Europe Film Festival U.K. spoke exclusively with Leonidas Gioldasis

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Why did you become a filmmaker?

My name is Leonidas Gioldasis and I’m the Owner/Director of the Melbourne-based Independent Production Company, Underline Cinema®. I earned my Screen and Media diploma at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment and have more than 12 years of experience in the creative arts. I always look for projects and ideas that I can put my own bit of flair into. My projects cover a wide variety of topics and genres, as well as formats. As a filmmaker, I have taken it upon myself to realize the dreams of not only my clients but also myself.

I became a filmmaker because of my overwhelming passion to tell my own stories and create the worlds and characters I’ve been dreaming about and imagining for years. I started off in the VFX industry, and as much fun as it was, I quickly realized that I’m not a 9-5 person, or a person who wants to spend his time slaving away to make a CEO of another company wealthy or successful. If I wanted to reach my goals, I needed to act. I tried many different combinations of creative work before I settled onto starting my own production company. I’ve loved every minute of it and haven’t looked back.

What gave you the inspiration to write and direct this story?

A Broken Man was made almost as a tribute to those revenge, one man vs a thousand, type of films. The project was heavily influenced by Liam Neeson classics such as Taken (2008), Run All Night (2015), and A Walk Among The Tombstones (2014). 

The aim of this project was really to gain more experience and knowledge working within this genre of film. This project was a test to see how far we could push ourselves in pursuing something completely different to what we normally have in pre-production. I also wanted to submit this project worldwide and give the festivals a taste of it, and with this project being so well-received (multi-award winning), it satisfies a little of my appetite and cements the fact that we can make a film of this genre.

What films have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?

I enjoy very specific genres of film and television. Although I appreciate a fantastic or emotionally moving picture, I tend to lean more towards the topics or genres of Superheros, Science Fiction, and Medieval/Old World/Ancient. These topics hold a huge place in my heart, and I am extremely passionate about them. 

I remember sitting in the cinemas watching Avengers: Age of Ultron thinking to myself, “I’d love to be in those credits.” But that almost wasn’t enough. What really drove me forward was my passion for telling stories and the thought, the dream, and now the reality, of not being credited somewhere down the bottom just before the logos, but to have my name at the start, to see a poster and have it say, “Underline Cinema presents a Leonidas Gioldasis Film.”

In terms of my inspirations, I’ve been inspired more by certain films and television shows than by specific people. Projects such as Robin Hood (2010), King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017), Outlaw King (2018), Game of Thrones (2011-2019), Vikings (2013-2020), and The Last Kingdom (2015-2022) have really fuelled my passion and desire for Medieval/Viking/Ancient types of projects. 

My love for cinematography and the art of making films beautiful has come from amazing projects like Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), The Mandalorian (2019-), Dunkirk (2017), Tombstone (1993), and 300 (2006).

Lastly, my passion for great stories, for developing scripts and characters that draw the audience in and evoke deep emotions within them, come from storytelling masterpieces such as Marvel: The Infinity Saga (2008-2019), The Blacklist (2013-), Notting Hill (1999), M*A*S*H (1972-1983), and Logan (2017).