Nia On Vacation
Nia is a native New Yorker just weeks shy of her college graduation when she receives news of her estranged father's passing. Her brother Peter is a native Greek whom she's never met. The plane ticket he gifts to her will be a much needed escape from her reality - and a window into his.
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$10USDOur sincere gratitude. You helped make this possible, and we won't forget it. Any amount you donate, be it listed on this page is so very appreciated.
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A personalized digital THANK YOU postcard on your Facebook wall and/or Twitter feed.
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A very SPECIAL THANKS in the credits of our finished film.
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A private link to a personalized THANK YOU video from one of our cast or crew members - shot on location in Greece!
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An invitation to our special TOAST OFF TO GREECE BRUNCH this coming August! Greek food at a secret location and a private screening of the NYC opening of the film!
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A special invitation to a screening of a rough cut of NIA ON VACATION. Be a part of the editing process and the conversation, hang out with cast and crew. There will be snacks and drinks.
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An Associate Producer credit on the finished film. Shown during the opening scenes, on it's own page. Welcome to the crew!
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A Co-Producer credit on the finished film. Shown during the opening scenes, on it's own page. Welcome to the crew! Includes an all access pass to all screening events.
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You are an Excecutive Producer! You always did secretly want to make a film, didn't you? This is an all access pass to all of our screening events, as well as a day in the editing room with the director. Welcome aboard!
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About The Project
I grew up travelling to Greece every summer to visit my dad. My love for Greece and all things Greek grew through the years, as steadily as the realization of my family's status. Each September I was greeted by the beginning of school and the envy of my friends; for my two months in Greece, and the telltale tan. Coming back was easy, in fact, I was always eager. What wasn't easy was expressing that I had been to the most beautiful place in the world, and had spent my time there deeply unhappy. What wasn't easy was expressing the sadness that came with traveling halfway around the world only to be confronted with what I was trying to escape at home.
Since sharing the script with friends and colleagues I've become aware of how shootable I wrote it to be: set on locations I already had access to, with minimal effects needed and just two principle characters. Since begining shooting I've become aware of how relatable the story is, and how intruiged people are - both in New York and in Greece - by the dual setting, and the juxtaposition of beauty and strife.
When I set out to Greece in September of 2013 to scout my locations and finish casting and crewing, I was moved by how motivated the entire community was to help. Everyone we reached out to, and many more who reached out to us, expressed the desire to help in any way possible to tell this true to life story. They are as much the reason I am making this film as that feeling I had in my gut when writing the script. With so many young professionals opting to leave Greece right now, it's especially gratifying to offer paid work to those joining our crew.
I have always set out to involve myself in stories about average people, the less-than-privileged, with stories that are simple yet emotionally complex. I am excited to shoot this film, and I'm up for the challenge of shooting on a shoestring budget; I know it can be done, and I believe in my cast and crew. I'm excited to produce a film about a young woman, with the help of a largely female crew, that is about more than just being a girl, but about experiences we all share.
We meet Nia in NYC at a pivotal point. She's weeks from graduating from a prestigious art school but she's less than hopeful about her future. Life seems an endless cycle between school, a dull telemarketing job and dealings with her self-medicated mother, Morgan.
Morgan has long made a habit of reminding Nia that her father is dead, but confirmation comes in the form of an accidentally discovered letter from the brother that left her life so many years ago. What's more, Peter's letter includes a one way ticket to Greece, the place he has called home since their parent's split.
The choice for Nia is easy. She jumps at the chance to escape her reality, only to find that Peter's is a much harsher one. Nia and her brother have two things in common: a deep desire to connect, and the complete inability to do so. In Greece Nia will discover that escape is relative.
About This Team
CAT PAPADIMITRIOU - Writer/Director/Producer
Cat is a Bronx born, Brooklyn based filmmaker, with a strong visual arts background. Since attending New York's School of Visual Arts as a Screenwriting major, Cat has made a living off of fashion video, commercial and documentary work as well as a number of odd jobs, to which she credits much of her writing inspiration. Her last adventure in filmmaking abroad was as second camera operator for the documentary Fire In Our Hearts. First camera was operated by a brilliant young tribal girl in northern India, whom Cat taught to shoot. Cat is devoted to telling stories about people who might not otherwise have a voice. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4756357/
ELIZABETH CASINELLI - Director of Photography
Libby has lived and worked in New York City for the majority of her adult life, learning the craft of cinematography by working as a lighting technician and camera assistant for over ten years. She is very excited to be a part of Nia On Vacation. Not only will this be her first feature film as DP, but her first trip to Greece. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0143731/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
MORGAN SMITH - Assistant Camera/PA extraordinaire
Brooklyn based, Morgan likes telling stories through drawing, writing and camera-ing. From pulling focus, to slating, capturing B-Roll and running various last minute emergency errands, Morgan has been vital to the success of our shoots in New York.
TIFFANY ARMOUR-TEJADA - Digital Imaging Technician
Our faces would be green and our sights unsightly if not for the color correcting and technical genius of Denver born, Manhattan based Tiffany.http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2671828/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
NIKA EZELL PAPPAS - Nia
Nika is a California native who relocated to New York to pursue her MFA in Acting from Columbia University, which she completed in 2013. Most recent projects include a regional Sleepy's commercial, and joining the team of Roundabout for Bad Jews as the female understudy for both roles. Favorite roles include Clytemnestra, Joan, Daphna, and of course Nia. http://nikaezellpappas.com/
STACEE MANDEVILLE - Morgan
Classically trained at NYU, Stacee is an actor, director, teaching artist, print model, jazz vocalist and entrepreneur. Jack of all trades, master of some, her most recent acting project was as the main villain in the award winning 48 hour film Once A Loser, slated to be screened at this years Cannes Film Festival. As an entrepreneur, she is the founder of Red Leaf coaching, and has taught internationally at the corporate level to many Fortune 500 companies.
*HONORABLE MENTION - The script would never have left the tightly clenched hands of writer Cat Papadimitriou if not for the encouragement and shared talent of good friends:
BOBBY BERRY - Camera Operator - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6401969/?ref_=fn_al_nm_3
ILYA SCHNITZER - Camera Operator -
MIKE WILSON - Camera Operator/Boom Operator/Script Supervision - http://sulphurbath.com/