Tilos is enjoying one of the mildest winters in human history – that’s a bit of an exaggeration, let’s say: in this human being’s memory – and I noticed a sunshine-induced perm grin of happiness on my face lately, but last night my fantastic mood was definitely caused by something very little to do with the weather:
While it was BAFTA night in the UK, I had most of the stars of THE ISLAND BUS over at my humble abode by the Aegean Sea for a super exclusive preview screening of the documentary.
It is not that I haven’t watched the 107 minutes of the film quite a few times by now, and to show your work to other people is exciting in any case – but even more so if you watch it in the company of the people who over the past years were generous enough to share a glimpse into their lives with me.
And appropriately, like the film and the island life, the screening, too, became a collaborative act: Yours truly provided the venue, the screen and – oh, yes – the screener DVD, catering – including a delicious cake and spoon-sweets – was looked after by Sveta, while for celebrity driving services to and from the venue no one less than Island Bus driver Pavlos got behind the wheel – of his own private car this time. In true fashion, Menelaos had planned to arrive on foot via the Megalo Chorio path but got sabotaged by his son who offered him a lift on his motor bike which had him arrive half an hour early – just in time to oversee feeding the filmmaker’s cats. Your standard cast and crew screening on Tilos, really.
It was a bigger treat than words can describe. Seeing tears well up in Marta’s eyes when the scene with the late and lovely Kyrios Nikolas came up and watching Menelaos and Pavlos nudging each other as they observed their own daily life captured in the documentary, chuckling away at the myriads of little oddities that make life on Tilos – and make a big part of the film – and hearing Sveta laugh at it and repeat “έτσι δεν είναι;” (isn’t it like that?) was a celebration on its own.
We toasted with tea and Menelaos’s self-distilled Raki, and I must honestly say I am looking forward to many more screenings of the documentary, but the memory of the roar of the sea at Agios Antonios mixing with the clasping waves on the soundtrack will stay with me for all of them.