"If I can touch just one person with my work, then my job is done."
I am a filmmaker with over 25 years experience in the Creative Arts that began with a passion for theatre. Always following my heart my journey has led me to understand the responsibility that comes with storytelling and representation. As a practitioner I feel I have an opportunity to make a difference, to shine the light on matters that need focus, to bring to the fore that which is hidden and forgotten. Finding my voice as a Greek Cypriot woman in film has been a journey in itself, at a time when being a woman and Greek Cypriot had their own challenges. Yet it is through these challenges that my sense as a filmmaker has been sharpened. I look to make work that questions, moves and touches an audience.
"Filmmaking is learning."
A lecturer in Film Practice at Queen Mary University, London, my approach to my work is always being challenged and fine-tuned. Having been selected for Filmonomics, Film London Development Lab and Modern Tales, my work has strengthened under the brilliant mentorship of Lee Magiday (The Favourite), Angeli McFarlene and Mia Bays, amongst others.
Delighted to announce that we wrapped on Losing Grace in February 2020. The film is currently in post production. Earlier in September Xenos was selected onto the Torino Film Development programme and we are currently seeking finance. I November an early cut of Memories on 29 bus was screened at the Camden Arts Centre.
"Grace, this is the kind of thing he would do, use spies to track us down. You can’t trust anyone."
FICTION A mother forced to flee from her abusive partner with her daughter finds short-lived refuge, when she‘s unwittingly tracked down, with dire consequences.
Writer/Director Athena Mandis; Producer Athena Mandis & Liz Farahadi; DOP Beatriz Delgado Mena; Editor Eric Moore; cast Liz Farahadi, Grant Burgin, Emma Svensson and Tabatha Howard.
"She hesitates, it’s the first time she’s spoken her name for 35 years."
FICTION When adoptee Amee turns up at her birth mum’s house and finds her sister, teenage mum Belle, all their lives are blown apart. The film looks at notions of family, belonging and the expectations of motherhood.
Director Athena Mandis //Writer Jo Harper.
"When people moved, they would always be asked 'does the No.29 pass by?" It was the main bus route."
DOCUMENTARY A personal journey along Green Lanes, North London, charting the migration of Cypriots across London. From Camden to Enfield was first conceived as part of the Being Human Festival. In collaboration with Dr. Petros Karastareas University of Westminister.
"It’s hardly the time to be filming, when we are here to bury our dad."
DRAMA Christi’s life is turned upside down when her mother wants her and her two sisters, to all take one last journey back together to bury their father in their homeland, a divided Cyprus.
Writer/Director Athena Mandis Producers Marilena & Despina Parouti
"70% of all prostitutes are mothers working to stay above the breadline." ECP report.
DRAMA A young mother flees from her abusive partner with her two young children. With no money and no home she turns to prostitution to survive. But when a police caution threatens her custody she finds herself battling for justice for all women and uncovers corruption at the highest level.
Three Greek London Lads break with tradition and try to cross the M25 on an ill-fated failed trip to Brighton. Written & Directed with Dino Jacovides
Told through testimony and archive, UK Armenians tell of their families story of migration to the UK against the spectre of war and persecution. Commissioned through Caia Hayashen and funded by Heritage lottery Fund.
Past patients, family and doctors remember life at St Clements Mental Health Hospital in Bow. Made with the support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and in collaboration with Eastside Community Heritage.
Dr. Charles Drazin remembers the filmmaker Lindsey Anderson with long-time friend Lois Smith. Mile End Films
Roxanne's life turns upside down when her young neighbour turns up unexpectedly on her doorstep. Writer Paul Frankl. Producer Michael Peers. Mile End Films
A young muslim girl comes to terms with the recent death of her father and has to put away all the photographs of him. Shot on 16mm. Producer Cheyenne Conway. Mile End Films
Set in a sleepy Fenland village, Backroads is a story about the essential humanity of those who find themselves caught up in sex slavery; and how cultural blindness, complacency, prejudice and inaction can cause just as much damage as any calculated crime. Writer Rupert Raby. Producer Lucy Baxter Mandrake Films. Selected for British Council slate.
Return to Chiapas follows the photographer Araceli Herrera back to Chiapas to see what has changed since the Zapatista uprising in 1994. The film has been screened at numerous film festivals and won Best International Documentary at RIFF (Rome International Film Festival).