Director Biography – Katerina Giannakopoulou , Mixalis Iliaskos (THE TRAGEDY OF DOMNA VISVIZI)

I have been directing my own multidisciplinary performances since 2016. My approach is always to deliver a powerful message on a theme through a story performed by a highly developed character using the power of music, dance & performance art.

PANDEMIA, my multiple award winning experimental music film (2020), is my first exclusively solo project which I directed, performed, danced and produced. It is a poignant cautionary tale on the topic of COVID19 from the perspective of Mother Nature as the protagonist.

My collaboration with Mixalis Iliaskos, the creator of Greek Natural Videos started in 2016 with our first multidisciplinary art music video “TO FILAXTO” with Dimitris Tektonidis as D.O.P. Our role as directors of our film and production company GREEK NATURAL VIDEOS is to showcase our beautiful country and share the richness of Greece by combining poetry, history, music, dance and acting in a more modern cinematically artistic documentary format as we did with “The Tragedy of Domna Visvizi” (2020)


Director Statement

My multidisciplinary collaboration with Mixalis Iliaskos mirrors the relationship of the brave and patriotic Greek couple Visvizi in this cinematic homage filmed by Dimitris Tektonidis.

Switching between my role as director to my dual role as Domna Visvizi (dancer/actress) was only possible with much preparation & teamwork. Mixalis’ knowledge of Greek History, poetry, and the Greek aesthetic inspired and both guided me in becoming Domna Visvizi and allowed me to envision “The Tragedy of Domna Visvizi.” With our amazing D.O.P. by our side, our film which initially started as a sketch on a mobile phone, was transformed into a rich multidisciplinary work of art.

Our great love for our Greek homeland lead us, in the mysterious ways life does, to the little known and long forgotten story of Domna Visvizi. Deeply moved and inspired, we immediately began the work of creating a heartfelt homage to Domna Visvizi poignantly recognizing both her great love and sacrifice for our shared homeland. The singer/songwriter/director Mixalis Iliaskos released a new single: “You… My sweet Madonna,” with music by Sakis Tsilikis and lyrics by Toula Karoni for this film which is anchored in the powerful romantic bond of mutual admiration shared by the couple Vizvisi as a leitmotif of the dramatic life of this Thracian warrior from 1821 when her husband was killed in battle until her own death.

The lyrics and music of “You… My Sweet Madonna,” guided us to interpret and direct the dramatic history of Domna Visvizi, forsaken woman, warrior, mother, wife and lover.

Domna Visvizi and her admiring husband express their love for Greece by forsaking their comfortable lives to fight for the liberation of Ainos and Halkidiki in the revolution of 1821 on their ship, Kalomira. Domna Visvizi’s unredeemed valour, formidable gallantry, and undaunted confrontation with fate in the critical moments of her life, and the revolution, entitle her to the position of an awe-inspiring heroine in Greek history. Her extraordinary loyalty and courage elevate her stature to at least that of Bouboulina and Manto Mavrogenous. She died abandoned, poor and forsaken. Through a series of documents, excerpts of which are quoted, one can see the anxiety of the Thracian fighter for the success of the revolution, her great contribution and subsequent utter abandonment by the very state she fought to defend and liberate. Our movie was shot in beautiful Acritic Alexandroupolis, where the flags wave with the essence of Greece.

Lyrics:
You…sweet Madonna
My never-ending story
My homeland longing you are
Open your borders
Place me in your heart
You… my sweet Madonna
like a sacred icon
You are the maelstrom of my love
My sweet pain
Delicate figure like a slender branch you lean
and all the honey you envelop me in
You…my little chasm, lust in my body
You are my bitter doubt
Why are you chasing me?
My exotic Circe take me now to court with your magical voice
if I do not surrender.

Author: experimentalfilmfestival

Festival occurs 4 times a year. Showcased the best of experimental short films and music videos from around the world.

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