Documentary maker wins IF award
A documentary about a mate wins IF award for best Best Short Documentary for this Greek Australian
Greek Australian filmmaker Jason Raftopoulos has been named this year's winner of the Best Short Documentary award at the annual IF awards, held on Sunday night in Sydney.
Raftopoulos, who directed and produced his film, From Dope to Dalai Lama, told Neos Kosmos he was very excited by the win.
"I couldn't believe it. I was just happy to be there; I never expected to win but it's a really nice feeling when you hear your name read out," Raftopoulos said.
The documentary, filmed in Melbourne, follows the remarkable journey of a man whose life dramatically changes directions as a result of four near death experiences, Raftopoulos says.
"It basically tracks the life of a guy from being a 17 year-old school drop out working on a fish trawler in Perth, to living on a beach in Thailand, running amuck, doing lots of partying, taking lots of drugs, and then ultimately becoming subject to an assassination, before becoming a monk in Burma for ten years" Raftopoulos says.
"The film charts his personal journey and everything in between". Based on a true story, Raftopoulos says the documentary was inspired by a guy he knew from high school.
"I hadn't seen him for years and had only heard rumours about him until we ran into each other in a chance reconnection. When he told me his story I said 'we have to make a film about this".
From Dope to Dalai Lama was screened at the St Kilda film festival. Raftopoulos has also just completed his next short film, entitled Father's Day, which is yet to be released.
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