Into The Sea

Filmmaker Q&A with Director Daphne Matziaraki

Is there a particular documentary film or filmmaker that had a major influence on your career?



What motivated you to make this film?

The refugee crisis, a topic I have been working on since 2015


Please tell us what camera(s) you shot with primarily – and any other special equipment that you used and why you used it.

Sony FS7


Please tell us about any special styles or techniques that you used during the production of your film to help tell your story.

I followed a pure cinema verite techinque. After meeting the particular family, I was taken by their story and I decided to follow them into their transitional journey “into a better future”. My filming was very intentional though and I wanted to focus into a very confined environment and space. This way I could capture in the best possible way a slice into these peoples’ lives.


How did your story evolve from day one, to the very last day in post? Is your story what you thought it would be?

My story was shot in a very intentional manner. Although it was filmed in a cinema verite style, my environment and timeframe was very confined. However what was going to happen in this space and time was unknown and was something that was discovered during the shoot and during the post production stage. The ending was a surprise indeed and it was something that was decided and came into life during the post production stage. Most importantly, the fact that the story became about the little boy, was also something that I discovered during the post production stage.

Please describe the most rewarding experience you had while making this film.

I met a wonderful family that opened their home, heart and lives to me. They are all very special and have inspired me with their strength, stamina and resilience.


What advice can you give to other impact filmmakers?

Search for inspiring characters who are real and their lives can impact yours. If you feel impacted by a story, then surely your audience will do too.


What’s your favorite part about the filmmaking process and why?

The trust and relationship I build with my characters.


What’s the one item you always take with you when working out in the field and why?

My camera! I can’t work without it. And batteries!


Please share a personal story about your experience making this film.

When I met the family on Samos refugee camp in Greece, I was completely taken by their story. I decided to make this short film to capture the humanity and the normality in these peoples’ lives which often feel so far away from our comfort zone. These were educated, middle class people who were forced to abandon their comfort zone. Into the Sea was not filmed amidst a tragic moment or during a dramatic even. It was filmed during a calm period of transition for the family. My challenge was to capture the emotional depth of my characters. even though the filming environment and the story were very confined I didn’t know what kind of story would I have. I was extremely nervous when I started filming, but as the process evolved I started relaxing into this expressive quietness of the story and I started discovering the emotional depth of my characters. Their stories and kindness was what guided me through the process and it was like magic!


Can you describe any obstacles you encountered in making your film and/or in your distribution/exhibition efforts?

What do you want audiences to take away from your film? People who are forced to abandon their homes and to become refugees could be people like us. Their children are like our children. This is a situation that could really happen to all of us.


Please list key points that should be covered in a post-screening discussion:

Who are the people behind the still ongoing refugee crisis? When should someone be considered a refugee?

How does the future of refugees look like and how should a country/ community deal with the refugees and immigrants?

How do inclusion and adjustment programs look like?

How could refugees and immigrants be an asset rather than a burden to countries?

Please provide information on any recent developments regarding the issue or subjects of the film. How have things changed or not changed? What opportunities are available for those interested in getting further involved?

Getting involved into immigrant and refugee inclusion educational programs would be extremely important and urgent.



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