Greek-American director says ‘hello’ to Anatolia
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Chyrsovalantis Stamelos’ documentary titled ‘Hello Anatolia,’ which was shot in İzmir, where his roots are, will be premiered on Oct 4 in New York.Greek-American director Chyrsovalantis Stamelos, who left New York and moved to İzmir in early 2010, has shot a documentary about the city. The film titled “Hello Anatolia” will be premiered on Oct. 4 in New York.
Speaking about his documentary, Stamelos said that he titled it “Hello Anatolia” because the meaning of “hello” was about starting “new relationships with a fresh mind.“
“Most of people I know had nothing to do with the negative events that have occurred between Greece and Turkey. And at the end of the day, I and the viewer just see ourselves as human beings. So, the greeting we give to each other should be a simple and friendly ‘hello’.”
Stamelos said that once he had moved to İzmir, he had time to conduct research on his new city, and continued: “In İzmir, I discovered so many old Greeks, Jewish, Ottoman, Levantine artifacts and houses. It was astounding. So right away, I knew I had to develop my journey into a story. So we can say that the pre-production began in 2010, and production took place between 2011 and 2013.”
As for his family roots, Stemalos said, “Going back to my mother’s great-grandparents, her entire family comes from Smyrna. They held a Turkish-Greek name ‘Aslanis’. They were talking about Çeşme, Alaçatı and İzmir. It wasn’t simply a place but it was a personality. When they started living in Greece, they were called ‘Çeşmelides’, meaning ‘women of Çeşme’.”