A man and a woman, Aris and Anna, meet in a dream-like coastal town. The town is full of antennas, which emit the voices of the Vanished Ones, inhabitants of the town that have suddenly and inexplicably disappeared. As we watch the daily life and the bizarre rituals of the inhabitants, rituals devoted to the lost ones, Anna and Aris fall in love. A few days later, Anna suddenly disappears.
Angeliki Papoulia, Christos Passalis, Sofia Kokkali, Maria Skoula, Marisha Triantafyllidou, Thanassis Dimou, Rania Ikonomidou, Vassilis Karaboulas, Aris Armaganidis
56th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival – International Competition
Festivals / Awards
63rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival 2022 – International Competition, Linea d’ Ombra 2022 (Best Film Award), Goa International Film Festival, International Film Festival of Kerala, Crossing Europe 2023 (Competition), SEEFest (Best Cinematography Award – Giorgos Karvelas), Cinequest Film and VR Festival 2023, Southeast European Film Festival 2023, the Greek Film Festival in Berlin 2023, Cyprus Film Days, Greek Film Festival Australia, 6 Hellenic Film Academy Awards Nominations 2023 – Best First Film Director, Supporting Role Actress (Marisha Triantafyllidou), Cinematography, Production Design, Sound, Hair and Make-up Design
“An enigmatic, allegorical, slow-burn romance that wonders if love can live in limbo. Director-star Christos Passalis delivers an absorbing, surreal, retro- futurist love story in his beautifully crafted solo debut.” -Jessica Kiang, Variety
“A smooth blend of style, substance, emotion and provocation that leaves the viewer with plenty to ruminate on.” -Marko Sotjiljkovic, Cineuropa
“Passalis, who also plays the male lead here, has a long history in experimental theatre, which informs this sustained exercise in mournful absurdism, with its undertones of Beckett, Ionesco and David Lynch. The most uncompromising contender playing in the main Crystal Globe competition at Karlovy Vary film festival this week, Silence 6-9 is emphatically art-house in style, but still a boldly original work with potential cult appeal.” -Stephen Dalton, The Film Verdict
“Passalis, its director of photography Giorgos Karvelas and its decorator Márton Ágh manage to create a curious scenery of SF, an apocalyptic place, breathless. The visual atmosphere is one of the successes of this aesthetically coherent and inspired film” -Nicolas Bardot, Le Polyester
Capturing moments in the infinite line of time, depicting fractional images of a divinely inspired Nature, interweaving mythological and historical accounts, gleaning fragments and whispers the cinematic gaze attempts to record the identity of a place that confronts and is confronted with the great philosophical questions of life.
The temple of Athena Alea, Gregory Markopoulos’s shrine, the harvest, the beautiful woman of Mouchli, the cherry orchard, the New Martyr Demetrios, are nothing but fragments of this place – of Tegea – recounting the adventure of life.
“Hail Arcadia”. A journey to a place that is haunted, even today, by the myth of an enigmatic epigraph.
Et in Arcadia Ego. A collection of fragments. A salute, brief and ambivalent, like the passage of the runner who crosses the plain of Tegea at midnight.
Festivals / Awards
Thessaloniki Documentary International Film Festival 2015 – FIPRESCI Award for Best Greek Film
Maria is running away on the highway. She is alone in her roaring SUV. Behind her, fire and a case full of money. In front of her, the hopeless vastness of the motorway. Her crazy, accelerating course will stop at nothing.
Only a day before she was a caring mother, a loving wife, a responsible daughter. Today she has gone rogue: she is determined to sweep away everything she has ever cared for. Maria’s tragic tale of ascent to redemption is narrated through bits of the present that become tangibly interwoven with fragments of the past, creating a dazzling and devastating mural of contemporary Greece.
Locarno International Film Festival 2014 – International Competition
Festivals / Awards Sarajevo IFF 2014 – International Competition, BFI London IFF 2014 – Dare, Rotterdam IFF 2015 – Limelight, Karlovy Vary IFF 2015 – Critics’ Choice: VARIETY’s 10 Directors to Watch, A.F.I. American Film Institute – European Film Showcase 2015, Hamburg Filmiest 2014, Seattle IFF 2015 – New Directors, São Paulo IFF 2014 – Nuevos Diretores, Hong-Kong IFF 2015, Joenju IFF 2015 – Fallen Myths – A Tribute to Greek New Wave, Athens IFF 2015 – Best Debut by an Actress Award – Maria Filini, Prishtina IFF 2016 – F.I.PRES.CI. Award, Tallinn Black Nights 2014, New Horizons 2014, Kolkatta IFF 2015, Festival de Cinéma Européen des Arcs 2014, Istanbul IFF 2015, Taipei IFF 2015, Haifa IFF 2015, Crossing Europe EFF 2015, Festival Cinematografico Internacional del Uruguay 2015, Espoo Cine 2015, Otranto FFF 2015 – Critics’ Prize, Ljubljuana IFF 2015, Tofifest 2015,, Luxembourg City IFF 2015, Cyprus Film Days 2015, Thessaloniki IFF 2015, Lichter Filmfest 2015, Rome Independent IFF, Marfa IFF 2015, Mucas IFF 2015, This Human World IFF 2015, etc.
