Ten years after the Athens Olympic Games, the Athens Olympic Village is a near-deserted place and harbors only a few working-class families who were offered free housing after the 2004 games. It’s the setting for Sofia Exarchou’s debut feature film “Park,” about a group of Athenian teenagers who come of age during a summertime idyll.
They wander around the ruins, playing versions of the Olympic games, and organizing dog mating for money. The eldest members of the group, retired athlete Anna (Dimitra Vlagkopoulou) and timid Dimitri (Dimitris Kitsos), court each other and eventually become a couple, but soon must confront their displacement and alienation in and outside the Village. Watch an exclusive trailer for the film below.
“Through the intersecting stories of the kids of the Olympic Village, ‘Park’ tries to create the portrayal of a lost generation that has been deprived of its future,” says Exarchou in a director’s statement. “Among the abandoned sport facilities, the ruins and the new-money tourist resorts, the film crosses Greece’s ‘glorious’ past with the decadence of today, depicting a society unprepared for the brutal fall. In this remnant from the past, the kids’ need to belong is vital and their efforts increasingly violent and futile.”
Exarchou’s film has already won multiple awards, including the Work In Progress Award at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. She has previously written and directed two short films, “Distance” and award–winning “Mesecina.” In 2014, she participated in the Sundance Screenwriters’ Directors’ Lab.
“Park” will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday, September 9.