Nia is a native New Yorker about to graduate college.
Her brother Peter is a native Greek she hardly remembers.
The plane ticket he gifts to her will be a much needed escape from her reality
- and a window into his.
The making of
Principle photography kicked off in New York City in early 2014 with the opening sequence of Nia on Vacation. Initially, it was just me (Cat) and a few good friends pooling their resources to see what we could make happen. As the project developed, it became clear that the vision for the film required more than pocket change and weekends. We needed a crew, a budget and a plan.
In May of 2014 we launched a crowdfunding campaign on Seed&Spark to raise the funds needed to complete principle photography in Greece. The successful effort saw us raise over 30 thousand dollars in just 30 days, and establish relationships that have been and continue to be invaluable for the project.
What followed that September were 16 of the most intense, terrifying and hilariously fun days of our lives. With just five of us flying to Greece we knew we’d be largely dependent on a Greek crew we hadn't even yet met. Though some of us had visited a year earlier to scout locations and hold casting calls, our crew was still falling into place up until the night before we began shooting.
We had our work cut out for us, shooting on a micro-budget in a country deep in financial crisis. Many of our best laid plans fell victim to bureaucratic idiosyncrasies, but we were always pulled from the brink of disaster by the resourcefulness and generosity of the people of Aigio and Akrata in the Peloponnese, where most of the shooting occurred. Across the board we were met with enthusiasm and an eagerness to help that I had never experienced before, and haven't since.
For our part as a crew we worked hard, slept little and formed an immediate and lasting bond. While the majority female crew came from diverse backgrounds, spoke various languages, and ranged in age from 19 – 42, we were bound by a strong work ethic and a desire to bring this unique film to life. Perpetually short on resources, time, and rest, we never lacked talent, good humor, or the willingness to do what was needed. After our short but intense time together we separated brokenhearted but optimistic, exhausted but fulfilled. You can enjoy behind the scenes pictures and videos from our experience on Facebook and Instagram.
Back in New York we hunkered down and began the editing process. Finding funding for the rest of post production was a much bigger task. In 2017 we launched a second campaign on Seed&Spark and raised additional funds for ADR and sound mixing. Finally, in 2018, all of the grant applications paid off when I was awarded an Individual Artist’s Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts to complete the film.
While we all would have liked a six-figure budget, we’re thankful to have taken up the challenge and earned the right to call ourselves true indie filmmakers. We enjoyed a freedom to engage our vision that we may not have had if investors concerned with marketability and profit potential were part of the decision making process. I could not have wished for more as a first time feature filmmaker.
Now, with a beautiful finished film in tow we are beginning the festival application process. We are still accepting contributions through our sponsorship with IFP for festival applications, deliverables and festival attendance: