Sotiris Dounoukos is a graduate of the Binger Institute, Netherlands, and the VCA School of Film and Television (alumni include Adam Arkapaw, Justin Kurzel and David Michöd), where he received the Outstanding Postgraduate Student Award. His debut feature, Joe Cinque’s Consolation, is the screen adaptation of Helen Garner’s celebrated book of the same name, which tells the true story of Anu Singh, a clever and beautiful young law student who plans to murder her boyfriend, Joe Cinque, after a series of macabre farewell dinner parties. The dinner guests, most of them fellow university students, had heard various rumours about her plan, but nobody warned Joe. His death and the subsequent trial drew the attention of the whole country, and Garner’s book about the events was an instant bestseller that explored the nature of community, and the price of doing and saying nothing. Joe Cinque’s Consolation premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival, and screened at Thessaloniki International Film Festival and in competition at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016. The film recently had its Australian cinematic release, and won the 2016 Canberra Film Critics’ Award for Best Film.
His short film, A Single Body (Un Seul Corps), won the Dendy Best Short Film Award at the 2015 Sydney Film Festival and Best Film at the St Kilda Film Festival and the inaugural Best International Short Film at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 2014 amongst a hugely impressive line-up of filmmakers including Claire Denis. In awarding the prize to Sotiris, the TIFF jury remarked on the film’s “extraordinary exploration of the value of friendship, hope, and aspiration in an unusually brutal and austere environment… and world — made especially heartbreaking by striking performances”. Made with a mix of professional actors and real workers and an international team from France, Greece and Australia, the film is a tightly constructed portrait of male friendship set against the grisly backdrop of an abattoir, where best friends and skilled workers David and Wani diligently ply their trade saving for their own butchery. Before they can realise that dream, the arrival of a worker and a new reality will test the bonds of their shared life. The screenplay was awarded the Association Beaumarchais’ Script Award for Short Drama.
Sotiris’ shorts have screened at over 180 festivals around the world and acquired numerous sales and awards. Past films include Mona Lisa (2004), winner of Best Student Production at Melbourne International Film Festival, and Paper and Sand (2007).