“An impossible secret” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Sofia Mavrou

2024 April 19

“An impossible secret” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Sofia Mavrou

-Who is Sofia Mavrou?

I am an independent filmmaker and actress with no formal training in filmmaking and acting. I love the art of film as it is a very powerful means of communication.  It can convey messages and emotions through images, music, movements, lighting and camera angles. ”An Impossible Secret” was my directorial debut and I thoroughly enjoyed the process of writing the story and then bringing it to life. I read books about filmmaking and script writing in the past but through the process of writing and directing my own film I learned so much more. It has been an amazing experience for me and it has given me the encouragement to carry on with my next film. 

I studied Primary Education and Psychology at University which helped me develop skills that are very useful for screenwriting and filmmaking such as writing, analytical and communication skills, problem solving and teamwork. Also understanding human behaviour and the underlying causes of our actions is very important when you create your story and characters for a film.

-What inspired you to become a Filmmaker?

I have worked as a careers adviser for the last 15 years in high schools and although I enjoy my job and the interaction with young people I felt that I needed a hobby to channel my creativity. As a child I loved reading and watching films. In primary school I started writing my own stories and some of them were read in class but I never had the confidence to take part in any competitions. I loved going to the cinema as a child and always thought how wonderful would be to create your own story and then turn it into a film. However as filmmaking has always been a hard industry to break through I chose instead to go into teaching.

Last year I decided to write my own story and turn it into a film. My inspiration came from an Italian family friend. Her dad was an Italian prisoner of war who came to Wales to work on farms during the Second World War. ”An Impossible Secret” is my first film.  It took me a long time to gather the courage to get my story out there as I had to first learn how to turn my story into a screenplay. I am very lucky as I had very supportive cast and crew members that helped me bring my story to life. 

As there is a lack of female filmmakers I think it is important to break those barriers such as gender discrimination and stereotyping in a male dominated industry. Female filmmakers are not only interested in women’s stories. They can make movies about any matters that they feel are important to be addressed.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

Cinema is a powerful means of communication as it combines music, art, theatre. It can give the audience an unforgettable experience by immersing them into a world of strong visuals, emotive music and performances. Cinematic films can bring a  positive change in the society as they can convey messages and emotions and get the audience to start reflecting on their life, beliefs and feelings. 

Cinema can change the world for the better by touching us on a deep, emotional level and inspiring us to take action. We all remember those films that had a significant impact on us because we connected with them on an emotional level. We will never forget how a film made us feel whether it was a tale of triumph over adversity or a tough exploration of social issues. Cinema can also push boundaries and challenge what is considered acceptable in society. Some films may do this in a more subtle way and get the audience to reflect on their own prejudices and beliefs. I strongly believe that cinema has the power to challenge social norms, question current attitudes and therefore promote a more inclusive and diverse society.

-What would you change in the world?

I would prefer for the world to be more inclusive and diverse. No stereotypes such as gender, race, age, nationality, religion, social class as they do lead to inequalities in society. For example gender stereotyping feeds into gender discrimination. Gender stereotyping can limit the development of natural talents of boys and girls and limit their educational and life opportunities. I also wish the world would value personal happiness over materialism, integrity over dishonesty, altruism over selfishness, kindness over ruthlessness.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

We all know that artificial intelligence is here to stay and it will also have an impact on filmmaking. AI is opening up new possibilities in film production processes. It is a development that I am still not sure where it will take us in the film industry. For example suggestions have been made to use algorithms to replace human imagination in scriptwriting, performance and the creation of moving images.

The SAG-AFTRA strike in Hollywood last year showed us that artificial intelligence could be a serious threat for everyone involved in the film industry including actors, screenwriters, visual effect artists. Union members expressed concerns about how artificial intelligence could exploit performers by using their likeness without fair compensation. The real threat is that many professionals in the film industry including actors, writers and visual effect artists could be replaced by AI within the next couple of decades. However the positive potential of AI cannot be ignored. It could make filmmaking accessible to more people. Aspiring filmmakers could potentially create their own films just by using their smartphones and artificial intelligence technology. There is also the argument that AI could reduce the need to reshoot scenes and take over more mundane tasks. I think that AI will be used in the film industry in the next 100 years even more but I do hope that it will be used in a way that will enhance filmmaking and make it an easier process for everyone involved without though replacing human imagination in scriptwriting and performance. It will be exciting to see the new forms of art culture it is going to bring and how the audiences will engage with the new forms.

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