SUNTAN celebrates the beauty and strength of the young body, while at the same time it embraces its inevitable decay.
We shot my most personal film to date during the summertime on the tiny island of Antiparos, when the place was packed with non-stop party-goers. Shooting a film at the busiest time of the season on a Greek island might sound like mission impossible to some, but to me it was an obvious choice. I’ve been going to Antiparos since I was 15 years old, like any hormonal teenager, and I still refuse to give up – although I’m dangerously close to the age of my leading man, Kostis.
At his early 40s, Kostis is a non-typical specimen of the adult world. He doesn’t have a family of his own, like most men his age, but he too is a prisoner of his own body, forced to stand by and watch it wither away, unable to resist the merciless passage of time.
He is faced with five prime examples of youth, a time of life that has long passed him by, probably never lived to the fullest, a time of frolicking and carelessness and, most importantly, a time of physical prominence where the body is king. It’s the age when one most lusts exhilaration, playing, dancing, falling in love and pursuing the passions of the flesh.
The eternal Greek summer provided the perfect background for this extravagance of craving and everything that goes with it: flirting, casual sex, drugs, alcohol and generally pushing the boundaries to see how far your body can go.
In the exploration of my hero's boundaries and his journey to the unknown land of physicality, I came across a terra incognita of my own – somewhat ironically, I ended up inventing a genre: I introduce you to the coming-of-middle-age film.
After directing two multi-awarded shorts and receiving a Berlinale Talent Campus stamp on his film passport, Argyris went on to become the youngest Greek filmmaker to direct a box-office feature hit. BANK BANG, which came out in 2008, went on to become a major commercial and critical hit, with 500,000 admissions and rave reviews. The film also won the First-Time Director Award from the Hellenic Film Academy.
His follow-up, WASTED YOUTH (2011), opened the 40th Rotterdam IFF and has since travelled to more than 40 festivals around the world, such as Toronto, BAFICI, Karlovy Vary, and Munich.
His latest film SUNTAN (2016) also premiered at the Rotterdam IFF. Right after that SUNTAN won the best film award at the Edinburgh IFF, the youth jury award in Brussels and a nomination for the LUX Prize of the European Parliament.
Argyris has also directed more than 200 commercials. He often puts on his producer hat with his own company, Oxymoron Films, presenting the world with award-winning features such as the 2014 Berlinale sensation AT HOME.
Last but not least, Argyris has no hobbies whatsoever.
2011 - WASTED YOUTH
2008 - BANK BANG
2004 - TENDER, short
2003 - PENDULUM, short
Cast & Crew
Directed by: Argyris Papadimitropoulos
Written by: Syllas Tzoumerkas, Argyris Papadimitropoulos
Produced by: Argyris Papadimitropoulos, Phaedra Vokali
Cinematography: Christos Karamanis
Editing: Napoleon Stratogiannakis
Production Design: Aliki Kouvaka
Costume Design: Marli Aleiferi
Make-Up & Hair: Evi Zafeiropoulou
Original Score: Yiannis Veslemes
Sound Design: Leandros Ntounis
Main Cast: Makis Papadimitriou (Kostis), Elli Triggou (Anna), Xara Kotsali (Alin), Milou Van Groesen (Mila), Dimi Hart (Jason), Markus Collen (Morten)
Nominations and Awards
- Feature Film Selection 2016