Jason Raftopoulos’ Voices in Deep begins production in Greece
by Kaleem Aftab
- Greek company Arcadia is producing alongside Australia’s Exile Entertainment, with support from Greek funding body EKOME
Principal photography has begun in Athens on Voices in Deep, the second feature film by Australian writer-director Jason Raftopoulos, whose previous (and first) film West of Sunshine premiered in the Orizzonti section at the Venice Film Festival in 2017. In 2018, Raftopoulos won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film at the Festival des Antipodes in Saint Tropez and the Best Director award at the Barcelona International Film Festival, and was also nominated Best Director by the Australian Directors Guild, while his movie was nominated Best Independent Film by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA).
The new film, about immigrants in Greece, stars Australian newcomer Hannah Sims as Bobby, with a supporting cast including Greek actor Angeliki Papoulia (of the Dogtooth [+see also:
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film profile] fame, recently seen in Amulet and Green Sea) as Gloria, and further novices Christos Karavevas and Michael Hilane as Zaeed and Tarek.
Voices in Deep tells the story of a tragedy at sea which connects the lives of Bobby (Sims), an Australian humanitarian, and two orphaned refugees, Tarek (Hilane) and Zaeed (Karaveras), as they fight for survival in present-day Athens. Bobby compulsively exposes herself to strangers in order to dull the tragic memories made at sea, but a chance encounter with Gloria (Papoulia) sees them embark on an adventure together. Meanwhile, Tarek and Zaeed fend for themselves on the streets. Tarek sells his body for food and shelter so as to provide for his increasingly vulnerable, younger brother. Desperate to haul himself and his brother out of their situation, Zaeed takes matters into his own hands, setting off a chain of devastating events.
Writer-director Jason Raftopoulos remarks: “For centuries, Athens has been a place where the lives of millions have intersected; it’s a city that has been both conqueror and conquered, a place of great enlightenment and great oppression, a melting pot of religions, ideas and sexual ambiguity. It is for these reasons that I chose Athens as the setting to explore ideas of time, desperation, identity and freedom.”
Voices in Deep is produced by Alexandros Ouzas and Tessa Mansfield-Hung (West of Sunshine) for Exile Entertainment, with Raftopoulos producing via Small Village Films. Arcadia are the Greek production company, with George Linardakis serving as producer.
The film is supported via Australia’s Producer Offset facility and the Greek funding body EKOME, with development funds put forward by Screen Australia and Film Victoria. Exile Entertainment will distribute the film in Australia and New Zealand, with Arclight handling the rest of the world.
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