The Spring 2022 New Jersey Film Festival presents a mix of documentary, narrative, and experimental films on select Friday, Saturday, and Sundays through February 20. One of my favorite days in the spring festival is the Short Program #2 on Friday, February 11. It includes six films that showcase the human experience from around the world including ¡Llámame Chinita! by Stacy Chu; Threads of Desire by Bianca Di Marco; Covid Crusader: The Carla Brown Story by Randy Slavin; Joey Skaggs: Fish Condos by Judy Drosd and Joey Skaggs; Memory Builds the Monument by Isaac Yowman; and Just Like Water by Manos Triantafillakis. The six film package is available to rent from 12:00am on February 11 through midnight.
Just like Water transports us to Greece where we learn about the life of the director’s father, Spyros. The filmmaker describes the film as one that refers to birth, life, and loss. It pertains to the perpetual course of the cycle of life, and it raises questions about time, how it goes and never turns back. The cast includes Yiannis Papadantonakis, Elektra Mitsimari, Maria Kastellianou, Yiannis Kiouranakis, and Manos Triantafillakis. Original music by Giorgos Varsamakis plays throughout and adds to the film's beauty.
We reached out to Manos Triantafillakis to learn more about his beautiful film.
Just Like Water begins with the sound of waves, wind and seagulls. In addition to the narrator, the one constant is beautiful music playing in the background. How important was sound to your film?
Nature has its own wonderful music. In the beginning of the film, a soul wanders in a path from heaven to earth. The Director uses the sounds of nature to accompany the soul in this journey and to awaken the senses of the viewer. Personally, and as I direct this movie, music is my passion from an early age, as a hobby and profession. The original soundtrack for the film was composed for this purpose by music composer Giorgos Varsamakis, and it is an important and essential element of the film.
As someone who grew up at the beach, I often stared out to the ocean just like the boy does. It really is a wonderful image to represent looking towards the future and the unknown. This film is your father's story. Was it a challenge to make the story seem unwritten for the kids when you already knew how it turned out?
The running of the toddler on the beach, combined with the sea and the presence of water almost throughout the film, creates the feeling of time constantly running at high speed. Each person's story is unique. So did my father's. The story about children may seem unwritten, but I am sure that they understand the meaning of time, even fleetingly, when they watch it. The script was formulated based on my father’s own words and his own suggestions as he had expressed them in his lifetime. The final version of the award-winning script was compiled by Elina Daraklitsa who was also responsible for the production management.
Just Like Water has been accepted at film festivals around the world and won over 50 awards in 2021. Is it gratifying to have the story be recognized as part of the human experience for people located throughout the globe?
The film Just Like Water, was shot with simple means and without elaborate technical equipment. But it was made with love by all the wonderful team that believed in this idea. Our film has won 52 first awards, 29 nominations for the first prize, reached 28 times Finalist, winning 6 Honourable Mentions, and received 154 official participations in international and domestic film festivals to date. It is extremely gratifying, therefore, after a long effort and hard work, to gain the international recognition and the vindication of the efforts. It is a moral reward.
Finally, what do you hope viewers take away from watching this film?
The film refers to birth, life, and loss. It pertains to the perpetual course of the cycle of life, and it raises questions about time, how it goes and never turns back. I am sure that one of these messages touches the viewers and that's why it has so much acceptance.
Just Like Water is part of the NJ Film Festival Short Program #2 on Friday, February 11 - one of my favorite days in the spring festival. It includes six films that showcase the human experience from around the world including ¡Llámame Chinita! by Stacy Chu; Threads of Desire by Bianca Di Marco; Covid Crusader: The Carla Brown Story by Randy Slavin; Joey Skaggs: Fish Condos by Judy Drosd and Joey Skaggs; Memory Builds the Monument by Isaac Yowman; and Just Like Water by Manos Triantafillakis. The six film package is available to rent from 12:00am on February 11 through midnight. Click here for more information or to purchase the package.
JUST LIKE WATER CREDITS
DIRECTOR: Manos Triantafillakis; WRITERS: Manos Triantafillakis, Elina Daraklitsa; CINEMATOGRAPHER: Marinos Papadantonakis; FILM EDITING: Petros Kioses, Haris Grigorelis; ORIGINAL MUSIC: Giorgos Varsamakis; CAST: Yiannis Papadantonakis, Elektra Mitsimari, Maria Kastellianou, Yiannis Kiouranakis, Manos Triantafillakis; STORYTELLER: Thanasis Nakos; CAMERA: Nikos Vandoulas; DRONE: Alexandros Chatzipanagiotis, Giorgos Balothiaris; SOUND DESIGN: Manos Tsirigotakis; MUSIC SUPERVISOR: Manos JMT; COLORIST: Manthos Sardis; SPECIAL EFFECT: Alexis Paraschos; TITLES: George Pavloudis; SUBTITLES: Stamatina Zioga; MAKEUP ARTIST: Maria Markogiannaki; GRAPHIC DESIGN: Kostas Makris; TRANSLATION TO ENGLISH: Maria Dragatakis; TRANSLATION TO ITALIAN: Francesca Minutoli; TRANSLATION TO SPANISH: Giorgis Christodoulou; ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Manto Rasouli; PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT: Elina Daraklitsa; EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Petros Kioses, Kostas Stamatopoulos, Nikos Konitsiotis, Pavlina Agalianou, Leda Platsi, Nontas Mitsimaris, Aggelos Papoutsidakis, Giorgos Tsagarakis, Eliana Perifanou, Christine Artemis Pappa; CO-PRODUCER: Konstantinos Makris; PRODUCER: Manos Triantafillakis