“A black, bleak, urgently contemporary film. The frantic, unsettling and intriguing record of a woman’s journey, Syllas Tzoumerkas’ charged personal diatribe against an economic system seemingly designed first to make people, and then to break them.”
— Jonathan Holland, The Hollywood Reporter
“Syllas Tzoumerkas’ striking soph feature tackles Greece’s ongoing financial crisis with aggressive gusto.”
— Guy Lodge, VARIETY
“A punchy, difficult, allegorically urgent Greek tragedy. In A Blast, a narrative of personal liberation becomes a political allegory of powerful pessimism. Maria, like her country, may escape the shackles of unfair debt and struggle and poverty, but she can only do it by outrunning her pursuers, leaving a destabilized family behind and eventually facing the future in a state of staggering aloneness. (…) Tzoumerkas refuses to portray Maria as anything so uncomplicated as a victim. Maria is explicitly a woman – wife, daughter, mother, sister – and some of the scenes of most urgent, shocking power come from quieter moments when she simply, clearly negates or repudiates one of those prescribed roles”
— Jessica Kiang, Indiewire & the Playlist
“If you ever wanted your own everyday saga of interpersonal collapse to be interpreted as a sexually heated, hyperkinetic, breathless action-thriller, then chances are it would look very much like A Blast, which takes all of the outwardly mundane rites of family life and refracts, intensifies and heightens them by seizing primarily just upon the peaks and nadirs, shifting back and forth in time to create an expressionist portrait of marital strife and psychological agitation that is more concerned with incendiary impact than polite plotting. The result often feels like A Woman Under the Influence as reinterpreted by early Nicolas Roeg.”
— Travis Crawford, Fandor magazine
“Set against the volatile backdrop of the collapse of the Greek economy, Syllas Tzoumerkas’ freewheeling and full-on drama is a shrill expression of anger, driven forcefully and with a certain fearlessness by a striking lead performance by Angeliki Papoulia as a free-spirited woman who reaches the end of her tether. Syllas Tzoumerkas keeps the film tense and edgy as it spirals towards a moody almost existential ending.”
— Mark Adams, Screen Daily
“Tzoumerkas directs each scene to its boiling point, resulting to montage sequences that stay in mind for long. Angeliki Papoulia, one of the most fearless European actresses, plays Maria without emergency breaks.”
— Oliver Koever, Der Spiegel
“Filmmaker Syllas Tzoumerkas has condensed the Greek crisis into a superb drama of one woman’s journey of self-discovery. Tzoumerkas’ wild, anarchic style reminds us of the young Fatih Akin with his depiction of a society driven „against the wall“ by its own parental generation.”
— D.Kothenschulte, Frankfurter Rundschau
“An angry film that speaks its heart”.
— Joost Booren, De Filmkrant
“A uniquely intelligent, unprecedented portrait that reveals the moods, secrets and deep divisions that run in societies in times of crisis. There has never been such a powerful film about it before”.
— Janusz Wroblewski, Polityka
“The most interesting thing in Tzoumerkas’ work is also the most universal: the rejection of illusion. We don’t really know what to do next, still it’s worth opening our eyes, regardless the price. ”
— Pawel T. Felis, Wyborcza
Homemade Films, unafilm, PRPL, Bastide Films, Greek Film Center, Nederlands Film Fonds, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Pan Entertainment, Graal S.A., Marni Films, Mamoko Entertainment, Prosenghisi Ltd, Movimento Film production, in collaboration with ZDF/ARTE, with the support of the MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Nipkow Programm, Eurimages co-production development award, Cinelink – Sarajevo Film Festival
Distribution / Theatrical Releases
Greece (Strada), the Netherlands (Filmfreak), Germany (Real Fiction), Poland (Against Gravity), Denmark (Ost for Paradis), North Macedonia (KT Films), Switzerland (Spot on Distribution), Australia (Bonsai Films), Iceland (Bioparadis), USA (Indiepix), etc.
A post modern theater adaptation of a Greek tragedy takes place in a central theater of Athens. Like every night, the guests take their seats and the play begins. Suddenly, the lights on stage go out. Seven young people, carrying guns, stand up from the audience and come up on stage. They introduce themselves as the Chorus of the tragedy and they invite people from the audience to participate on stage. Gradually, reality and fiction blend. The audience doesn’t realize if this is part of the play. The play will come to its end at the usual time. Until then art will be interrupted by life.
