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Interview with Alexander Stamatiadis: Director of dance film THORN

Alexander Stamatiadis is a Greek/German filmmaker born in Athens, Greece. He spent his early years making music, photography, and films independently in the suburbs of his hometown. His first dance short film "THORN" premiered at Aesthetica Short Film Festival (BAFTA Qualifying) in York. THORN (ΑΓΚΑΘΙ in Greek), an audiovisual journey set in the cold Greek province of Thiva, is a film full of emotions, characters, and timeless pictures. The film is about three strangers that coincidentally meet at a remote gas station and later find out they share a connection that allows them to reshape time. The crew and actors managed to create some unique and calming moments in a rather fast-consuming cinematic world. We had the chance to sit down and talk with Alexander and learn more about his background, ideas, goals, and THORN.

Where did the idea come from?

The whole project landed pretty spontaneously. In late January ‘22, Petros Nikolidis, a long-time partner and co-producer of the short film, invited his Paris-based dance crew “Cie Kh” to visit Greece to shoot their latest dance project THORN, choreographed by Karim Khouader. It was a very cold week and the snowiest it’s been in Greece for years making even the shortest drive a nightmare. But that didn’t stop us from pursuing our plan. We planned to film outdoors at some expansive cornfields in Thiva, about one hour north of Athens in mainland Greece. On our journey there we found that dancing outdoors was not only almost impossible but actually dangerous due to the snow and ice. In an attempt to get over our location-scouting defeat, we went to grab some food in a nearby town. On the way, we passed an old gas station, and the Cinematographer Dimitris Lambridis insisted we stop to take some pictures. Turned out, the gas station was exactly what we needed for our film. Entering the gas station we met the owner, Mr. Dimitris, and joined him around the small heater. We discussed our ideas and he was kind enough to allow us to use his premises for our shoot.

“I feel so lucky and humbled to be able to work with dancers, they are something else... There are times when you just sit and watch. "

What inspired you to become a film director?

Ever since I remember myself, I was connected to image and sound, whether that was taking pictures, shooting DIY films, or playing the drums. I think my passion for film and music drew my interest in the medium of music videos. This journey made me cross paths with some very talented Greek musicians such as Good Job Nicky, Leon of Athens, Sworr & rapper Saske.

What was the biggest challenge of filming THORN?

Without a doubt, it was the cold. On set, we had just a mini heater around, whilst trying to keep things moving at all times. We stayed hydrated drinking hot beverages, specially prepared by our amazing Production Manager, Io Papadatou. Not to mention that the gas station’s water was frozen and so was the toilet… forcing us to take frequent trips to the great outdoors.

What are your future goals?

Not sure how to respond to that question. My future goals would be to work on other films and be able to surround myself with inspiring people. I try not to overthink ‘the future’, having faith by my side.

You can keep track of 23-year-old, Alexander, on his Instagram and be the first one to learn about his upcoming projects. You can watch THORN on Vimeo & our platform Innerdive.