Interview with Marianna Papageorgiou

Today we will introduce you a very young friend of us : Marianna Papageorgiou. She is 22years old film-maker from Athens comes from Greece and she is involved in queer culture. She is the writer and the director of a short film called “History of Other Touches” a story of two young men and their last dinner. One of them doesn’t know it’s the last one.
The movie has been selected for several festivals:

  • London Experimental Film Festival, US
  • Short Short Story Film Festival, UK
  • Athens International Digital Film Festival, GR
  • Thessaloniki International LGBTQ Film Festival, GR

Enjoy the interview and watch the trailer.

Hi Mariana, could you tell us a bit about yourself, your personality and your background and where do you come from?

Hello the pink snout! I was born in Greece 22 years ago. Since then I live in a small city near Athens. As long as I can remember I was always interested in any form of art. At the age between 17 to 18 while I was ending school, I decided that I wanted to be a filmaker & be part of the cinema world in general. At the age of 15 I still remember the day that I saw Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” at the cinema and it shook me to the point where I was starting to thinking what it feels to be a director.

You always seemed to be interested in movies and photography. What attracted you to it and how did you even start working as a filmmaker ? is this your main activity?

Film-making & photography belong to the same family. Both are very same but at the same time so different. In the filmmaking process you have to deal with many things such as the script, directing, locations, actors etc and basically you have to create a whole new world and that’s what attracted me in the first place in cinema. On the other hand, photography is more “easy” to make. The only things that you need are your camera & ideas. You can shoot anything you want, anywhere you want. I’d say that filmmaking is my main activity, although the last months I’m working on a photography project but between
both, filmmaking is my thing.

Which artists have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?

To name a few, I’d say: Roman Polanski, because no one does it to you like Polanski does. Krzysztof Kieślowski, because he was a true human being making films about true human beings. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, because I just love him. Also, I adore Michael Haneke, David Lynch & Alain Resnais. Apart from filmakers inspiring to my heart & work have been: Robert Mapplethrope, Wolfgang Tillmans & Bruce Weber.

How do you come up with ideas for a new project?

My ideas have always been pictures that just bumped up my head. I have no other way to find ideas. They find me. Usually, I connect those pictures in my head with a song, a person, a scene from a film and altogether they become a puzzle.

Sexuality and homoerotism is making a strong appearance in your works. What made you focus on it? 

From a young age I’ve always said and thought that I don’t care if two people that they are together are a boy & a girl, a girl & a girl or a boy & a boy. The thing that I’m always interested is the context of the relationship between two human beings. So, when I make a movie between two boys that their relationship is falling apart, it’s also the same relationship that could have happened to any couple of this world. So I’d say that I don’t “focus” on it. It just happens because it is natural. As for the sexuality in my films, it’s a subject that I’m very interested in and from film to film I want to explore more.

Do you purposefully present queer content in your works or Is it more something that comes naturally to you as an artist?

As I said in my previous answer it is something that comes totally naturally to me. I strongly believe that films are for everyone who wants to see films. Cinema is a way of communication and most of the times of realization too. So I and will make films for people, regardless color, gender identity, culture. Queer cinema is more than just two gay people. Queer cinema are the new ideas, the bodies, the sex and surely, the political action.

What kind of relationship do you have with your subject when you shoot?

Either it’s a film or photography shooting, I’m always very calm and always having small
conversations about what we’re going to shoot. In a film shooting you have to earn the
trust of your crew and this is the most important thing. The way I work with actors &
models is by creating a “safe place” for them. By safe place I mean that I’m telling them
what I have in mind and then I let them to act in the most natural & spontaneous way they
want to but always having in mind the subject and the feeling we are shooting. As for my
relationship with the subject that I’m shooting, I’m always in experimental mode and surely
I become more and more sentimental when the material is done.

What do you want your viewers (gay and heterosexual) to take away from your work?

Literally & honestly, anything.

How do your personal life and experiences influence your art? Is there something autobiographical in your works?

I’d refer to my films as “semi autobiographical”. I always use personal experiences or a feeling that I have felt but it’s very funny to combine your truth with things from your fantasy. In my photography projects I believe things are less & less autobiographical. In my photographs I like to tell the stories of the persons that I shoot. But maybe, at least
subconsciously there is some of my truth in them too.

How do you resonate with the term queer?

The originally meaning for the word “queer” is: strange or peculiar. So, we are all queer.
Aren’t we?

What are your future plans concerning your art, and what should we expect?

In early summer I will release my latest short film “History of Other Touches”. Also, I already working on my new photography project which I call “filming boys series”. It’s an on-going project that I wanted to make and it’s about different portraits of different boys. As for my filmaking plans, I’m on my very early steps of writing a new script.