The press conference of the film "A Journey to the stars" took place in the main hall of OAKA on Wednesday (23/6) at noon.
The film will be shown in movie theatres from September, however, on June 27th-28th, it will be available to the public through online streaming on viva.gr, so that Greeks of the Greek communities abroad may also watch it.
Screening Time (EEST – Athens time)
The panel of the press conference included the director and screenwriter of the film, Christos Dimas, three of its protagonists, Argyris Pantazaras, Christos Plainis and Anna-Papacharalambous, as well as the president of KAE Panathinaikos OPAP,
Panagiotis Triantopoulos, and renowned journalist, Pavlos Tsimas, as the moderator.
Details on what was discussed, below.
Christos Dimas (Director-Screenwriter):
“It was a three year trip. I, personally, would like to thank the president, the team, and everyone who has been with us all of these years. It did have various challenges. Because it does narrate the 100 years since the team’s establishment, we had to go through the story, but also find a way to include the emotional imprint in order to have the audience understand what makes the team great. We also wanted to show what characterizes Panathinaikos, and the family as well. Writing the script, I wanted to reach those who might have thought that we were simply talking about basketball, when in fact, we are actually taking a look at something more. We are talking about family, fathers, daughters, sons, loneliness. All that is more or less sports.
I want to make an important note, by making it known, that Dimitris Giannakopoulos not only stayed away from the "control" of the artistic path of this film, but was so discrete and showed such respect for our concerns, that he genuinely made our lives much easier. He never had me give explanations to anyone for anything throughout filming. He opened a “door” of unconditional generosity for me. The way he handled someone else talking about the history of Panathinaikos and his family, which rightfully could have been somewhat stressful for him, was remarkable and made everything easier. He also had no involvement with the script.
The Giannakopoulos family has educated an entire generation on basketball amongst other things. When he [Dimitris Giannakopoulos] saw the movie, I will say one thing...there was emotion. For a director who has been on a film for more than three years, seeing the person who the story is about, being moved, is perhaps better than any paycheck.
Giorgos Gallos, who has the role of Željko Obradović, watched Obradovic for many hours, he ate, slept, breathed Obradovic. As a result, he received complaints from his other job that he wasn’t focused during that time. He even had to learn English, but with a Serbian accent. Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to talk to Obradovic himself, so there was a bit of difficulty. I tried to show the best Obradovic, nevertheless. His role is about 40 minutes in the film. It will be one of the biggest tests when he sees the movie. There is a “coaching” thought process behind his appearance".
Christos Plainis (Actor):
"I played basketball as a child, so I know quite a bit already. I am very grateful for this role, although I must admit that I am an Olympiacos fan. I am happy for the role assigned to me by Christos Dimas. I remember the first day of filming at the “Tomb of the Indian”. A great script, great people and I'm thankful to be a part of this film."
Argyris Pantazaras (Actor):
"I have the feeling that I could have done better. It is difficult to be given the responsibility to play the role of a person who walks amongst us today. That's why we met with him, we talked. I wanted to gain his trust. Trust gives you extra responsibility. The way I approached his presence is with respect for sweat, toil and dreams, not only of this man but also of the past and the future. His part is that of the man who brings the “next best thing”.
I am incredibly happy to be part of this team. And we, in turn, made our own team with the best players in our field and I think we played very “good ball.”
Maybe the script wanted to focus on something we haven't seen before, something we are not aware of... What happens behind the office doors, what happens at home when the lights turn off… What image everyone has in their head is not their own responsibility.
It's a movie I understand. It has to do with Greek basketball in Europe. I happen to be a Panathinaikos fan, but because I was not born in Athens, I watched it on TV. It’s amazing that even people who are not Panathinaikos, would send me messages saying that they have goosebumps at the very idea of the film".
Anna-Maria Papacharalambous (Actress):
"I play Stella, the right hand of Pavlos Giannakopoulos. It is a small role, but a dynamic one. Specifically, she was a woman getting strength “lent” to her so that she could be Pavlos Giannakopoulos’ assistant. When Christos called me to suggest this role for me, I was surprised. Reading the script, although I have no knowledge whatsoever on basketball and Panathinaikos, I was carried away by the story and the personal involvement of the heroes. This movie is also about people who are not involved in basketball. It's not a story about basketball, but about the family's personal journey."
Panagiotis Triantopoulos (president of Panathinaikos BC OPAP):
"We decided to gather here, where our house is. We are talking about a family, so we had to be under the banners and under the two Patriarchs of the club. The film shows how the foundations and values of the group came into being, and generally, how the family started. It is not based so much on the competitive part, as on that of morality and love.
I have lived close to this family for so many years. I thought it would be difficult for a film to capture, within two hours, what I feel, close to these people. But I want to say well done to everyone. It's an amazing job. We felt what we wanted. You will see the movie and you will understand, everyone gave their best. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts and we especially thank the family for the experience they gave us, “the journey to the stars ".