CULTURE

Greek short film to compete at Cannes festival

Two days ago, an unsuspecting Marsa Makri answered the phone. The polite gentleman on the other end of the line wished her good morning in French before proceeding to explain the reason why he was calling: «Your film has been chosen for the competitive section at the Cannes film festival.» Twenty-four hours later, on the same day that the festival’s president, Gilles Jacob, announced the official film calendar, the Greek director is still trying to come to terms with her newfound good fortune. «To Tameno,» her second short film to date and one of the films which competed at the Drama Film Festival last September (an ERT production, it was part of the Microfilm program), will represent Greek cinema at the legendary, annual Cannes rendezvous. Makri sounds vindicated. She, alone, sent the film to the festival’s officials. A 15-minute period film, its action takes place at the beginning of the 20th century. The story focuses on the adventures of a young novice, when the monks at the monastery he has been promised to authorize him to run an errand. Once outside the monastic walls, the boy follows the road which seems more challenging. «The film follows a fairy-tale narrative,» says the director. «The flow is simple, but at the same time ripe with symbolism.» Makri studied film at Los Angeles’s UCLA-Extension, and theater in New York’s Stella Adler Conservatory. Her first short film, «Small Variations,» won second prize at the Drama Film Festival in 1986. Following that, she filmed two documentaries, «Runaway» in 1992 and «The Other Mother» in 1996. Her most recent work is again a documentary, «Avaton.» Has she chosen the world of documentaries? Would she be interested in making a long fictional feature film? «Of course I’d be interested. A cinematographer always wants to go the extra mile. Please note, however, that I never received even the minimum of support. From that point of view, ERT’s contribution was catalytic,» says the director, with a trace of bitterness. Cannes, however, sound like a new beginning. «I hope so,» she says cheerfully.