Greece, Germany, North Macedonia


A middle-aged fisherman living on Greece's northern border, who is drowning in debt, starts to smuggle migrants across the border lake, in exchange for a hefty fee. His wife, a housewife and devout churchgoer, is seeking the truth in God's Word, while their daughter tries to define her own life within an oppressive environment. Until a tragic incident strikes the family, pushing the three heroes to face their own personal impasses and weaknesses, whilst having to consider, for the first time in their life, the price to pay for their actions.

Director's Statement

I am a Greek writer and director with a personal filmmaking style. My stories focus on contemporary social issues of the individual human experience, through the lens of women’s perspectives. I am interested in how we – ordinary people – are trapped in our ‘modern’ societies, and how social structures reproduce themselves, driving us away from our ‘true’ needs and desires. My stories have their roots in psychoanalytic approaches and social anthropology and are related to my philosophical and political explorations as well as my fears. As a writer-director, I strive to explore these themes in a relatable way through authentic and genuine local characters at the heart of my stories. I constantly experiment with new POV narrative structures that take us deeper into individual characters and their inner world. I also leverage the technical constraints of filmmaking to experiment with new visual styles that support my psychological, character-driven narratives.

Behind the Haystacks is my debut feature film. It is a social drama with thriller elements taking place in 2015 in a lakeside village on the Greek Northern border, where hundreds of migrants gather every day with the goal to illegally cross into Northern Europe.

This story is told from three different perspectives, through a ‘Rashomon-style’ narrative: we gradually discover, through the individual perspectives of three family members, the consequences of self-motivated desires and prejudices related to a central incident. The story takes place in a local corrupt and patriarchal society, while raising questions about how an entire community can be led to crime, deception, submission and collective denial. At the same time, the background highlights the hypocrisy of our ‘civilised’ Western societies, which on the one hand shed tears for humanity, but on the other hand become accomplices in the exploitation, impoverishment, displacement and even death of thousands of people. Behind the Haystacks is thus, an exploration about where our modern societies are being led to and why, and about the way individual human relationships collapse within these societies. An exploration, which, however, has no intention of condemning the everyday man who – defeated – submits to corrupt social structures. On the contrary, it attempts to shed light onto the darkness and unveil everything that is human and beautiful in his/her everyday struggle to survive, from his/her need to love, to enjoy her life, and improve the world around her.

The film was shot during the second Covid lockdown in 2021, in different locations in Greece and North Macedonia - under extremely difficult circumstances. However, the challenging constraints and countless obstacles helped us take bold and risky decisions in a creative and emotionally gripping process, that turned constraints into new visual stylistic choices. These stylistic decisions related to camerawork, framing and offscreen sound, although initiated by technical constraints themselves, finally served the narrative in a unique and original way, and were coherently embodied into the overall lyrical, intense and intimate style of the film.


Cast & Crew

Directed by: Asimina Proedrou

Written by: Asimina Proedrou

Main Producer: Ioanna Bolomyti, Markus Halberschmidt, Vladimir Anastasov, Angela Nestorovska

Cinematography: Simos Sakertzis

Editing: Electra Venaki

Production Design: Eduard Georgiou

Costume Design: Kiki Miliou

Make-Up & Hair: Dora Nazou

Original Score: Marios Strofalis

Sound: Nikos Papadimitrioiu, Electra Venaki, Persefoni Miliou, Kostas Varibopiotis

Visual Effects: Antonis Kotzias

Casting: Sotiria Marini, Sofia Dimopoulou, Fragiskos Xydianos, Akis Gourzoulidis

Cast: Stathis Stamoulakatos (Stergios), Lena Ouzounidou (Maria), Eugenia Lavda (Anastasia)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2023