Director Biography – Greg Babalas (THE VIOLIN AND ITS SHADOW)

Greg Babalas was born in 1983, in Larisa, Greece. At a very early age he discovered a VHS-C camera at home. He started to shoot short scenes on video and edit them from V.C.R. to V.C.R. In the same period, he was teaching himself photography by the use of his father’s equipment. In 2001, he enrolled on Electronic Engineering studies in Greece. These studies gave him an in-depth knowledge in technology. However, during that period, he rarely used any type of camera. After three and a half years, he decided to stop his studies and to focus on visual arts. Babalas is an award winning photographer and he has participated in thirteen photography and mixed-media exhibitions, collective and personal. He directed short films and music video clips. In 2018, he graduated from university of Sunderland, with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours Degree in Photography, Video and Digital Imaging. During his photography studies, Greg Babalas was selected to join a mentoring scheme as Director of Photography, with Oscar-winning producer David Puttnam, and additionally to his degree, he has been awarded with the Puttnam Scholars Prize. In 2019 University of Sunderland awarded him with a 70% scholarship, and in 2020, he received a Master of Arts degree in Media Production (Film and Television), with Distinction. Greg seeks to craft a unique visual language and he has an artistic approach in filmmaking.

Director Statement

May 2020

This film was the result of the director’s keen interest in the relationship between man and nature. More specifically, its theme focuses on the consequences that power plants have on residents of the area of Prolemaida in Greece, who migrate in search of a safer place to live in. Although it is a film based on real events, the story is told poetically. It is a short film that deals with the problem of the forced migration of people due to the spread of a mine, which supplies lignite to the factories responsible for the production of 70% of electricity in Greece. As the mine expands, people abandon their homeland, leaving behind their homes, their monuments, their cultural centers, their cemeteries, their lives. What is the cost of a country’s energy independence? What will happen to the earth if man disappears? The shooting lasted for a month and took place in areas of Western and Central Macedonia and Thessaly, while an area about 5,000 kilometers was covered by the crew and the actors. It was definitely a process that required the whole team’s time, endurance and adaptability. We came across with the awkwardness of an abandoned place that was constantly being transformed due to the spread of the mine, while the next moment we were looking at and working in the most pristine natural landscape, all of which are shown as part of our stage narrative. We all worked with enthusiasm for this new “journey” and I believe that the result pleases us all.

Yours,

Greg Babalas

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