Venice International Film Festival 2015 – Orizzonti Competition
Festivals / Awards
Torino IFF 2015, Mumbai IFF 2015, Thessaloniki IFF 2015, Kolkata IFF 2015, Goa IFF 2015, Palm Springs IFF 2016, Istanbul IFF 2016, Vilnius IFF 2016, Cyprus Film Days 2016, Catania FF 2016, LAGFF 2016, Pula IFF 2016, Sarajevo IFF 2016, Festival of Film Critics Camera Action 2016, Skopje IFF 2016, Sao Paulo IFF 2016, Hellas FilmBox FF – New Vision Award, etc.
Best First Film Director Hellenic Film Academy Award 2016
“Interruption is one of the most intelligent films I have seen lately and Yorgos Zois is one of the most unique voices in European Cinema today.” — Ruben Östlund
“Interruption takes Greek myths to tantalizing levels. My reaction was visceral and then I read up on Oresteia to see how amazing and genius Interruption really is. 10/10 — Bruce Fessier, USA TODAY
“Or we can bring to the extreme provocation of Zois, and see an image that is no longer the sign of a representation that does not belong to us but a reflection of an obscure mirror, as if the image was a black hole that attracts itself to the viewer who gets lost within it, until each of us becomes figure, ghost, opaque stain in black: and then the question that we should ask before the screen is no longer ‘what we see is real?’, but ‘are we really us real?'” — Michele Sardone, Film parlato
“Watched Interruption by Yorgos Zois, really interesting Meta take on Oresteia.” — Romain Gavras
“Interruption proposes an ensemble of interesting actors, helped greatly by the complexity of their ambiguous identity on stage. Alexandros Vardaxoglou plays the god-like director, but his identity will soon evolve, stressing again and again the unpredictability of Zois’ beautifully layered screenplay. In other parts, Maria Kallimani, Alexia Kaltsiki, Christos Stergioglou and Maria Filini have their moments of glory in front of Yannis Kanakis’ fluid camera, which uses darkness and light to blur the boundaries between the stage and the audience” — Stefan Doboiou, Cineuropa
“There is something paradoxical in the film that is such a clever metaphor of contemporary world that uses a form associated with ancient times. There is something bizarre in the fact, that it’s piece of art suspended between theater and film, stressing fakeness of the world portrayed on the screen and it’s still talking about social moods so close to ours. Despite all those walls of distance built from Greek dramas, theatrical environment and demanding narration, we are in the middle of our world, observed so accurately by the director. We are watching a film weaved from wise message, unusual form and dare-devil way of storytelling.” — Urszula Lipińska, Stark Magazine
Co-producers Theodora Valenti-Pikrou, David Danesi, Victoria Sankina, Filippos Marmoutas, Panos Papadopoulos, Jean-Yves Rousseaux, Sylvain Fage
Pan Entertainment, EZ Films, JDP in association with Nukleus Film, NOVA, Marni Films, Cinephase, Digital District, Post Faust Ltd, Prosenghisi Ltd, Squaredsquare Films, Homemade Films with the support of the Greek Film Centre, Centre National du Cinéma et de l’image Animée, Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et du Développement International, Institut Français, HAVC, TorinoFilmlab, CNC Award – Cinelink Sarajevo Film Festival, Piraeus Bank and OPAP
Homeland is the story of a country and a family in free fall. Three generations of a family (the 50s generation, the one growing up during the restoration of Democracy in the 70s, and the generation of today) clash irrevocably over an adoption they decided to make 20 years ago.
Festivals / Awards
Athens IFF (Best 1st Film Director Award), Tallinn Black Nights IFF 2010, Goteborg IFF 2011, Monaco CIFF (Best Director Award), Istanbul IFF 2011, Karlovy Vary IFF 2011, Voices IFF 2011, Era New Horizons IFF 2011, FIC Valdivia 2011, Manaki Brothers ICFF 2011, Mar del Plata IFF 2011, etc.
5 Awards by the Hellenic Film Academy including Best 1st Film Director.
“This is a film that dares to interweave a heavy individual tale with social evolution, a film that is challenging in terms of both art and politics, and that on top of all this manages to maintain high artistic qualities. Doesn’t that sound like exactly the sort of thing that nagging writers are always going on about? Viola! The feature debut of young Syllas Tzoumerkas has it all. It tells the story of a family tragedy afflicting three generations of a Greek family, while interweaving the nation’s history from the junta years of the 1960s, past the leftist 1970s and right up to the student revolts of today. Several aspects of Greek society are in for a beating; the patriarchy, the family and sanctimonious politics. You have to pay attention – as there are some chronological leaps here – but the viewer who stays alert will be richly rewarded.”
— Gunnar Bolin, Sveriges Radio