She used the internet to accumulate 20,000 dollars of funding
A postgraduate student at the film directing program of UCLA, Greek-American Alithia Avramis realized her dream thanks to crowdfunding- a practice born out of the current financial crisis and made possible thanks to new technologies.
In a four-minute-long video that she uploaded on the internet, Alithia summarized the scenario of a film she wanted to direct in a village in Mani, asking for support by individuals wishing to help, but also by businesses such as american airline companies offering free flight tickets to Greece, as well as greek hotels willing to accommodate the participants during filming. She thereby managed to convince tenths of people around the world to donate 20,000 dollars in total.
The film revolves around life on the greek country-side, focusing on aspects such as the economic crisis and the greek mentality. A village in Mani, where only a few inhabitants remain, risks losing its only teacher, doctor, and everything else making it a community. Suddenly, an English tourist appears- the “foreigner”, from whom the film’s title derives- and the villagers try to convince him to stay and become a permanent resident. The unfolding events bring to the surface issues of daily life in modern Greece, seen in a humorous light, but more importantly they touch upon universal human traits, such as friendship and solidarity, as Alitheia Avramis points out.
The truth is that her initial idea was not met with great approval by her teachers, who first tried to change her mind- luckily, without success. “They said I should stay away from Greece, because of the extreme events occurring in the country. They were afraid that something unexpected might happen and blow up the whole production. Sadly, the word “Greece” is now synonymous to negative images and insecurity”, the 27-year-old discloses.
Eventually, having secured the funding she need, Alithia produced her film. Filming was completed last September in Mani, more recently she finished with the editing and is now ready to travel to the cinema festivals. Worth noting is the fact that the 27-year-old student is now attending the renown international film directing program at the UCLA, which only accepts 18 students every year.