes, Wiener Festwöchen, International Theatre Festival of Belo Horizonte, Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre, Athens & Epidaurus Festival et al. with important groups like Theseum Ensemble [Michail Marmarinos] , the Greek National Theatre, the Onassis Cultural Foundation, Theatre Group Opera [Theo Abazis] et al.
I am a proud member of ARCH, the theatre archive of the Societas Raffaello Sanzio [Romeo Castellucci, Claudia Castellucci, Chiara Guidi] and an official programmer at Slamdance Film Festival.
2015 ALPHA 75’ DCP(Feature Film & Cinematic Transmedia Performance)
2014 Wisteria Maiden – Apotosoma Dance Co/Andonis Foniadakis 30′ DCP (Documentary)
2011 DOS | a love story, in reverse… 96’ DCP (Feature)
2011 Egyptians in Athens 47’ HD (Documentary)
2011 Ethiopians in Athens 44’ HD (Documentary)
2009 Lives of Saints 21’ HD (Short)
2007 Liebestod | Four Acts 14’ HD (Short)
2006 T.G.’Opera’ in Egypt 97’ HD (Documentary)
2006 Ut Consecutivum 13’ HD (Short)
2005 One Year Later 36’ HD (Short)
2005 Stay Inside 15’ 35mm (Short)
2004 The Neighbour 04’ 35mm(Short)
2003 Adworld 03’ s16mm(Short)
2003 The Artist 02’ s16mm(Short)
2002 Spiral 23’ 35mm (Short)
2001 KMB 17’ s16mm (Short)
2000 PSK 26’ s8mm (Short)
2017 Possessed – F. Dostoyevsy / Theo Abazis – National Theatre, REX stage
2017 Frosyni (Opera) – P. Carrer / Athens Megaron Music Hall
2016-7 Nineteen Eighty Four – G.Orwell, Robert Icke, Duncan McMillan / Katerina Evangelatou – Theatre Vassilakou
2016-7 The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery / Theatre Vassilakou
2016 Phone Home – Yannis Kalavrianos, Michael Sommer, Nora Schüssler, Tom Mansfield, Zodwa Nyoni / London Shoreditch Town Hall, München Pathos, Athens Sfendoni
2016 Breaking the Waves – Lars Von Trier / Roula Pateraki – National Theatre, REX Stage
2014-6 ALPHA – S.Athanasiou – Woofs
2013 A Midsummer Night’s Dream – W.Shakespeare / M.Marmarinos – National Theatre
2012 Merchants of the Nations – A. Papadiamantis – Theatre Group OΠΕRA
2009 Lives Of Saints – M.Marmarinos – Theseum Ensemble
2009 Le Misanthrope – Molière – Theatre Group OΠΕRA
2008-9 Dying As A Country – D.Dimitriadis / M.Marmarinos – Theseum Ensemble
2008 Four Images Of Love – Lucas Berfus – Theatre Group OΠΕRA
2008 Stalin – M.Marmarinos/A.Karazisis – National Theatre
2007 Oedipus 2+2 – Sophocles – Open Theatre
2007 Thou Shall Not Steal – T.Abazis – National Theatre [Experimental Scene]2007 Jeff Koons – T.Abazis – Theatre Group OΠΕRA
2007 Liebestod – T.Abazis – Theatre Group OΠΕRA
2005-6 Ut Consecutivum – A.Chekhov – Theatre Group OΠΕRA
2005 Johann Fatzer Archives – B.Brecht – City West Theatre Company
2004 Jacob And His Master – M.Kundera – Theatre Group OΠΕRA
2002 Look At Me – T.Abazis – Theatre Group OΠΕRA
TASTE OF CINEMA (USA)
Athanasiou’s crowd funded feature – the first Greek film of this sort – is a deconstruction / postmodernization of the myth of Antigone and a psychological study of “anti-Antigone” in the state of isolation. The dialogues are reduced to a minimum, so the author speaks in excellent B&W images and layered soundscapes.
