John Krokidas: The Filmmaker Who Refused to Give Up


I first heard about John Krokidas in a magazine article that featured up and coming young gays. It was in The Advocate, a national news magazine for this community. Like you (probably) I always look for Greek names… in film credits, in “top 100” lists, anywhere.

And there he was, a fellow Greek, on such a prestigious list that included other giants in media, business and the arts. So I reached out and connected with John via Facebook, and eventually over a cup of coffee in Beverly Hills during one of my trips to the West Coast.

John is now on a list of possible Oscar contenders for his feature film debut that he directed and co-wrote called “Kill Your Darlings.” The critically-acclaimed film that premiered at Sundance this year tells the story of the Beat generation of American writers— epic times in American literature in the 1940s and 50s. He brings to life the long gone but not forgotten stories of literary giants like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Lucien Carr.

The one thing I remember about my meeting with John was that he refused to give up his dream of making this film. He told me the story about the evolution of the project and how many times he was so close to throwing in the towel. But he persisted. He never gave up.

And the results: one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year that Variety Magazine is calling one of 30 Oscar contenders— this from a rookie director who has never directed a feature film before and barely out of his 30s.

Why? Because he refused to give up his dream. Thank you John for this lesson. It has helped me a lot lately with some of my own dreams that I’m thinking of quitting.

Now our responsibility? Let’s get out and see this kid’s film! Google “Kill Your Darlings” and see when and where it’s playing in your town. Good luck John with this film and your future.


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