M-Appeal has closed more deals on “The Man With the Answers,” Stelios Kammitsis’ gay road trip dramedy about a spontaneous summer journey that unexpectedly turns into something more.
The company announced sales to Poland (Tongariro Releasing), Hong Kong (Edko Films), and Taiwan (Joint Entertainment Int.) during the Thessaloniki Film Festival, where the film played in the Meet the Neighbors competition. Previously inked deals include North America (Artsploitation Films), U.K. and Ireland (Peccadillo Pictures), France (Optimale), German-speaking territories (Salzgeber & Co.), and Benelux (Arti Film).
Kammitsis’ sophomore feature is the story of a former diving champion (Vasilis Magouliotis) whose life gets turned upside-down after the death of his grandmother. Setting off on a road trip to Germany, he meets a fellow traveler (Anton Weil) whose free-spirited personality soon prompts him to reveal the real reasons behind his trip. When their journey finally comes to an end, they’re confronted with the question of whether either has found the answers he’s looking for.
Speaking to Variety in Thessaloniki, Kammitsis said it was a peripatetic past that inspired him to make “The Man With the Answers.”
“I always felt like a traveler myself,” said the director. “I grew up in Cyprus, studied in the U.S., lived in Athens for many years and later in Berlin. So I did have the need to tell a story that has characters from different nationalities and backgrounds clashing together in a way.”
Kammitsis wanted to probe the friction between his two protagonists – the buttoned-up Victor versus the easy-going Matthias – as a way to explore the existential questions hinted at in the film’s title. “The answers come when you find yourself in the face of another person,” he said. “When someone else is pushing you out of your comfort zone and you have to seek answers in order to fill the gap within you.”
As an aspiring filmmaker, Kammitsis spent a year working for the iconic Greek director Theodoros Angelopoulos during pre-production of “The Dust of Time.” “It was very humbling for a young kid working around such an innovative director,” he said. “You learn a lot and as you grow older and become more mature; you go back to those memories and re-examine them.”
The experience stuck with Kammitsis and continues to guide him as he grows as a director. “Whoever you work with you should never forget who you are, what you want to do, and take something from every experience and make it your own,” he said.
Written and directed by Kammitsis, “The Man With the Answers” is produced by Felony Films, Blonde Audiovisual Productions, asterisk*, and 9.99 films, with the support of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus, the Greek Film Center, the Apulia Film Commission, ERT, the Creative Europe MEDIA Program, and IDM Südtirol.
Since premiering at Sydney’s Mardi Gras Film Festival, the film has enjoyed a healthy run on the festival circuit, playing in Santa Barbara, Guadalajara and Raindance and winning the most popular screenplay award in Beijing.