ERSIS - Environment Nature Documentary

Interview with G. Dimitropoulos, analysing the magic of lake Ersis. 

1)What inspired you to create this video? What is the main message of the story?

My latest film “Ersis” is a short cinematic documentary film dedicated to the splendour and beauty of nature and the importance of a harmonious symbiotic relationship between Humans and Nature as described and told by ancient myths and legends. A clear reminder and wake up call that we can live in balance with nature just like our ancestors did for thousands of years.


2)What attracted you to Plastira Lake and inspired you to shoot the film?

The film is part of a documentary series focusing on biodiversity and the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature. I believe it is very important to be able to learn by studying our history and improving our choices as a human species. Humans have believed in celestial deities since the beginning. They were part of our lives, they still are. And they live amongst us, embracing the divine. And they live between the world of humans and the ethereal world of gods. One of them is “Ersi”, the deity of the morning frozen dew. She has been living in mountainous Greece for thousands of years, and her presence there reminds us of the beauty of nature and the prominence of life. Every morning “Ersi” dresses the lake in a misty veil. Every morning the deity of the frozen dew reminds us of the great technological advances that improved and changed life as we know it.


3)How long did it take for you to complete the shooting? 

The film needed a few weeks of preparation. I needed to complete my research on local history, mythology, and topology, and then proceed with storyboard design, shot listing, scriptwriting and gathering technical equipment. It took 5 days of shooting, but the most intensive part of the film and every cinematic effort is to process the assets after completion of the filming. We needed several weeks of post-production and task allocation within the team. I want to thank the whole team, and especially George Gerontopoulo for his creative spirit, passion, and support!


4)What advice would you give other directors who wish to shoot in Greece?

Greece offers many possibilities to filmmakers. Greece has wonderful landscapes, vivid colours, beautiful nature, superb natural lighting, rich culture and history, unique customs and of course warm hospitable people. For me personally and for the documentary films, I create such conditions are ideal. It would be useful if there was more support and help from local authorities and the central government. I believe that documentary films offer different perspectives, share knowledge and experiences, promote specific themes, regions, history, and nature, and raise awareness of emerging problems and possible solutions. Such educational films deserve our wider support. I have been fortunate enough to receive support for my documentary films in Britain and elsewhere due to my role as an academic, as a university lecturer and my involvement with various educational institutions. I hope that the Greek authorities will follow similar tactics and create similar support programs for documentary filmmakers.

5)Are you a fan of mythology? Did you used to read myths as a child, or do you still read them?

With my film "Ersis" I want to show the importance and necessity of the study of ancient legends, myths, and stories that teach us about prudence, the sense of coexistence, and interdependence with nature. We created dams, lakes, and rivers. We contained and transformed nature but at a great cost to the environment, we live on. Human civilization has been evolving for millennia but the importance of balance, humility, and composure is greater than ever before. Will we ever listen to the ancient legends, the myths, and the deities that deliver a sense of symbiosis, and ethos? Will we learn from our ancestors and co-exist in harmony with nature? Will we listen to the calls of the sleeping beauty of the mountain? These are some of the questions, I explore in my film through symbolism and timeless concepts that are as relevant as ever.


6)Did you get the feeling that some scenes during your shooting resembled places enveloped in myth or taken out of a fairy tale?

 Every time I film in Greece I feel I’m in a mythical, magical place! Greek history is unique and fascinating! Greece’s landscapes and nature, forests, lakes, rivers, mountains, sea, islands.. Greece is blessed! We have many stories to tell, we have a lot to learn, and we have plenty to improve. I want my documentary films to serve a purpose. I want to bring to people’s attention important issues that concern us. "Ersis" film was created with a specific goal, to highlight the wisdom of Greek mythology and ancient legends, the beauty of the place and its inhabitants, and the importance of the symbiotic relationship between nature and humans. We are still at the beginning of our cinematic journey, but I am very pleased that the film received 7 awards from some exciting film festivals worldwide for Best Documentary, Best Environmental Film, Best Film on Nature, Best Cinematography, & nominations for Best Video Poetry from various film festivals worldwide.


7)Are you planning on shooting any other film around Greece?

Of course! Greece has so many beautiful stories to share! I am currently in the final post-production stages of my new documentary film dedicated to ancient Greek mythology based on the nymph Melissanthe. The film was host entirely on the island of Kefalonia. I’m working on 3 new documentary films with new film shoots planned to take place at Lake Plastira, Aggrafa mountains, Meteora, and the Ionian Islands.