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Greek film Wasted Youth to open 40th IFFR


The 40th International Film Festival Rotterdam will open on the evening of Wednesday 26 January with the world première of the Greek film Wasted Youth, a fiction film also selected for the festival's Tiger Awards Competition. Co-directors Argyris Papadimitropoulos and Jan Vogel, the producers and cast members Haris Markou, Ieronimos Kaletsanos, Arthouros Kiviliof, Jason Wastor and Themis Bazaka will be present at the opening.
 
Wasted Youth is set during a hot summer day in Athens. A sixteen-year-old skater and his friends are amusing themselves in the big city. A middle-aged man struggles to take care of his family, through work that he hates and mounting stress. Their lives intersect in this contemporary portrait of the city of Athens and a society in crisis.
The film deliberately avoids factual accuracy, instead telling a fictional story. Wasted Youth is above all a film about the city of Athens, which is teetering on the brink of a nervous breakdown.
 
Rutger Wolfson,

director of International Film Festival Rotterdam on Wasted Youth: "Wasted Youth convinces from the very first moment until the very last second. As a ‘rough guide' to today's Athens, but also through two main characters, whose psychology and problems are completely real. Wasted Youth gives a subtle impression of the relationships between citizens and authorities, between individual freedoms and economic realities. Seemingly without effort, the filmmakers hold the audience's attention throughout this stylish, gripping drama."
 
In their statement on Wasted Youth, the two directors have said: "Some films are made with a sense of urgency. With such films, it is now or never. Wasted Youth is most certainly one of these films. We started without a script or a finance plan. The money came from private investors. We filmed in a documentary style, outside on the streets, with a small crew. The Vasilis character is very close to everyday reality in Athens: exhausted, confused, unable to make any progress, brimming with desperation and aggression. The boy, Harry, is a typical teenager. His life revolves around skateboarding, music, girls, arguing with his parents and having fun with his friends."
 
Argyris Papadimitropoulos (1976, Athens) studied Media & Film in Oxford and Athens. His first short film, Pendulum (2003), won awards for best actor at the Drama Short Film Festival and for best screenplay at the San Francisco Film Festival. In 2008, his feature debut, Bank Bang, was well received by the critics and a commercial hit, as well as winning the First Time Director Award at the Film Academy in Athens. During this period, he made more than 100 commercials and set up his own production company, Oxymoron. Wasted Youth is his second feature film.
 
Jan Vogel (1973) was born in Ecuador and grew up in Hamburg. From 1994, he worked in film production; the in 1997, he started studying film at the AFI in Los Angeles, but dropped out after a year to make commercials and direct a short film with Rene Villar Rios. From 1999, he has worked in Germany as the director and cameraman on a number of commercials, short films and documentaries. In 2003, he founded Dickes Film Production, with Rene Villar Rios and Alexander Papastavrou, in Berlin. Wasted Youth is his feature debut.
 
 
Wasted Youth (Greece, 2011, 98', world premiere)
Official Opening Film of the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2011 and selected for the Tiger Awards Competition 2011
 
Directors/Writers: Argyris Papadimitropoulos & Jan Vogel
Producers: Argyris Papadimitropoulos, George Karnavas
Co-producers: Federico Pietra, Dionisis Bougas
Executive producer: Konstantinos Kontovrakis
Production: Stefi Production, Oxymoron Films
Cinematography: Jan Vogel, Manu Tilinski
Editor: Yiannis Chalkiadakis
Set Designer: Yiannis Xintaras
Costumes: Argyris Papadimitropoulos, Aliki Kouvaka
Sound Rec & Design: Leandros Ntounis
Sound Mix: Kostas Filaktidis
Music: Fabrika
 
Cast:
Harris Markou
Ieronimos Kaletsanos
Arthouros Kiviliof
Jason Wastor
Syllas Tzoumerkas
Maria Kirozi
Maria Skoula
Marissa Triantafillidou
Yiannis Tsortekis
Yiannis Ekonomides
 
Special appearance:
Themis Bazaka
Tania Savopoulou

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