About this project
Thank you for helping us surpass 5,000GBP. We need your help to continue filming with the Xylouris family until August and reach 10,000 GBP.
MISSING ARCHIVE - we also need your help to locate a black and white missing archive of Psarantonis playing with his seven year old son Giorgis, in the mid-1970's. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsbGbUfJ7Cw
We think that this footage from a Canadian or German documentary about Crete.
We are also looking for amateur archive of Anogeia, Crete and the Xylouris families in the 1960's, 70's and 80's and offering co-producer credit to anyone that can help us. For further information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE FILM “A FAMILY AFFAIR”
The Xylouris Family is Greece’s most famous musical clan. Three generations of musicians uphold and pass on the vibrant tradition of Cretan music, performing ceaselessly to followers across the world.
This 70 minute feature documentary follows the Xylouris family for a period of two years as it travels from Crete to Melbourne and back, on a grueling concert tour and an attempt to deal with the spiraling difficulties of the musical profession.
The film captures how music is passed on from father to son to grandchildren, in a contemporary Greek-Australian family, brought together and apart by their love of music.
Follow us on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/XylourisFamily
A documentary by Angeliki Aristomenopoulou.
Filmmaker Angeliki Aristomenopoulou is based in Athens, Greece. Her last documentary, Wandering Soul, a portrait of the famous Greek rock singer Yiannis Angelakas, won the Fipresci Critic’s Award at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival in 2011.
“A Family Affair” is produced by Rea Apostolides and Yuri Averof from Anemon Productions, producers of the award winning “Sugartown: the Bridegroooms”, “The Call of the Mountain”, and “The Game Must Go On”. The film is co-produced by Melbourne-based Unicorn Fims.
HERE IS HOW YOU CAN HELP!
Anything you can do to share, promote or contribute to our Kickstarter campaign.
We need a minimum of 5.000GBP to cover airfare and basic accommodation in Australia for three weeks in March. There, we will film the Xylouris family, recording all three generations travelling and performing together for the first time at WOMADELAIDE (Psarantonis, Psarogioris, and Psarogioris’ three children: Nick, Antonis and Apollonia). We will also film concerts in Melbourne, Sydney, Castlemaine and other locations.
We can only tell this story with incredible global reach, with your support. We want to make a film that will transcend the Xylouris fan base and to promote this fantastically original and beautiful music to a broad international audience.
With the material shot in Australia, we will be able to work to secure broadcaster support to complete the film in early 2014.
What the film will accomplish
The resulting success of the film will help to raise awareness of Crete’s unique musical tradition and bring much-needed exposure to Greece at this time. In a time of financial crisis, “A Family Affair” is a highly positive and creative documentary, that transmits and promotes positive values, connected to Greece.
Contribute in kind
In addition, we are looking for amateur archive footage of the Xylouris family and Anogeia from the 1950’s to the late 1980’s. Many American and Australian Cretans filmed Crete, Anogeia and the Xylouris family during this period and we would love to include this material in our film.
What happens if we exceed our kickstarter goal?
Additional funding will cover shooting with the Xylouris family in Anogeia this summer and clearance of archive material.
We aim to raise funding for the remaining production funding from broadcasters in Europe and Australia, as soon as we have the footage from the Australian shoot.
Current project schedule
Filming (Development and production): May 2012 - September 2013
Post Production: October 2013 – January 2014
Projected Release Date: March 2014
72 yr-old Psarantonis, born Antonis Xylouris, is the brother of singer Nikos Xylouris, who became a symbol of resistance against the Greek Dictatorship (1967-1974).
He was born in 1942, and grew up in a village razed to the ground by the German occupation army, which relied on its rich musical tradition to recover from the war. He left Anogia, in his 40’s, gradually gaining wider recognition. But as if afraid to lose sight of his roots, he settled down nearby, in Herakleion, the capital of Crete.
He has reinvented Cretan music, claiming inspiration by the nature and landscape of Anogia, and has a cult following in Greece and abroad (including rock icon Nick Cave).
Ignoring old age, he wakes up daily to practice and continues to take part in concerts across the world.
Psarantonis has five sons and daughters.
Giorgis Xylouris, or Psarogiorgis, is in his 50’s and lives near his father, in Herakleion. He met his wife, Shelagh, in Melbourne, Australia, on a concert tour and formed the Xylouris Ensemble.
A leading performer of Crete’s traditional music, Giorgis plays lute and sings, following in the footsteps of his father and uncles. Giorgis is also a seasoned concert performer internationally.
Giorgis’ wife, Shelagh, comes from an Australian family of musicians with Irish roots. She will travel with the family across Australia in March, organising their concert tour. She is the pillar of the family, helping to bring the different generations together.
Georgis Xylouris’ sons, Nick & Antonis, are 20 and 18 yrs old. Their father initiated them to Cretan music at a very early age.
Nick plays lyra and tombak. He moved to Melbourne at 16, imbibing the Cretan and Irish music played by his family, flavoured with strong doses of AC/DC. Enrolled in RMIT’s Bachelor of Music and Sound Production, Nick is exploring electronic music and admires producers like Deadmau5, Tiesto and Afrojack.
Antonis plays lute and mandolin, and like his siblings has grown up with opportunities to play professionally from a young age. While he completes his secondary schooling in Melbourne, he is playing regularly with Xylouris Ensemble members, composing electronic music with his brother and honing his DJ-ing skills.
Nick and Antonis have to decide whether to return to Crete and face the declining prospects at home, or to remain in Australia.
Apollonia (Api) is 16 years old and travelled to Australia in January 2013, to start secondary school in Melbourne. She plays tombak, which she has been learning from the brilliant Persian master player Pedram Khavarzamini. She also sings, and is learning violin, as well as Irish tunes in the family home.
I first met the famous Xylouris clan three years ago, while filming a documentary about Greek rock legend Angelakas. I was filming in a shepherd’s stone hut on a mountain nearby Anogia, where Psarogiorgis and his sons were playing around the fire. I was surprised by the energy of the family, the strong ties connecting the generations and the respect they showed for each other. Gradually, the Xylouris clan accepted me into their world, and allowed me to observe the intimate moments of their lives.
The Greek family, like the Xylouris’, is traditionally centered on three generations: grandparents, parents, and grandchildren. But as the economic crisis deepens, it appears to be putting pressure on family bonds. In the case of the Xylouris family, it is forcing Giorgis to travel across the year and rarely spend a night at home. It is strangely his wife, an Australian, who bears the task of keeping the family together, today divided between Melbourne and Crete.
What is fascinating about this family, is how music passes from one generation to the other.
Both Psarantonis and Giorgis haven’t taught their children to play music, but somehow expected that they do so from a very early age. I want to explore how each family member relates to their inherited traditions. How do these traditions define the choices they make? Will each generation have the freedom to make decisions, independently of this tradition?
This year, in Australia, all three generations of Xylouris musicians will perform together for the first time. It’s a unique opportunity to capture their creative talent in action and their unique bond to music, which connects them both to the land they come from and to each other.
I hope I can share this experience with you!
Risks and challenges
Our major challenge is our tight budget at this early stage.
By filming the Xylouris family in Australia, we’ll have the footage necessary to edit powerful scenes –the best way to convince major international broadcasters to commit to a project about a Greek musical family, that they may not have heard of.
We have the experience and contacts to make it happen – we just need a small push from you to support this project and to make it known further!
Thank you for your contribution!
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