Savvas Stavrou is a director based in London working in narrative and music promos. His first feature film THE ONES LEFT BEHIND was one of 8 projects selected to participate in the Sundance Mediterranean Screenwriters Lab 2018 and is currently in development.
Previously, his short films SONG TO THE SIREN, DOROTHEA and INTERLUDE have screened internationally at festivals, with the latter having won the Sci-Fi London Festival’s 48 Hour Film Challenge for Best Short. As a music video director, his work for artist Metaxas was pinned by Promo News amidst the likes of Massive Attack and Florence + the Machine. His latest film SIRENS won the Best Music Video award at the BAFTA-qualifying Aesthetica Film Festival and received international acclaim.
Chris is a gay man who has escaped the small-island mentality of Cyprus in search of sexual freedom in London. But his world is turned inside out when a visit from an old beau reveals the superficiality of his new life and the realisation that, despite being surrounded by people, he is ultimately alone.
Attached to the project: co-writer, director, producer
Looking for: co-producer
Keywords: LGBT, masculinity, nightlife, sexuality, suppression, depression, hedonism
first draft of the script
Waking up to a destructed world after a plague has eradicated all adults, a nine-year-old girl joins a group of boys on their fight for survival against the shadows of reality. Participated in the Sundance Mediterranean Filmmakers Lab 2018.
Attached to the project: director
Looking for: producer, co-producer
Keywords: fantasy, war, drama, cyprus, peter pan, adaptation
EXT/INT. UPSTAIRS – UNFINISHED HOUSE
From behind the next room’s half-built wall, a BOY in his late teens is splashing paint on the concrete wall. Black paint. Almost like the foundations of a Pollock painting.
DOROTHEA tip-toes around to the wall to take a closer look – he doesn’t notice her – she peeks through:
-Strong splattered hand grasp.
-Muddy loose vest.
-Muscular shoulders and back.
He works as if it’s a dance – splashing and then walking back to take a look.
She closes on him, almost like an animal – moving further down the wall, closer – to have a better view – camera at the ready. The sea raging behind him in the open house.
What is it that makes us crave for pain?
And snap. Camera wheels click.
The BOY hears this and instantly turns to its sound. DOROTHEA rises from her hidden position.
The two just stare at each other for a moment, a moment of clarity, or territorial surveillance.
Then the BOY turns around and splashes the wall again.
You’re not meant to be here.
Neither are you.
She moves closer, cautious – watching him, and surveying his black wall.
The BOY glances over at her camera casually, then holds eye contact.
You? Why black?
DOROTHEA smiles at this. Touché. She moves back.
It doesn’t provide the answers –
just asks the questions right?
The BOY turns his head, joins her with a smile.
My car broke down just up ahead. I
have to be somewhere… it’s meant
to be important.
But you’re here talking to me and
Aren’t you going to offer your help?
I guessed as much. Nice work by the way.
Aren’t you afraid I’ll tell on you?
He continues as if nothing is at stake.
I rarely take photos anymore.
There’s no time.
(points to the painting)
You must know what that feels like.
So excuse my intrusion. I’ll go
now. Try and fix the engine myself.
No intrusion. I don’t own this place.
And there’s always time. That’s why
you need to come to places like
these. Sometimes you have to. You
didn’t come here to find someone to
fix your car. This was a different
kind of choice.
This wasn’t a choice.
DOROTHEA takes a good look at him and walks out of the room. This intrigues him.
Where are you going?
It’s a big house.
DOROTHEA (O.S.) (CONT’D)
(voice echoing around)
You’re a dancer aren’t you? I think
I’ve seen you perform. The theatre
just outside the city?
What are you doing painting here?
I think, the same thing you are.
She appears from behind another wall and looks at him. HOLD.
Strip for me.
DOROTHEA bites her lip, then laughs out loud – it echoes throughout the house as if it’s haunted – then she disappears behind another pillar.
The BOY, butt-naked, faces his black wall. The perfect framing. The sound of the camera wheels turning.
DOROTHEA sits on the dirty concrete ground. Standing, she moves closer to him, slowly taking the ring off her finger and sliding it into her skirt pocket.
With a hand outreached:
DOROTHEA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Bonds stifle me: a burning house.
And I’m caught inside unable to
breathe. But this one… he..
Touching him, she spreads black paint all over his back – he feels the wetness, savors it. He turns around and grabs her hand, places it on his chest. A tango to no music. Black paint smudges everywhere. They move closer, framed in the emptiness of the unfinished house.
DOROTHEA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
…he has the water. And he can
open that door.
This one knows who I am. A fellow
drop of paint – chemical reaction –
shutter and capture.
He smudges paint on her cheek and lip – it’s careful and gentle. Slowly pulling down her top to her waist.
You want to become part of this.
He motions to the house, his paint.
DOROTHEA breaks from his grasp. She stares at him. He bends down and grabs his brush and splashes her with black across the torso. They stand there, and for a second she becomes part of his black wall.
With force, he moves over her and presses her hard against the wet black wall. Their lips almost sealing the battle, but not quite there yet. They just stare into each other’s eyes.
He smells of sweat. Raw, livid,
painful. I almost taste it.
-His virile neck, stretching his vein, blood pumping.
-Her lustrous lips, she licks them almost tasting the paint.
-Both of them gasping.
-The way her hair floats over her eyes.
And then they kiss. It’s animalistic, passionate. He pushes her further, holding her face in his hands. Her arms wrapped around, her hands scratching his back, smearing the paint.
They say our bodies get used to
pain easily. It’s like scratching.
It’s good for us. It relieves us.
It’s good pain.
He lifts and spreads her arms up on the wall, holds her there. She remains bound, doesn’t struggle against it. Leaning his body against hers, he joins her hands on the wall and kisses her. Lets them go. They drop around his shoulders.
He quickly pulls and pushes her legs up around him–
Clumsily, she breaks away, nearly falling over. She wipes his smears from her face. Pauses there with her hand mid-air. He’s facing the other way in the background.
“Things fall down, people look up, and when it rains, it pours”