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New documentary high-lights Greek Philoxenia!

June 2019

Shining Catalina Productions is excited to announce the development of the new feature documentary, PHILOXENIA, produced by Alison Wotherspoon and written and directed by Anne Tsoulis.

PHILONEXIA is a frequently used Greek word not found in any other language, meaning a welcoming of strangers. Its antonym is xenophobia.

PHILOXENIA is a 90 minute feature length film that tells an epic story of what happened on the Greek island of Lesbos between May and October 2015 during the height of the Syrian war when Turkey opened the floodgates. In this five month period approximately 400,000 asylum seekers made the perilous 10 kilometre journey by boats across the Mytilini Straight to the shores of Lesbos and the villages of Petra, Efthalou and Skala Sikamineas.

For the local residents it was a catastrophe.

To add to the crisis unfolding on Lesbos the global community was completely absent. It was left up to the locals to rescue and care for these asylum seekers landing in up to 100 boats a day. The local residents received no support from the Greek or foreign government, nor from international and UN organizations to assist in the rescue and shelter of these desperate asylum seekers. For the rescue missions, these villages collectively had only two doctors, their small fishing boats, the food on their tables and shirts on their backs to help and assisted up to 2000 refugees landing on their shores each day. The peaceful life on the island changed dramatically.

PHILOXENIA is told through the eyes of the citizens of Lesbos as they experienced the crisis during that five month period. With no help coming from outside, an intimate drama played out between the villagers and the refugees as we will witness in the film.

The Adelaide Film Festival has already committed part of the funding for the film to screen at their next festival in October 2020. We now need to raise the rest of the budget. We are communicating with you today to ask if you can support us in our efforts to bring this story to screens.

Towards this end, the project has been accepted by Documentary Australia Foundation (DAF) for tax-deductible and philanthropic donations. You can watch the teaser, get more info and donate to our crowdfunding on the DAF site

All donations are tax deductible and will assist us greatly to tell this amazing story of heroism and to promote the word and the concept of PHILOXENIA, in a time when xenophobia has caused so much damage to our society. Our personal mission is to see "philoxenia" become a commonly used word in public discourse, just as it is frequently used in Greece. If you would like to know more please do not hesitate to contact us.

From the producers


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