Slug Magazine ★★★★★ (USA)
In an industry dominated by bigger-than-Mount Olympus budgets pumping out the same predictable junk year after year, it takes a mighty vision to truly horrify with cinema these days. Cue Alpha: a modern dystopian tale from the birthplace of democracy, inspired by one of ancient Greece’s archetypal myths—Sophocles’ Antigone. Shot in stunning black and white, Alpha begins with a tense confrontation between a woman (Serafita Gregoriadou), peering with one eye from behind a cracked-open door, and a fugitive man. She refuses to give him refuge. The first act follows the man’s terrifying and futile flight from a gas-masked gang in a bleak urban setting, shot in first-person perspective to a dizzying effect. The woman paces around her home, followed by the camera in an almost voyeuristic way, until she’s captured by the same authoritarian thugs, who take her to a burnt and desolate forest where she’s forced to sit under the man, her brother, unable to bury him. Alpha goes beyond the scope of cinema alone, to include live performances by a string quartet, actor and chorus in some settings, investigating the question posed long ago by Sophocles: Is human law, Justice?
Filmmaker Stathis Athanasiou’s strange and otherworldly Alpha is a visionary work of film, referencing the poetic realism of Marcel Carné as much as it does the propulsive terror of a slasher film.
In the assemblage of the narrative structure, Athanasiou manages some impressive feats; there’s an almost sensual layering of image and sound, which often reconfigures whenever the narrative introduces new action. Consider the film’s opening, which cleverly presents a deceptive sequence of events: in the compressed air of shallow breathing, marching feet and the nearly silent sweep of ominous wind that circles in the background, the aural-visual dynamics work to give the impression that we are watching a slasher film. As the camera roves interrogatively, almost prowling the premises with the determined persistence of a stalker, Athanasiou employs a delicate segue into the poetic realism of Alpha’s internal world, her unobstructed home life.
Smells Like Screen Spirit ★★★★ (USA)
Sometimes mysteriously oblique, other times viscerally poetic, Athanasiou’s film artfully discusses the inherent existential struggle of living in fear of everything. The puzzle-like structure of Athanasiou’s narrative unfolds like a treatise on the impossibility of true democracy, due to the inherent lack of justice and the natural human tendency to prefer isolationism and self-preservation. Though, the world of Alpha takes place long after a democratic state has evolved into a militarist dictatorship, at which point anarchy seems like the only viable next step.
Alpha is a beguiling blend of science fiction and Greek tragedy brought to life with both cinematic and theatrical techniques, enlisting an army of artists from all walks of life to create a piece of challenging beauty and strangeness. Get a taste of this mesmerizing world Athanasiou and company have created.
El Antepenúltimo Mohicano ★★★★ (Spain): Un tipo de cine alejado de fórmulas y estereotipos que lanza una mirada plena de fuerza al pasado transformándolo en poesía de nuestro presente.
Utah Awards (USA)
Directed by Stathis Athanasiou and starring Serafita Grigoriadou, Alpha takes you through a beaten woman’s hallucinatory world of pain and fear that slowly develops into determination and strength. Shot in black and white, Alpha is a stunning work in visual storytelling.
Dan Mirvish Slamdance Co-Founder-at-Large
The ancient Greeks invented “transmedia” almost 2500 years before anyone knew what it meant. Combining actors, musicians, a singing and dancing chorus, masks and giant phallic props, Greek theater knew how to entertain its audience by any means necessary. Even Plato talked about people chained to their seats in a dark cave watching shadows projected on the wall. Now comes award-winning filmmaker Stathis Athanasiou, who’s taken the best of the ancient traditions and mashed them up with modern Greek cinema and American-indie inspired transmedia to come up with a truly unique and impressive film project. Owing as much to Ted Hope and Lance Weiller as to Sophocles and Antigone, Alpha was a hit at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, and Slamdance is proud to present the International Premiere of this gorgeous, groundbreaking film experience!
Festival Mauvais Genre (France)
Dans un futur pas si lointain, une bourgeoise, Alpha, refuse de donner asile à un fugitif poursuivi par des miliciens. Ce geste va la condamner…
Dans un noir et blanc splendide, voici une oeuvre proche de l’expérimental, questionnant la notion de libre-arbitre et rappellant le cinéma de Luis Bunuel des débuts.
Following an impressive launch campaign on specialized website indiegogo.com, complete with a proof-of-concept teaser, Alpha has managed to surpass its €60,000 goal, as well as find a dozen of avid supporters willing to dish out over €1,000 each, claiming associate producer credits, premiere tickets and other premium gifts.
Athanasiou’s out-of-the-box approach is not limited to the creative process, as he has unconventional plans for distribution as well, setting a path of international releases that are certain to be as challenging as they should be awe-inspiring.
