Greek-American ‘Pet’ Is an Early Oscar Contender [see trailer]

pet

After amassing an amazing number of festival awards, director Chris Moraitis’ “Pet” is an early Oscar contender for an official 2017 nomination in the short film category. It will be the first Greek short to ever be nominated.

“Pet,” with a great push from the Greek American community, including Producer Alexia Melocchi, an Advisory Member of the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival who is championing and representing the film and Nektarios Kalogridis , a fellow filmmaker from NYC who is an Executive Producer on the film, hope to push Pet to win the award for best short in 2017.

Chris Moraitis (which is the pseudonym for the Thessaloniki based Christos Liakouris) talks about the film below:

“It is clear that the violence we suffer socially in recent years was the impetus for the creation of Pet,” says Chris Moraitis (which is the pseudonym for Thessaloniki-based Christos Liakouris). “Society is a reflection of the family formation.”

He used this unrest as the impetus to create one of the most disturbing and compelling short films in years. The film is disturbing in how it takes a seemingly commonplace life event (or death) in this case and uses it to suggest that sociopathic behavior stems from a breakdown in the family unit.

Interestingly enough, two of the other breakout films from Greece in recent memory play on some of the themes seen in “Pet,” such as “Little Greek Godfather” in 2007, which showcased a fictional version of the life of a young Nikos Papandreou and his love of hedgehogs and 2009’s Dogtooth, which focused on a whole new level of sociopathic behavior (not unlike last year’s indie hit Room).

“Pet is not a film that focuses on current events,” says Moraitis. “My intention was to tell a universal story about childhood and the time you have to leave behind your innocence in order to survive. Of course, If we want, we can make an analogy of the domestic violence with the society violence, which is all over us. Besides, our society is a reflection of the family formation.”

It may not have intended to, but there’s room to speculate that illness and sociopathy emerge from unhealthy societies the way 1970s New York City gave rise to Taxi Driver, Fort Apache, The Bronx and The Warriors. Moraitis continues, “I committed to this story because it concerns me very strongly that a child can be emotionally damaged due to the treatment by his parents. I am also concerned of the consequences of materialism. The rat race — accumulating wealth and power, often leads to losing ourselves and our children. We lose living in the moment and subsequently we lose the future.”

The film is doing well on the festival circuits with numerous awards and nominations at important film festivals:

AWARDS:

– Best Foreign Film – Ridgewood Guilt International Film Festival (USA)

– Best Director – Skyline International Film Festival (USA)

– Best New Director – London Greek Film Festival (UK)

– Best Sound – Sanford International Film Festival (USA)

– Best Short Film – North Carolina Film Awards (USA)

NOMINATIONS:

– Great Lakes International Film Festival ( USA)

Best short film

– Malta International SHort Film Festival (Malta)

Best Film, Best Editing

– Noosa International Film Festival (AUS)

Best Director, Best Film

– The AFMI International Film Festival (NY, USA)

Best Short, Best Actor, Best Cinematography

MAJOR FESTIVAL:

– Festival De Cannes, Short Film Corner (France)

– Taos International Short Film Festival (USA)

– Tallgrass International Film Festival (USA)

– Las Vegas Film Festival (USA)

– Parbeck International Film Festival (USA)

– Independent Days International Film Festival (Germany)

– Scenecs Debut International Film Festival (Netherlands)

– Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (USA)

– Australia Greek Film Festival (AUS)

MAJOR FILM MARKETS:

– Festival De Cannes, Marche Du Film(France)

– Palm Springs Film Market (USA)

(Source: Savas Abadsidis)