An Interview with Greek filmmaker Janis Rafailidou

Janis Rafailidou, a fine artist from Greece was at Gulf Film Festival to promote her film ‘Exit K1’. A thorough understanding of the landscapes and the borders of Europe is what made it possible for her to make this short film she said.

The movie basically shows the transformation of the landscapes and how it’s urbanized so quickly. It also concentrates on the lives of the Pakistani and Indian Migrants living in the terrain. When asked ‘what inspired her to make this film?’ she said that her initial interest was to analyze and understand the actual landscape and study the hidden places. In the movie there’s an airport and a highway but behind these places there are smaller territories which has people who are hardly noticed or often forgotten.  A group of people who have a very different and strong culture but hidden.

She also said that she had to do a 4 to 5 year research but it was made easier because she lived there and she knew a lot of people in Athens. It was her personal relation and then making a documentary and interviews after which she made an experimental room which in the end helped her develop the story. Basically her final output is in a way a fiction out of all the reality she has experienced.

Her Interest in blending cinematic view with fine art or abstract narration is what bought her to this field. She adds that it’s not easy to make a short film because it’s an expensive medium but at the same time it gives you the ability to collaborate with the whole world with sound, music and image but it’s quite difficult economically. On the other hand, film festivals like this help her in what she does.

When asked about the promotions, she replied that she do not wish to promote her movies only in the theatres through film festivals but also by showing it in various institutions. When asked if it’s hard to put the message she wanted to convey in to a short film, she replied that it is quiet hard to make a short film but a thorough understanding made her concept clear for her and she knew how exactly to convey it in a short period of time.

Tell me a little about your film?

I participated in the International film. The film is based in Athens.  It’s relation to the middle east is that it’s trying to document the phenomena that happens in the borders of Europe. It concentrates on the lives of the Pakistani and Indian migrants living in the terrain. It also shows the transformation of the landscape, of becoming urbanized quickly. Within these landscapes you’ll find places where you don’t find migrant people living. .

What inspired you to come up with a story like this?

It is based on a very long process. It is part of my PHD so my initial interest on that was the actual landscape to understand the hidden places . we understand that it has an airport, a highway but behind these places we have smaller territories which has people we very often forget and also a different culture which is very strong and hidden.

What kind of research did you do to help develop the story?

It was about 4 or 5 years of research because I use to live there and I use to know a lot of people there. It was personal relations and slowly I made the documentary and interviews and slowly I started understanding their story and then started making an experimental room so basically the final output in a way is a fiction out of all this reality that I have tried to understand.

What made you come into this field?

I’m a fine artist. I have pinned to my fine art degrees but I have always worked with videos  and fiction even though we always see it as a structured kind of narration. It has lot of other ways to talk about it. So my interest was actually to blend a cinematic view with fine art or abstract narration.

How is it going so far?

It is not very easy because it’s an expensive medium but at the same time it gives you the ability to collaborate with the whole world with sound, music and image but it’s quite difficult economically. On the other hand, film festivals like this help us in what we do.

Are you promoting the movie all around the world?

Yes, we send our films to different film festivals and we’re here as part of that. I have also send it to different institutions because I don’t want to promote it only in the cinema theaters.

How hard was to make a short film?

It is quite hard to convey your message through a short film but I think for me it was easier to convey as I have undertood the core concept that I’d like put in to my film.

By Shahna K. Mohammed

 

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