Several years ago the Greek America Foundation hosted its last (but soon to be re-established) Greek Film and Photography festival in Toronto.
During that weekend– which was a massive coming together of young talent from throughout North America– a team of filmmakers led by two teen-aged brothers named Vasili and Dimitri Manikas entered the competition and shot a short film.
They called it Thymos and family and friends came together to support their efforts to share the story of a new immigrant in Canada from Greece— a victim of the financial crisis who was forced to leave his country and emigrate to a foreign land.
Vasili and Dimitri were only kids at the time, yet they understood the awesome responsibility of sharing this story and assembled a team of family, friends— and financial support to shoot this film to the best of their amateur abilities.
The whole experience ignited a love for filmmaking and both boys and even inspired them to use their film to help those in need in Greece.
They organized a fundraiser-screening of the film and donated the admissions– more than $4000– to the Greek America Foundation’s Project Hope for Greece campaign which supports charities in Greece.
Fast forward a few years later– I’m shooting a short film in Toronto and I reach out to the boys– now in their early 20s and students at the University of Toronto.
They come on board the project, volunteering and spending two days on the set of “Eleftheromania,” a short film I am producing that takes place during the Second World War.
The culmination of the shoot– this message. It makes it all worth it. Every single bit.