Strella made its premier at the 59th Cinema Festival in Berlin, in the Panorama Section last February and has since participated in more than 20 International Festivals.
So far it has screened in 16 movie theatres in France since the 18th of November, continuing to be honoured abroad, also constituting one of the 48 official contestants of this year’s European Film Awards. The French press, including Liberation, Le Monde and L’ Express, have congratulated Panos Koutras for his film although Le Figaro also stated
that the director resets the rules of ancient tragedy through his work, which will –fortunately- disturb quite a lot of people.
Panos Koutras’ film is about George, a 48 year old ex-convict, and Stella, (or S-trella (trella meaning madness) as her friends call her since they consider her a bit jazzy) who is a young transsexual. They meet in a hotel in downtown Athens just a few hours after George is released from prison. Strella lives in a colourful world of outcasts along with her friends and adores Maria Callas, whom she impersonates in her drag show “Koukles”. George is impressed by her dynamic and sensitive personality and falls in love with her but soon a well hidden secret, forces him to face his past.
Strella is a shocking modern tragic heroine that challenges the Gods and overcomes some of the stereotypes that have founded contemporary Greek society and family. Panos Koutras uses his script to criticise racism, homophobia, intolerance, Greekorthodox scruples, and blind conservative values, all with humour and sarcasm, animated dreams,
colourful lyricism, solos and drag shows. His movie is an independent production, which he undertook with only the help of friends and relatives. Mina Orfanou, Betty Vakalidou and Giannis Kokkiasmenos deliver first-class acting performances throughout the film. Strella might be considered a “Queer” movie yet it maintains a relationship with a broader unbiased audience that is unafraid of reality, and constitutes a “diamond without borders” according to the German mass media.
Strella will be released here in movie theatres on the 17th of December.