Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 4/13/2021 – Academy Award® winning actress OLYMPIA DUKAKIS’ world as told through the keen lens of director HARRY MAVROMICHALIS in his upcoming sublimely intimate fly-on-the-wall verité documentary feature film OLYMPIA.
Executive produced by SID GANIS (The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Indiana Jones, Top Gun, Fatal Attraction, Deuce Bigalow) and released by GIANT PICTURES in association with ELLA BEAN PRODUCTIONS, OLYMPIA will be available on Apple TV and Digital | ON Demand starting March 23, 2021.. www.olympiathefilm.com
Harry, You began your career as a modern dancer and choreographer. How did this lead the way to film?
Getting into film happened by accident. I made an appointment to go see the dance department at NYU as I was interested in getting a Masters in Dance. My dance company’s assistant came with me because she was also interested in the degree. After the tour of the department we were left disappointed. My assistant then says that since we are in building that also houses the film department, she would like to go and see if she can get any information on the film program. So I went along. As the admissions woman started talking about the program I was mesmerized. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. After her long introduction, I asked for an application. She told me that the deadline was in 2 weeks and that there was no way I would have enough time to finish it. I insisted she give me one and I went home and locked myself in my room for 2 weeks. On November 30th which is my birthday and the deadline for the application, I went to NYU, submitted my papers and forgot all about it.
A couple of months later they called and asked me for an interview. And a few weeks after the interview they called to tell me I was accepted. I honestly don’t know how it happened but it did, and that changed my entire life.
What do you look for in a script?
I’m usually interested in marginalized characters and their struggle to find themselves. I’m fascinated by human relationships and the differences between what we see and what we feel.
Tell us about your new film, Olympia. Why is this film so important to you?
We live in a culture where the rich and the famous are celebrated and worshipped. And once you’re famous, you create a persona that is not really you. This film is important to me because for 3 years I was able to film the actual person. She allowed me to enter into her world, her life with a carte blanche. We all know that she is an Academy Award-winning actress, but what we don’t know is that to get there she faced so many adversities and inner conflict. As an artist myself, I know the darkness that can envelop us and so I wanted to share her story with the world. After all, is there anyone who doesn’t struggle with themselves?
Share your favorite scene.
Olympia goes back to Greece to visit her parent’s ancestral villages and she takes her family with her. While in Lesbos visiting her father’s village, she encounters 4 older women sitting on a bench. They are all dressed in black with grey hair and they are probably a similar age to Olympia. The five of them start talking about their lives, exchanging simple information about their families. Going back to your question about what I’m looking for in a script. This was a moment where a lot of things were said, but there was also a lot more things that were felt and that makes the scene really special for me. There was an exchange that was so deeply felt by all.
In a sentence, “Who is Olympia?”
Olympia is an unapologetic, self-possessed fierce warrior who is devoted to her craft, justice and the pursuit of knowledge.
Is there synergy between dancing and the creative process as a Director?
Dancing is part of my DNA. Everything I do is informed by that. I don’t have a choice in the matter.
What do you enjoy most about your career? What is next for you in 2021?
I love making films and connecting with audiences. I’m currently working on 3 projects. My second feature length documentary (Yankee Restraint) that has been shot and needs funding for editing. I’m producing another filmmaker’s first feature length documentary (KYPRI) that’s currently in production. And I’m writing my first narrative script with my brother.
Please share your social media links.
FB, IG, T: @harrymavromichalis
FB, IG, T: @olympiathefilm