Schoolchildren take center stage in Greek director’s new film

Two-hundred school kids at a Nea Philadelphia high school make up the cast of Isavella Mavraki’s new film «Don’t Cross, the Red Light is On.» On location at the school, a number of technical problems have the children working late in the night. «I have an obsession when it comes to schools, since I had such a great time when I was student,» says Mavraki, during a break on location. «I really enjoy being with these kids. With them, I’m 100 percent in sync with what’s going on today, and I feel that I’m still there myself, though so many years have gone by.» The script, written by Petros Markaris, begins on the first day of the university entrance exams, with the death of a student. Initially, the cause of death appears to be drug abuse, but the truth might be entirely different. A policeman whose daughter is a student at the school investigates the case, while a subplot follows the relationship between a mathematics teacher and a student. «It was good luck that Markaris was near me, because I believe that it is wrong for the same person to underwrite both the script and the direction,» says Mavraki. «The film combines as much humor and sadness as there is in my life.» With the shooting ending at the end of the month, the film will be distributed by Rosebud next season. The cast includes Ioanna Pappa, Thalia Matika, Constantinos Constantopoulos, Alkis Panayiotidis, Dimitra Hatoupi, Jessy Papoutsi, Tassos Pyrgieris, Asimakis Alexiou and Yiannis Panos.

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