Home #Hwoodtimes Lesvia – The Herstory of Eressos

Lesvia – The Herstory of Eressos

(The Hollywood Times) 6/28/21 – I was born and grew up on the island of  Lesvos, the same place where the great poet Sappho was inspired to write the most beautiful poems, that speak about Eros, desire, love between women. When I came out in the early 80’s, her poetry was my inspiration and the only certainty that love can be expressed in a different way than the one I was taught. I understood that I love women but only when I went to Eressos in 1980 did  I meet other  lesbians who  had come in search of Sappho. The next years were a revelation for me, because women from all over the world came to this secluded place with the long and at that time deserted  beach.  The place we discovered became our shelter and helped us develop our lesbian identity. In this place we found peace with our bodies, with our sexuality,  we found joy, love, and a community where we could be ourselves, without being criticized.

As a filmmaker, I have been compelled to capture the stories Erressos has given us in a collection of over 70 interviews with lesbians. I have dedicated myself to this project for the last ten years, filming women who came here since the ’70s, women who built businesses here, women holidaymakers and women who live here all year round, as well as the local people who saw the life of their remote village being actually invaded by skinhead, punk, strange women who were kissing their girlfriends at the village square. A lot has happened in the last 40 years in Eressos. In the end, even though the differences were so great, I mean you can’t think of a bigger difference than a traditional local Greek village and a group of extremist feminists lesbians, we’ve managed to find an equal balance with each other, a balance that works, for now at least. This is a beautiful lesson in what’s happening in the last years in Europe. Eressos is the microcosm of the world and is an example of coexistence.

The interviews tell of the absolute joy and freedom women have experienced in this unique place. They are a testimony to the struggles of women, especially lesbian women, fighting for the freedom to be themselves.

After working for over ten years, my passion and commitment for this project grows and I am determined to find a way to share all these wonderful stories. Now is the time to call on other professionals and collaborators to help bring the film to completion.  This stage is costly and will require a budget of at least €20,000. I am reaching out and requesting financial support to enable me to commission a supervisor editor, an editor, a consultant to the script, a sound mixer, a music composer, a color correction specialist, get the license for music, transfer the archive material into a new digital form, transcribe the interviews, create a DCP, submit the film to the festivals, design a poster and other promotional material,  and a long list of smaller but equally important and expensive procedures,  and take the film into post-production.  As well as an online fundraiser and other fundraising activities I am approaching individuals like yourself who I know, who know my work and are part of this herstory.

I believe my film will be a wonderful document of the lives, loves, and herstory of this fascinating place and in helping it come to fruition you will be an important part of the story itself.

Watch my film Mr. Dimitris and Mrs. Dimitroula https://youtu.be/JfQNAIzUG-M

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and TV Critic at The Hollywood Times, a showbiz/promotions aggregate mainly for insiders. She has written for Communications Daily in DC, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International in NYC. Valerie works closely with GLSEN, GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign (Fed Club Council Member), LAMBDA Legal, NCLR, and Outfest. She is also a member of the LA Press Club. She is a lay minister and parishioner of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Hollywood. Milano loves meeting people and does so in her getaway home in Palm Springs as a member of the Palm Springs Museum, Palm Springs Center and DAP Health (Partners for Life member). For years Valerie Milano had volunteered as a board member and one of the chief organizers for the Television Critics Association’s press tours. The tours take place twice a year in Beverly Hills/Pasadena.