Charmolipi: a feeling of joy and sorrow

Charmolipi: a feeling of joy and sorrow

Charmolipi is the perfect word and title for this film. It is an old Greek work made up of ‘chara’ (joy) and ‘lipi’ (sadness). There is no equivalent word in English, it means a feeling of happiness and sadness at the sad time.

This is the most personal film I have ever made. It was filmed whilst I was on holiday in what has essentially become my second home due to my connection to it, Skiathos. I set out to make a film that explained why I love going there, to show the beauty of this island in the best way I could. I also needed to show why it is a place that can make me profoundly sad and after each visit these two feelings become so entwined it is hard to feel one without the other. That is what the goal of the film was. Events took over though and it became something much more that was planned.

Initially it will feel like a bit of a travelogue, but it really is not. You are meeting “characters” here. Different locations, places, things and cats that all play a big role within the film as it progresses. As I am your eyes I am also a character, there are people in it but they, bar a couple of people, are all very much in the background. There is a reason for this and it’s something you will understand by the end.

It is hard to define what specific genre this film is. It is not a documentary but in many ways it is because it is real, it tells a story, an evolving one but it’s not a documentary in the traditional; sense. It’s a very emotive film and as I mentioned this is very personal; 2 weeks though my eyes feeling what I feel conveyed with beautiful visuals and beautiful music. It is also very rich in natural sound.

There is no voice over and only about 10 words spoken visually on camera. The story is through the images and sound as well as the text that I sprinkle throughout the film.

I hope this film connects with you, it was a labour of love and means the world to me. It also took everything out of me both filming and reliving it again and again and again whilst editing it.

It was filmed with the Fujiflm GFX100 which I borrowed from Fuji UK for the trip. The film is about half handheld and half locked down tripod shots. No fancy pieces of gear. 99% was shot with the 45mm F2.8 and the 110mm F2, with variable NDs from Polar Pro. I did use the 23mm on a couple of cars shots but that was it. The camera was amazing. I loved everything about it. Maybe not the HD 60p as that wasn’t very good, but the 4K image is just beautiful. It was all either shot with the Eterna profile or in F-Log and the Eterna LUT. All was modified with additional colour work in Premiere.

Audio was the Rode Video Micro into the camera and in some places the Zoom H2 with stereo shotgun microphone.

All music was from Audio Network through their new monthly subscription service. A full list of the tracks used is a bit further down

If you could help the charity I would be so grateful. They do such amazing work to keep these beautiful animals fed and healthy. I haven’t seen a Greek island with so many healthy looking cats, its a huge credit to them. Their website is

I have made many films in Skiathos now and this is probably my favourite of them, in fact it could one of the films I am most proud of in my career. The Skiathos Kittens series is also very special to me because of the cats that I adopted who feature in it. You can see this series in this playlist:…

All music used is in chronological order:

“Elysian Fields” Bob Bradley, Christopher Wonfor
“Bosque Renewed” Christopher Slaski
“Near the surface” John Ashton Thomas
“Unforseen Consequences” – Paul Mottram
“Secret Beauty” Luke Richards
“Piscine Dance” John Ashton Thomas
“Reflecting” Christopher Slaski
“Legacy Unfolds” Amie Doherty
“Passage of time” Luke Richards
“Starting Over” Amie Doherty
“Claire De Lune” Claude Debussy. Arrangement David Tobin, Jeff Meegan, Julian Gallant, Rob Kelly
“Falling in Air” Julie Cooper
“Moment of Decision” Michael Levine, Bijan Olia, Charles Sicouri
“Reunited” Luke Richards
“Another Year” Chris Egan
“Thoughtful conclusion” John Ashton Thomas

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Written by lyfer

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