Melbourne film producer Alexandra Bekiaris’ award winning short film Most (The Bridge) directed by Bobby Garabedian of Mr and Mrs Smith was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Live Action Short, it was selected for the Sundance Film Festival Official Selection, and it won the Palm Springs International Film Festival Jury Prize- Best of Festival – yet opportunities to find distribution in Australia seem near impossible.
Bekiaris maintains patience, when talking to Neos Kosmos English Edition (NKEE), “It has not been shown in Australia except at the Sydney World Youth Day but we have been selected to screen at the 2009 Navada Film Festival.”
Most, meaning bridge in Czech is the story of a single father who takes his eight year-old-son to work with him at the railroad drawbridge where he works the bridge tender. Just as an oncoming train approaches, his son falls into the drawbridge gear works, leaving the father with a horrifying choice of either saving his only son, or the train and the people inside it.
As Bekiaris says to NKEE, “The film is about a son and father, about a son giving up his life for the train to cross and how that action brings to the fore many things – for example the way a young woman drug addict, on the train carriage doesn’t know where she is going in her life she sees the sacrifice and has an epiphany about the need to change.”
Bekiaris was not a native of the film industry when she began producing, “I had no experience in the film industry initially but I had a vision to help children and people, and I saw film as a medium which can assist to bring to the fore many things.”
“I always loved been creative and loved people I began in product and creative development for Hallmark.”
She adds, “The film was originally budgeted at $30,000 but ending up costing $1 million. At the same time a lot of people supported it the actual film we even used left over film from Lord of the Rings.”
The film was shot in Prague, as it is one of the few cities that still maintains a steam-train and a draw bridge requiring supervision.
Bekiaris, is Christian and believes her values play a role in her decision to support and develop Most, “I believe in God and I have always grown up with religion and the knowledge of what Easter really means. I believe in Jesus and the fact that he gave up his life for the betterment of society.”
Regardless of, (or because of), her belief Most becomes a secular experience within a truly human scale. Many narratives run in tandem with the notion of change and sacrifice and life change.
Critics have called the film a “subtle and brilliantly produced work”. Bekiaris is now looking at making documentaries.
“There are so many deep issues that I want to dwell on – there was another thing now that I went to Thessaloniki and how they have the square there I found that don’t long ago that they discovered a whole city underneath and I am very interested in that,” Bekiaris said.
More than just a film producer and a deep thinker, Alexandra Bekiaris is a tradition bearer of sorts for the Greek community of Melbourne, “My grand father founded Heidelberg United and my father was the first goal keeper and my brothers played for Alexandros Hellas.
For the dvd of Most go to the websiite www.eastwindfilms.net.au