“Man of God” -Yelena Popovic
Director of the film about Saint Nektarios
Yelena Popovic –Serbian Producer & Director-is a very talented, strong woman with a unique story and a dynamic course over the years!
We are honored to host her new work “Man of God” -a Greek-American religious drama on the tribulations of Saint Nektarios of Aegina – and happy for this mini interview she had with us about the film and our cooperation.
The film was produced by Simeon Entertainment and View Master Films in association with the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopedi, St. Maxim The Greek Institute, The Holy Metropolis of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki and Eurogroup, and with the support of Ingenuity-FO, Deep Dream, NP Insurance, Minetta Insurance and EKOME (The National Center of Audiovisual Media and Communication). Feelgood Entertainment is releasing the film theatrically in Greece and Cyprus. Pinnacle Peak Pictures (fka Pure Flix) is handling international sales for the film.
It will be a homage paid to the saint one hundred years after his passage to eternal life.
AW: What makes the film “Man Of God” special to you?
YE: What makes it special to me is that I’m moved and inspired by Agios Nektarios. If we have more people like him, this world would be a much better place. More specifically the film deals with certain issues that are very relevant, like destructive lust for power that lurks everywhere, including places where people could and should find peace and truth instead.
AW: Which scenes do you prefer most in this film?
YE: Like any good piece of art, a film has to work as a whole. When Rodin sculpted Balzac and when he asked different people what they thought of it, they all said: ‘It’s amazing! Look at those hands, those hands are genius!’. After repeatedly hearing the same thing Rodin took a hammer and broke off the hands to the horror of the onlookers. Today we can still view his famous statue without the hands. Having said this I believe that every scene in a film is important as long as it supports thepremise of the story and it moves the story forward. If it doesn’t, I do not care how ‘amazing’ the scene is, it needs to go.
AW: What should your viewers take away from it?
YE: In our creative process we had some special moments where I believe magic happened. I will let the viewers decide. Hopefully, they will get moved and inspired.
AW: What was your inspiration for the visual narrative of the film?
YE: The inspiration of the visual narrative was the meaning and the feel of the story. A cross between Coen Brothers and Franco Zaffirelli’s ‘Jesus of Nazareth’. I was very lucky to work with Panagiotis Vasilakis who had a deep understanding of the story. We both work from inside out, not the other way around.
AW: How did you decide on the casting of the film?
YE: To me good casting is one of the most important things in directing. Apart from having amazingly talented actors which I was fortunate to work with, I chose actors for each role very carefully, that even if they did not utter a word you would believe they are who they are playing.
AW: Please share with us some behind the scenes moments from when you were shooting the film.
YE: One thing that I will never forget is a moment when my DP Panagiotis, with a camera on his back trips, makes something like a full flip in the air and lands on his feet with the camera on his shoulders intact. I was shocked thinking I just saw a miracle when the focus puller just simply states: I’ve seen this happened to him a lot. Another one is when we were shooting in Plaka in a house at night and we realised we were missing a door for the set decoration. In a very short period of time the door was put in. I was very thankful to the owner of a nearby restaurant who ended up lending us a door.
My experience working with Authorwave was very good: Manos Hamilakis, the colourist, did an amazing job; Panagiotis Vasilakis as well spent the majority of the time with Manos colouring the film. When I came to sessions to review the work in progress I was very pleased to see that our film became what we originally had envisioned.
Director: Yelena Popovic
Cinematographer: Panagiotis Vasilakis
Cast Aris Servetalis, Alexander Petrov, Mickey Rourke, Christos Loulis, Karyofyillia Karabeti,
Producer(s): Alexandros Potter, Yelena Popovic, Maria Giachnaki
Executive Producer(s): Costas Lambropoulos, John Kynigopoulos, Yannis Avgerinos, Amini Mamma, Ron Gell, George Kyriakos, Lampros Georgopoulos
DI Post: Authorwave
DI Colorist: Manos Hamilakis
DI Assistant Colorist: Maria Tzortzatou