A film student from the Pratt Institute has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise necessary funds to shoot his thesis film in Greece.
Written and directed by Spyros Katsihtis, “Philotimo” tells the story of Yianni and Elia — two lifelong friends who set on a journey to discover themselves and what they mean to the world around them after the death of their best friend.
While making their way to Kalamata for the funeral, the two boys philosophize about life and death with powerful dialogue about the marks that people leave during time on earth.
Born in New Jersey but raised for four years in Sparta, Katsihtis said the film’s goal is to represent how he feels about Greece — a place he loves, which suffers from political, economic and moral instabilities.
“I’ve put a lot of thought and time into producing something that comments on the country’s current conditions,” he said. “Not only does the storyline dive into the world of two young adults trying to figure out their own intellectual and spiritual paths, but [it] also shows the sorrow that these boys are feeling.”
That sorrow, Katsihtis explained, symbolizes the greater sorrow of the Greek people who have experienced tremendous misfortunes.
“At its core, the mourning of the friend also relates to the Greek peoples’ mourning for the country that has seen so much trouble in these past years,” he said.
The New Jersey native said another goal of his film is to exhibit the beauty of Greece’s landscape, which he believes should be “captured and showed” worldwide.
He added that he will donate all unused funds to Sparta’s Center of the Sick, a primary care facility for those with incurable illness.
Katsihtis has made numerous short films over the past year and currently interns in post production at Technicolor/Postworks.
Now living in Brooklyn, New York, the aspiring filmmaker said he is extremely excited to return to his homeland to tell a very personal story.
“Being a Greek American and also living some of my life in Greece, I always wanted to shoot a film in Greece,” he said. “After figuring out that senior year of film school was dedicated to making the best film you can, I decided that senior year would be the year to make something that falls back to where I am from.”
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