The 70th Sydney Film Festival on June 7-18 will partner with the European Film Promotion (EFP), to bring viewers, Europe! Voices of Women in Film, a program of 10 new films from vital European women filmmakers.
One of these filmmakers is Greek director Asimina Proedrou, whose most recent film, Piso apo tis thimonies (Behind The Haystacks) will be featured at the festival.
The synopsis of the film reads that “a tragic incident on Greece’s northern border strikes a local family of three, pushing them to face their own personal impasses, while having to deeply consider the price for their actions”.
The movie, which stars a predominately Greek cast, including Stathis Stamoulakatos, Lena Ouzounidou and Evgenia Lavda, looks at the 2015 refugee crisis on the Greece-North Macedonia border through the three family members.
Proedrou has previously written and directed two other films, Facets of Loneliness and Red Hulk, the latter which won her a Golden Dionysus at the Drama International Short Film Festival and the Best Short Film Award at Athens International Film Festival.
The full list of 10 EFP films includes:
● BAND | 2022 | Iceland | Director, Screenwriter: Álfrún Örnólfsdóttir
● BEHIND THE HAYSTACKS | 2022 | Greece, Germany, North Macedonia | Director, Screenwriter: Asimina Proedrou
● ELAHA | 2023 | Germany | Director: Milena Aboyan
● FAMILY TIME | 2023 | Finland, Sweden | Director, Screenwriter: Tia Kouvo
● THE GIRL FROM TOMORROW | 2022 | Italy, France | Director, Screenwriter: Marta Savina
● THE QUIET MIGRATION | 2023 | Denmark | Director: Malene Choi
● SMOKE SAUNA SISTERHOOD | 2023 | Estonia, France, Iceland | Director, Screenwriter: Anna Hints
● SUNLIGHT | 2023 | Ireland | Director: Claire Dix
● THAT AFTERNOON | 2023 | Netherlands | Director, Screenwriter: Nafiss Nia
● THUNDER | 2022 | Switzerland | Director, Screenwriter: Carmen Jaquier
Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley says the program will help the female directors shine in an industry filled with gender disparity, while also spotlighting the diverse experiences of European women.
EFP’s Managing Director Sonja Heinen said, “This year’s selection of films of our longstanding common initiative provides an intense and varied glimpse of the diverse realities in Europe. Partly inspired by their own biographies the women directors show their views of the world and raise their voices to explore themes of migration, belonging, self-empowerment and friendship.”
“We are confident that the selected films will excite and inspire the Australian audience and encourage important cross-border discussions about moving issues of our time. Our thanks go to the Sydney Film Festival for sharing this platform for ten films by the most promising of European women filmmakers.”
Also at the festival will be a movie directed by German filmmaker Angela Schanelec, which has its own Greek connection.
Titled Music, the film is a contemporary retelling of the tragedy of Oedipus, the story of a king who accidentally fulfilled a prophecy that he would end up killing his father and marrying his mother, thereby bringing disaster to his city and family.
The film starts in “the mountains of Greece, where a baby boy is rescued by a local paramedic who, together with his wife, adopts him and names him Jon. The couple raise him as their own, until an incident at age 20 again changes the course of Jon’s life. Jon is incarcerated after committing manslaughter in response to a perceived attack by a stranger. In prison, he finds himself inextricably drawn to prison officer Iro, who shows him great affection and with whom he shares many moments of tenderness.”
Music also features many Greek actors and is spoken in Greek throughout.
Watch the trailer here: