From Punk Ballerina to Fierce Filmmaker
By Christina Schultz
In our quest to promote female filmmakers and raise their visibility, we feel this Woman in Film is someone you should know.
Meet Syni Pappa, the director of the short sci-fi dark comedy Whack (which has a crisp dystopian Bladerunner aesthetic) and the coming-of-age short crime The National Garden (a beautifully shot dreamlike short), and co-writer of feature length LGBT drama Feline and sci-fi feature Haunted by City Lights.
Pappa was born and raised in Cologne, Germany, the daughter of a second generation Greek mechanic and an airline worker. Her family relocated to Northern Greece, however, and there she finished school in the border town of Serres. Later, she moved to Athens where she studied Social Anthropology at Panteion University and then went on to London to study film (directing and screenwriting) at Raindance Film School. She also trained to be a classical dancer.
In her teens, Pappa was mainly a punk ballerina who dreamed of forming an all-female version of The Clash, but it was first after she watched Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 1995) that she wanted to become a filmmaker. Beside Jim Jarmusch it was Vera Chytilova, Robert Altman, Cohen Brothers, Roy Andersson, Thomas Windemberg, Margaret Tait, David Lynch and Andrea Arnold that equally inspired her, taking lessons from their brazenly generous originality.
Following her studies, the notions of female representation, identity and the idea of power defining normal to abnormal influenced her viewpoint on telling and perceiving stories. In the following years, she worked as an assistant director in feature films, commercials, televisions series and shot most of her experimental shorts. In late 2012, Margot Filmhouse recruited her in Athens as their Creative Director, supervising script development in feature and shorts. In 2015, she moved to Berlin because she missed Germany. She’s currently working on her debut feature film Wrong Island, a girl buddy/coming-of-age mystery film. Hopefully we’ll be able to see Wrong Island in cinemas. So stay on the lookout for Syni Pappa in the future!
Read more about Syni and check out her work by clicking on the links below:
Syni Pappa on IMDB
Syni's Film Festival Agency Profile
The National Garden Trailer
You can also follow Syni on Instagram: @synipop