2009 Directors Speak

julian-doyle-photo Julian Doyle, director of “Chemical Wedding” that won the Audience Award for Best Feature, accepting the award:

“I have always believed that you can be entertaining, adventurous, funny and sometimes very silly and still be dealing with interesting and intelligent ideas. I thank you all for making me feel we succeeded in being entertaining and funny and sometimes very, very silly. I hope also that some of the ideas I was trying to deal with -from quantum physics to secret organizations to biblical history will stay with you in contemplation and stimulate further investigations in the future.”

…and about his experience in visiting SFF-rated and Greece:

“Athens in Spring – what a lovely city to find oneself in -and the Greeks: what an interesting people to chat with.  So to run my controversial film ‘Chemical Wedding’ at the  Athens SFF-rated 2009 festival was a real pleasure.  The film always divides audiences and what I enjoyed in the Greek Audience was the passion and intelligence of the responses, whether they loved it or hated it.  I don’t know if it was my respect for the home of philosophy, but the intelligence in discussion is obviously different from the pretentiousness of discussions about the film in Paris.   So if you have a chance to wander the maze of streets with their profusion of little shops with many original clothes and artifacts or stop for a snack in the many restaurants and street cafes, don’t miss it. As for the Acropolis and the Parthenon, although I am a man of images, these are spectacles that you have to witness -not just see.”

nofre-moya-photoNofre Moya, director of “Rain” that won the Audience Award for Best Short, accepting the award:

It’s a great honour to me to receive this ”audience best award”. It makes me feel that I share with the audience similar inquietudes about the present society, and about what we expect from the close future if we don’t change our attitude in the world we live.
Sometimes the fantasy is the best way to analyze the real present.”


Ryan Uzilevsky, director of the short film “The River of Copsa Mica” on what it meant to him and his movie to be selected for the SFF-rated 2009, and on his experience from visiting:

“You ‘re in”: Some of the best news a filmmaker can get in their email box. Typically I dance around my apartment like a loon when hearing these words. And 4 weeks ago was no different. I was accepted to the SFF-rated Athens International Science fiction and Fantasy Film Festival in Greece! Only a few short weeks away, I sublet my apartment, put a stack of DVDs and some clothes in a backpack, and bought a one way ticket from New York to Greece. A somewhat typical spontaneous maneuver for me, based partly on faith, and partly on absolute recklessness. After the initial plunge, things started to fall into place and I arrived in Greece with some good connections and an open mind. Upon arriving at the festival location I was treated very respectfully and attended to as if I had done something important, which was rare to receive having only a medium length film. The organizers of the festival promptly and gratefully acknowledged me for coming, and we spoke about the film in depth. Shortly after I was invited to a tasty Greek dinner with some other visiting directors, including Julian Doyle who was a major creative head in one of my favorite movies of all time: Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil” -Julian was the editor. I couldn’t believe this was happening! After that I was invited to do a radio interview live in Athens, which was great fun.

The other films at the festival were inspiring, and the intimate nature of the event allowed audiences and directors to connect in a casual way, and easily become friends. This film festival kicked of a major stint of publicity and acknowledgment for my film here on the European continent. The movie takes place in Romania, and I decided to travel there after. They put me in magazines and on TV, and I am now working with a celebrated photo journalist to make a documentary about my trip to the Romanian town where my film takes place. Also I have been accepted to two more festivals in Romania. SFF-rated was the catalyst for all these great connections that have begun to bring the experience of making a film about an obscure European historical event around full circle, in more ways than I could have imagined when I heard those first words:”You’re In”. Thank you guys!!!”


Marya Mazor, director of the short film “The Winged Man”, on her visit:

” ”

(well, it just confirms the old cliche, that ladies tend to be late. C’mon Marya, we’ re waiting for you!)

(days after): A bit late, but here she goes:

WOW!!  How amazing it was to travel halfway across the world to Greece to view our film, The Winged Man —  a fantastical story which itself seemed to emanate from Ancient Greek Myth.

From the first moments of our arrival, we were welcomed warmly by A*** P**** and the SFF-rated Festival team.  Although the film is a short, we were immediately made to feel like an important part of the festival, and invited to dine with other filmmakers at one of the most fabulous Greek restaurants.  What a surprise to discover that Julian Doyle, long-time collaborator of Monty Python, was to join us at the table!  As first-time filmmakers, we felt honored to be in the company of our heroes!!  After an incredible meal, we set forth to discover the many joys of the festival, and of Greece — I am still processing the awe-inspiring experience of visiting the Acropolis, and the Temple of Apollo where the Delphic Oracle once spoke (remember that in Shakespeare’s “Winter’s Tale” — it is one of my favorite plays that I have directed).

The works we saw was wonderfully varied and interesting — Julian’s feature, Chemical Wedding, was a real highlight for us!  Our film, a magical realism story about a young girl who encounters a mysterious Winged figure, was perhaps a bit different from the Sci-fi stories the festival is used to — but the SFF-rated team made us feel that it was equally important to the festival.  Seeing it with a Greek audience and Greek subtitles is an experience I will always remember — and it was astonishing to me to be able to talk to the warm, thoughtful Greek audience about what they saw.

Athens is such a lovely city, and the Greek people so wonderfully welcoming, that it was an absolute delight to walk the cobble-stone streets, visit the many small shops, and discover this city that is both ancient and modern.

SFF-rated is a wonderfully committed group that is truly passionate about Sci-Fi filmmaking.  They also made the extra effort to welcome and accommodate filmmakers from around the world.  I was warmly hosted by Festival Director A*** P**** and his team!  Thanks for making it such an incredible experience! ”

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