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Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

By Christos Georgiou

Margarita’s(14) big problem in her life is her father George who is a policeman in a riot squad. When George sees his daughter facing him through the teargas, he and his wife Sofia decide that father and daughter should go to their country house for a few days in an attempt to protect their daughter and to salvage whatever might be left from their relationship.

Drama, Greece / Germany / France / Cyprus, 92 min.
HD – Farbe – Dolby SRD

In a short distance from the demonstrations taking place in the centre of Athens, Margarita (14 years old) is weighing a bitter orange in her hand and getting ready to throw it to the riot police bus, parked a few meters in front of her. Inside the bus, George, Margarita’s father breaths in, in order to blow out the candles on his birthday cake. He is sitting in the middle of the rest of his squad, they are all dressed in riot gear and they are singing «Happy birthday». A petrol bomb beats Margarita to it and crashes on the side of the bus covering it in flames. George and his squad, grab helmets and riot shields and run out of the bus. For a brief moment George recognizes Margarita in the crowds, but he cannot leave his post and he ends up loosing her in the tear gas.
That night George, and his wife Sonia in order to protect their daughter from the riots and to give Margarita’s relationship with her father another chance, decide that they should both go to the family country home for a few days, in the belief that no matter what happens there, it cannot be worst than what will happen if they stay in the city.
Margarita doesn’t want to go but her mother reveals to her that she is expecting another child, and asks her to go. To do it for her. For all of them.
At their country house, George recalls memories of past summer holidays hoping to bridge the gap between them, but Margarita will not soften her antagonistic stand. Konstantinos, her boyfriend comes up from the city to rescue her. But when her father and her boyfriend get on so well, even though to start with she is annoyed, for a moment she believes things might get better. But not for long. She is abruptly reminded of her father’s other life as a policeman, and when Konstantinos realizes that her father is a policeman, he leaves and refuses to take her with him.
Margarita now turns on her father and everything she believes he represents. George retaliates and goes as far as to have Margarita locked up in the small holding cell of the local police station. He intends this to be a lesson to her, but instead he is the one who learns something about himself, as he witnesses through Margarita’s eyes a horrible scene of police violence against two other inmates.
He gets his daughter out of there. She tries to run away, but George will not let her drive alone in the night. They fight. She slams the car door on his head, knocking him unconscious, but she cannot leave him. She drives him to the hospital and while she waits for the doctor to treat him she puts on her old roller-skates and skates across the hospital car park, humming the words to an old disco hit her father loves.

Role Actor & Actress
MARGARITA Nefeli Kouri
GIORGOS Dimitris Imelos
SOFIA Myrto Alikaki
KONSTANTINOS Vasilis Magouliotis
Director & Author
Christos Georgiou
Producer Costas Lambropoulos, Thanassis Karathanos, Christos Georgiou, Birgit Kemner, Martin Hampel, Philippe Gompel
supported by
Eurimages, Greek Film Centre, FFA, MDM, CNC
World Sales
The Moonshot Company
DOP Yorgos Giannelis
Edit Aliki Panagi
Production Design
Michalis Samiotis
Costum Maria Karapouliou
Sound Recordist Ntinos Kittou
Sound Mixing Kostas Varympopiotis
Production Manager Alexandra Nikolaou
Line Producer
Matthaios Voulgaris
Music Kostantis Papakonstantinou

World premiere: 11 November 2017 at Thessaloniki IFF

Thessaloniki IFF, Greece
Sao Paulo IFF, Brazil

Palm Springs IFF, USA
Seattle IFF, USA
Jounieh IFF, Lebanon
Europian Union Film Festival in Gene Siskel Film Centre, USA
Greek Film Days Nuremberg
Hellas Filmbox Berlin