Direction: Nikos Theodosiou Screenplay: Nikos Theodossiou Cinematography: Nikos Theodossiou, Dimitris Spyrou
Editing: Yorgos Kourmouzas Music: Maurice Ravel Producer: Dimitris Spyrou
Production: Youth Plan, Beta SP, Colour 14′ 30’’ Greece, 2005
Portrait of a projectionist. – In the cinema business everyone calls him Villy. His real name was Willhem Svetzner. Born in Istanbul with his origin from Austria. After the with-hunting against the Greeks in 1955, he moved in Athens. He served with faithfulness the cinema, as a projectionist, for fifty years…
Press Conference, Thessaloniki, 9 April 2005
Continuing the press conference, Nikos Theodosiou took the floor and spoke about his film Villy, which is based on a portrait of the projectionist Willhelm (Villy) Souvenel. “However, it is not just a portrait of Villy”, stressed Mr. Theodosiou. “ It is an abstract sketch of a man’s journey who devoted his life to cinema, a man who lived for cinema. A sketch drawn with a trembling hand. This film is one of those films that you don’t schedule, you don’t plan to make them, but they impose themselves on you. Many times, you would probably prefer not make them.”
Willhelm Souvenel was born in 1932 in Constantinople. He was of Austrian descent. In 1955, when the pogrom against the Greeks of Constantinople broke out, Willhelm’s family’s possessions were confiscated, while he and his parents left Constantinople and came to Athens. Villy, who learned about cinema during his army duty, exclusively practiced the art of projectionist in many cinemas in Athens, for approximately half a century. In spite of pursuing it, Greek citizenship was never granted to him. To the Greek authorities he was and remained a man without a country. “The film is based on six moments – six small narratives – and many silences. The images that accompany them are only what we managed to see between the blinding flashes of the voltaic arc. It’s length could not have been more than 14 minutes. The amount of time it took to travel from the FILIP cinema to Patisia, after the last screening”, the director characteristically noted, who also mentioned that in the “making” of the film what predominated for the most part was emotion.