North American Premiere
As residents of a small Greek island prepare for the influx of fellow European tourists seeking the best summer experience their modest earnings can buy, the “animatuers” at the local hotel resort dust off their shiny costumes and revive cheesy dance routines to keep the masses entertained. But the arrival of seasonal reinforcements prompts some soul-searching for the veteran dancer, Kalia, who’s been with the group for so long that she lost sight of how she got there in the first place.
Following her acclaimed feature debut, Park (2016), Sofia Exarchou turns her gaze on a fringe community of performers caught up in a cycle of exploitative seasonal entertainment and captures with heartbreaking precision the erosion of artists’ hopes and dreams. Lead actress Dimitra Vlagopoulou, who recently won the Best Actress Award for her performance at the Locarno Film Festival, brings incredible depth and nuance to her portrayal of the ever pleasant and ready-to-party Kalia, masking the profound sense of defeat she carries underneath.
Best Actress, Locarno 2023
Dimitra Vlagopoulou, Flomaria Papadaki, Ahilleas Hariskos, Voodoo Jürgens, Ilias Hatzigeorgiou
In Greek, English and German with English subtitles
Maria Drandaki, Maria Kontogianni
Dragos Aperti, Nikos Vavouris
Sofia Exarchou was born in Athens. She studied electrical engineering at the National Technical University of Athens, film direction at the Stavrakos Film School and theater at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York. She pursued post graduate film studies at Esav in Toulouse, France. In 2014, she was selected for the Sundance Screenwriter’s & Director’s Lab. Park, her first feature film, premiered at Toronto IFF and San Sebastian IFF, where it won the New Directors Award. Since then, it has participated and won awards in numerous international film festivals (Rotterdam IFF, BFI, Thessaloniki IFF – Best Actress & Best Greek Film, European Film Festival Palic-Best European Film, Greek Film Academy – Best First Feature & Best Sound Award etc). Animal is Sofia’s sophomore feature film.
Filmography: Park (2016)
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