Once upon a time, the London Film School went by another name. In the years of 1968-1969, LFS alumnus Manoussos Manousakis knew it as the London School of Film Technique. Almost half a century later, Manousakis is still making feature films, and his latest project, CLOUDY SUNDAY, screened at the UK International Jewish Film Festival on Sunday 13th November as part of the UK leg of its tour of festivals all around the world.
Having already been screened at eleven festivals, CLOUDY SUNDAY picked up Best Director and Best Cinematography at the Slemani International Film Festival. This award was accompanied by the Astron Award for Best Feature-Length Film at the San Francisco Greek Film Festival, Best Supporting Actress, Best Costume Design and Best Make Up at the Hellenic Film Academy and the Best Film Award in the Atlanta Greek Film Festival.
Set in Northern Greece, 1942, history and fiction blend in CLOUDY SUNDAY as the untold story of Thessaloniki’s Sephardic community during the 2nd World War is uncovered. “My aim for the realization of this film is to provide an opportunity to learn for those who are unaware; in the hope that those crimes will never be repeated.” Caught up in this are a Jewish girl and a Christian boy, both members of the resistance, and their love story plays out against the backdrop of the atrocities.
With another nine confirmed festival selections, there is ample opportunity to catch a glimpse of CLOUDY SUNDAY at a screening around the world:
- Australian Jewish film festival – 30th October – 17th November 2016
- Greek Film Festival of Sydney – 17th November 2016
- Boston Jewish Film Festival – 20th November 2016
- Los Angeles Sephardic Jewish Film Festival – 20th November 2016
- Vienna Jewish Film festival – 22nd & 23rd November 2016
- Griechische Filmtage Nürnberg – 25th November 2016
- Edinburgh Greek Film Festival – 5th December 2016
- Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival – 24th and 25th December
- Pantalla Pinamar International Film Festival – 12th March 2017
Prior to the screening of CLOUDY SUNDAY at the UK International Jewish Film Festival, Manousakis took time out to revisit the London Film School where his journey began, and LFS Screenwriting graduate Laura Nucinkis caught up with him to ask what he learnt from his time at the school. "To trust myself, to be stubborn, to be a perfectionist…[The LFS] builds on the spontaneity, enthusiasm, and sincerity an artist has. It does it in a practical way - You just make films!”
With over 40 years of filmmaking experience under his belt since those days, Manousakis had two pieces of advice for current LFS students hoping to follow in his footsteps:
“Feel free. The school enhances freedom. Explore all means that are available. Talk, unite, work collectively and, at the same time, be the center of the world.”
Secondly, he urged current students to grab hold of an opportunity not readily available to him when he first entered the industry:
"Technology allows filmmakers to free their imagination early on in their careers. And communication worldwide is faster and easier. Technology is a great asset for a filmmaker if you are using it and it does not use you.”
Written by Ben Corbett
Photo Credit: Kostis Gikas