It is the first feature film project in Greece and the second in Europe to be realised to such an extent via crowd-funding, a very optimistic fact considering the current social-economic crisis that Greece goes through today.
DIRECTOR’S NOTES (UK)
We’ve been featuring and following the work of Greek director Stathis Athanasiou for several years here on DN and even from his first appearance on our pages with LIEBESTOD-Four Acts back in 2007, Stathis has never been afraid to experiment with the established boundaries of cinema as we know it. His latest film Alpha, is by far his most ambitious project to date and looks to not only dislodge our preconceptions about the structure of what’s on screen, but also the methods of film creation and exhibition. It also has the most intriguing crowd funding campaign video we’ve ever seen.
The project includes collaborating with art students and young artists in all stages of production, moving away from the usual cinema distribution and creates art at cultural spaces and alternative venues, creating an entire thematic section, which actually begins with cinema and expands to other art forms such as installation, photography, video art,and film of course. Alpha is a collective project in all stages that aims to ignite a dialogue and an active collaboration between artists and audience alike. It is a reach out to a global audience due to its core theme.
NGboo Art (Serbia)
Reducing the dialogue to a minumum, he communicates with his audience via the audio-visual symbols and allusions, and through the symbiosis of excellent black & white cinematography and layered soundtrack, the “conversation” flows smoothly. Exceptionally striking is the tracking shot, lasting around ten minutes, which follows the title and destroys the illusion of unimpeded privacy by playing with (horror) genre conventions.
Nervous camerawork, stressful photography, black and white scenery flooded with industrial sounds that seem to have popped out of the worst nightmares of David Lynch heroes, costumes that reference punk opera and a filmic universe that buries you deep into an Orwellian novel. This is the filmic part of Stathis Athanasiou’s “Alpha” and it is awe-inspiring to say the least. But this is only one half of the Transmedia Cinematic Performance… Completely built on alternative grounds, “Alpha” makes an impressive debut at Sani Festival.
A performance inspired by the myth of Antigone is nothing unique. But when this performance is made true by crowd-funding a young Greek artists group who refuses to put their dreams on hold, then it surely captivates our attention.
Art Mag (GR)
An innovative production premiered at Sani Festival on the 26 of July. The Transmedia Cinematic Performance “Alpha”, is an impressive attempt in fusing performing arts and it hugely impressed and troubled its audience.
Alpha is courageously facing the Omega of our social existence and essence.
Frost Magazine (UK)
A is much more than a feature film, it is inspired by the ancient myth of Antigone and has a totally different approach to filmmaking as a whole.
“Alpha” is not a film. It is not a theatrical play or a music concert. It is a Cinematic Performance using Antigone’s myth as an inspiration from a totally new perspective.
NUEVA YORK DIGITAL (USA)
Como sucedió en el teatro de Dioniso en Atenas hace 2453 años, cuando el orden social y económico del mundo también estaba en ruinas y la ciudad de Atenas en peligro de muerte aparece Stathis Athanasiou quien al igual que miles de griegos vive la crisis que atraviesa las costas del Atlántico buscando nuevos mercados.
Este proyecto se presenta como una propuesta distinta, ya que quiere alejarse de toda convencionalidad a la que se aferra la distribución. Su director desea estrenar la película en algún reconocido festival, y a partir de ahí, realizar las proyecciones en teatros antiguos con música en directo, promoviendo así la grandeza de un mito griego, merecedor siempre de representarse en un teatro.
It is evident by this example, a good idea, a good team and an even better collaborative effort, makes the impossible, possible!
The innovative approach of Woofs Collective towards cinema does not end in financing the project from the audience, but spreads out to the distribution as well. “Alpha” will not only be touring international film festivals, but also Ancient Theatres, Art Spaces and Cultural Venues with a live orchestra and Chorus, creating an alternative proposal as to what cinema and ancient drama is, enriching the country’s cultural production, and provoking a contemporary dialogue between creators and audience.
Woofs Collective that is behind the production of this project, has decided to present it in Ancient Theatres with a live orchestra and chorus, thus making a daring and 100% independent cinematic performance.
This innovative initiative is carried out by those who do not moan about our problems, but act, inspiring and moving others along the way.
The team’s crowd-funding campaign and alternative distribution plan, for which many people have been working day and night for many months now, has to be considered innovative. Considering that it has reached so many everyday people but also prominent personalities (even Noam Chomsky), you could say “Alpha” is a success in the making.